A Walk In My Shoes - On Our Way Out West

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by jainrain
Last updated 6 years ago

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A Walk In My Shoes - On Our Way Out West

A Walk in My Shoes - Moving West in 1847 - Melody Foster

By Janie Hill

Food Supplies for the trip:Our wagon can carry up to 2,500 pounds, but Papa says we shouldn't overload it. Mama says we're going to need to pack 2000 pounds in food alone, which doesn't leave a lot of room for much else. 600 pounds of flour120 pounds of biscuits400 pounds of bacon200 pounds of lard200 pounds of beans100 pounds of dried fruit100 pounds of sugar75 pounds of coffee25 pounds of salt4 pounds of tea

My FamilyWe don't have a photograph of our family before we left for Oregon. This family photograph was taken when I was 17. That's my Ma and Pa, my brother Matthew and my little sister Meg. Meg is 10 in this picture, but she was just a baby when we left for Oregon.

Getting Ready to leave for OregonMy name is Melody Foster and I'm 9 years old and right now I live in Springfield, Illinois. I have one older brother, Matthew and a baby sister Meg. Pa says we're all moving to Oregon to find a better life. Ma and I are busy right now cooking and getting packed up for the wagon train. Pa says we need to take 6 oxen and two of our milk cows. All of our furniture, our stove and Mama's piano is being sent ahead by clipper ship around the Horn of South America. Pa says some families try to take these things in their wagons, but they usually have to leave them on the trail along the way. Pa and my brother Matthew are each taking their rifle and hunting knife. Pa packed a shovel, a scythe, a rake, a hoe, a saw, an axe, a mallet and a plane. These are all things we'll need and could mean the difference between making it to Oregon or not. We're going to need to pack a lot of food, which won't leave room for much else. We have a list of necessary food to bring, but we're also going to find room for some sacks of rice and beans. We have to pack our bacon in large barrels of bran so the hot sun won't melt the fat and turn it rancid.

The Oregon TrailWe're traveling by covered wagon to Oregon using the Oregon Trail. Actually, our food and supplies are travelling by wagon, we're travelling on foot. It's more than a 2000 miles from Springfield, Illinois and we're going to have to walk most of it. The trail begins at Independence, Missouri, so first we need to get there, which is around 250 miles away. This time last year two of our family friends the Donners and the Reeds left Springfield for California. I pray they all made it there safely.

The Green RiverWe crossed the Green River in July. This is when we lost a Mama and her baby when they got swept down the river and drowned.


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