Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Sunrise - Over the Snake River.
We walked east from our Nite Camp, which is on a butte over which passed the Oregon Trail. Little Mavicito wanted to walk over here in order to take a pic of the Sun coming up.

For some weeks now, we have been following the Oregon Trail of our pioneers. And still, the hard times of their journey continue to hit our emotions very hard! The words from the journals of those who traveled by those many years ago strike deep inside.
Journal of Major Osborne Cross, 1849.

Walking back along the path at the edge of the butte toward our Camp, we spotted MsTioga waiting patiently for us to return. Little Mavicito took a pic which contains a view of the Oregon Trail as it reaches the top of this butte. Do you see how very steep is the trail?.
MsTioga and the Oregon Trail.

Sunrise over the Snake River.

8AM - "Experience The Oregon Trail."
The National Park Service [NPS] published a splendid brochure which they have placed in a wood box at the trail head to the butte. When we were camped on Tuesday, the trail head was across the road and below in the canyon.

The title of this brochure is:
A Trail Into the Past; "Experience the Oregon Trail"

Here is the first paragraph from this brochure:
"This trail will take you back in time to experience some of the conditions the emigrants faced as they crossed this expansive continent. This was the largest peacetime migration in the history of the world. The first migration of wagons through this area occurred in 1843 and the peak use of the Oregon Trail was in the 1850s. Emigrants continued to use the trail in the 1860s."

Dear Readers, I would not even consider going up this three mile trail to the butte in the heat of the summer day. Yet our pioneers had no choice but to put one foot after the other!

8:30AM - Below are more pioneer journal entrees from the NPS brochure.

"Heat again oppressive, the dust stifling, and the thirst at times almost maddening. In some places we could see the water of the Snake [river] winding through the lava gorges, but we could not reach it, as the river ran in the inaccessible depths of the canyon."
-Ezra Meeker, 1852.

"....while watering, some of the cattle swam over the river. One of the men swam after them, but before he got across sank to rise no more. He left a wife and three small children." Elizabeth Smith, 1847.

"I felt tired and weary. It tries the soul. O the luxury of a house. That this journey is tiresome, no one will doubt, that it is perilous, the deaths of many testify, and the heart has a thousand misgivings and the mind is tortured with anxiety. And often as I pass the fresh made graves, I have glanced at the side boards of the waggon, not knowing how soon it might serve as a coffin for one of us...."
Lodisa Frezzell, 1850.

Below is a journal entry made about this very same exact location, going up the hill in the pic above.

"Our oxen were very poor and weak. Teams were doubled up to enable them to get up the hills. We cast out everything we could spare."
Martha Gay Masterson, 1851.

2PM - Camped in the Town of Glenns Ferry.
There is a nice lawn here in Glenns Ferry, next to the railroad tracks. We are making use of that lawn and a shade tree. It is another 100°F day.

Do you remember when hot days like this used to wipe George out? The heat doesn't bother anymore! Pretty neat, huh?

In the park at Glenns Ferry.

3:30PM - Readers wonder about crop circles.
Several readers have sent emails wondering about crops growing in circles that they have seen near our Camps using Google Earth. Little Mavicito captured some pics today that may explain these circles.

Some farms have irrigation systems that move in circles. Depending on how these systems are used, sometimes the crops that are being watered grow in circles too. In the pics below, are two irrigation systems. The first one below moves in a straight line. And the second system moves in a circle.

If you look closely at the second system, you may see on the left the pivot around which the entire sprinkler rotates. If this kind of rotating system is standing alone in a field with no overlapping irrigation, the crops that are watered may grow in a giant circle.
Straight line irrigation system.

Circular irrigation system.

6:30PM - Nite Camped at the Snake River's "Three Island Crossing."
MsTioga is soooooo close to the Snake River. The State of Idaho's Three Island Crossing State Park is just upstream. We plan to visit the park's Oregon History Center tomorrow morning!


Google Map Link

Google Earth Link

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