Yesterday when we passed thru the Town of Nyssa, Oregon, we misread our maps. We headed north out of Nyssa and should have headed west. We did not know it at the time, but we had LOST the Oregon Trail. Wow! Fortunately, we decided to go to the Town of Vale, Oregon where we made Nite Camp.
This morning we searched for the illusive, Keeney Pass where Oregon Trail ruts are to be found. We got a clue about Keeney Pass from a website which stated that the Pass is south of Vale.
MsTioga went down several roads heading south, and each one of these roads was wrong. Then we looked closely at the topography of the land. We tried to figure out from which direction the pioneers might have come? That was when we found a sign on a road that read "Oregon Trail Route." This road headed south. We followed that road, and did not know if for awhile, but we were actually now traveling on the Old Oregon Trail. Wow!
Everybody on The Team is soooooo excited that we are on the Oregon Trail again!
9AM - Why are we so excited about our Oregon Trail Adventure?
The story of the pioneers traveling the Oregon Trail west, has completely captured us. Why is that? Maybe because the story is so powerful, so fantastic?
Did you know that the emigration of our pioneers is the largest peacetime movement of people in the history of the World? Most of our pioneers headed out from St. Louis, Missouri in the month of April. It would have taken them until August, to be at the same place we are now, and they would have walked 1,700 miles to get here.
Yes, walked! Did you know that most pioneers walked, and did not ride? They wore stiff leather shoes, that had no left or right. Their shoes were all built with the same shape. Can you imagine that?
"All who were able walked most of the time as we could easily keep pace with the train. The old people and little tots rode."
-Martha Gay Masterson, 1851.
9:30AM - A pioneer's grave.
We came to the grave site of John D. Henderson, whose grave stone was marked August 8, 1852. Above the grave stone, is a plaque telling the story of Mr. Henderson's death. We noted that the gravestone is dated one day earlier than the plaque.
The plaque is terribly weathered, and Little Mavicito hopes that you are able to read the tragic story told there.
Note: The day after we published our story about John D. Henderson [above], we found an historic plaque photo that claimed that Mr. Henderson died of Black Measles, not from lack of water. Below is that pic.
10AM - Keeney Pass Camp.
The moment MsTioga pulled into this site, we were entranced with it. The Old Oregon Trail, marked with the brown trail stakes, is just a few feet away.
There is a one-third mile path to the overlook of Keeney Pass, which Little Mavicito is extremely anxious to take!
2PM - Little Mavicito looks at Keeney Pass.
Our Camp is southeast of Keeney Pass. We took the path that parallels the Oregon Trail up to the pass. When we got there, Little Mavicito decided to make another movie!
Little Mavicito Video Productions
Keeney Pass on the Oregon Trail
6PM - The Team votes to Camp at Keeney Pass!
We had a Team Meeting this afternoon to decide if we should make Camp at Keeney Pass, or head out and look elsewhere.
Keeney Pass got a unanimous vote! Wow! In fact, Little Mavicito chirped in, "I wanna stay here at Keeney Pass for two nites!"
9PM - Waiting for the wagons.
You will likely think me weird when I tell you that I just came back from sitting on the Oregon Trail waiting for wagons to come by. But I did! Being here has really got my imagination going.
This evening at supper, I was looking out my table side window which has a view of the old trail. When the wagons passed by here, they were only 50 feet away. If only a pioneer would walk by, that would be soooooo neat. I know these are just wishful imaginations. But what if?
Google Map Link
Google Earth Link