Santa Fe Trail

by Cassiahope
Last updated 7 years ago

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Santa Fe Trail

Santa Fe Trail

April 16, 1844My family and I are buying supplies to take on our trip. We are planning on spending six long weeks to travel 800 miles on the Santa Fe Trail. We are leaving Westport, Missouri to make a new life out west. We have joined 40 wagons to form a wagon train. Today before we left my dad and all the men over 14 years old voted for a leader.They checked everyone’s wagon to make sure they had sealed the bottom with tar. We would cross rivers in our wagon and they needed to float. April17, 1844Today we began our journey. I am sad to leave my home, clothes, and toys behind. I also feel excited to be moving west with my family. Our first day was bumpy and dusty. When we stopped for the night we circled our wagons for safety. My mom sent me to get firewood or buffalo droppings, with my older brother. I will write more tomorrow I am tired and need to get some sleep.April 20, 1844 We have been pushing hard to get across Kansas. We have heard reports about Indian attacks. We get up early ever morning. I water the oxen start breakfast and help lead the wagon. By seven o’clock we are back on the trail. My feet hurt from blisters, but I still have to walk. The dirt from the wagons chokes me. I am tired of all the dirt. We even have dirt in our food. April 25, 1844 We are having trouble finding water. The Cameron family lost their 2 year old to cholera. Everyone on the train is afraid of catching cholera. We buried her along the trail. I can’t wait until we get to the Arkansas River. I really need a drink and a bath. I heard the men talking about getting to the River in the next couple of weeks.May 8, 1844 Finally we reached the Arkansas River and fort Zarah. The water was freezing. But I took a bath to wash off all the dirt. We then had to cross the river in our wagon. Our wagon started to wash downstream. I thought we were going to die. Our oxen managed to pull us out of the river. We didn’t loose any of our supplies, but everything got wet. Our next destination is Colorado.May 11, 1844 Tonight I heard the men talking about which trail we should take when we reached Colorado. They were talking about going over the Raton Pass into the Rockies or across the Desert, through 60 miles of waterless hot desert called the Terrible Jornado. If we chose the Jornado and had enough water to make it, we still had to worry about an attack from the Comanche. I hope we take the Raton Pass. The trail maybe hard, but I would rather have a hard trip than to be attacked by the Comanche.May 14, 1844We arrived at Fort Dodge today. My dad and brother went out to hunt for food before we head into the Rocky Mountains. Because, it has been so dry and the soldiers at Fort Dodge said the Comanche have been attacking wagon trains, we are taking the long, hard trail across the Rockies. My mom sent me out to see if I could find berries to pick. I didn’t have nay luck finding berries. I did find some twigs and buffalo droppings for our fire. We need to get rid of anything that we don’t need or will make the wagon to heavy to cross the mountains. My family made the decision to leave behind our stove. My dad told mom he would build her a fireplace to cook in when we reached Santa Fe. My mom was unhappy that we left her stove behind. May 18, 1844Crossing the mountains was hard. Some trails were so steep; we had to pull our wagons up with ropes. Going down was just as hard. Keeping control of our wagons as we went down the steep hill was dangerous Mr. Olson was run over by a wagon and he died. We buried him along the trail under a pile of rocks. May 21, 1844 Today we arrived at Fort Lyon, it is good to be out of the mountains. I didn’t think we were going to make it. It broke my mom’s heart to leave her rocking chair behind to lighten our load. It is so good to bathe in the river. After our bath we filled our water barrels.May 23, 1844We arrived at Bent’s Fort today. We are on the final part of our journey. I am sick of our wagon and can’t wait until we get to Santa Fe. We are having a dance to celebrate making it this far. May 29, 1884We reached a settlement called Las Vegas today. My dad used some of our money to buy flour. I am tired of eating dried beans and jerky. I hope my mom makes biscuits for our next meal. It is hard to believe we are nearing the end of the trail. Twenty wagons decided to stay in Las Vegas. The rest of us are anxious to be on our way, now that we are so close. June 6, 1884We have arrived in Santa Fe. It is not what I expected. I was expecting a big town with streets and building like out east. It is a rugged, wild place. My dad and brother went to pick out land for us to settle on. June 9, 1884We are building our cabin and clearing the land to farm. I miss Missouri, but am excited about starting a new life.


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