Backtracking the Oregon Trail

Afterword lg wagonI hope you’ve enjoyed our journey retracing Martha’s footsteps as we backtracked the Oregon Trail. As noted in the beginning it took us five days to cover the miles that took them five months. We streaked across modern highways in an air-conditioned car. Martha walked all the way, one step at a time. She trudged through fantastic mountain scenery and wide lonely prairies and deserts. I’m sure she embraced nature’s wonders while despairing of the next climb, the uncertainty of water and sustenance, the heat and cold.

It was a thrill to see the places again, some for the first time. Certainly I saw landmarks on this trip with new appreciation.

Returning home by air, I happened to notice the Columbia River below me, somewhere near The Dalles where we met Martha coming the other way.

598.columbia river from airYou can see the blue line cutting through the middle of the photo. The highway—and the Oregon Trail—follow it for some distance on the east side of the Cascades.

Years after her long trek Martha marveled at news of the newly built railroad crossing the country. Could she even imagine flying through the sky? About five hours in the air to go the distance that took her five months? I was happy to get home in less than a full day, rather than five long days on the road.

If you missed any post in this series and would like to find it, go to the right-hand side of the page and scroll down to “Categories.” Click on “Backtracking the Oregon Trail” to find them all listed. (Or just scroll down the main page. There aren’t very many intervening posts.)

Thank you for joining us.