When I think of pioneers, I think of wagon trains headed to the west. To the Oregon Trail. To Texas. To Kansas. I don’t think of wagon trains headed to California. To me, born and raised in southern California, California’s largest immigration was in the dust bowl years of the 1930s, a la Grapes of Wrath style. Although, to be honest, I’ve been in so many adobes and early missions that I know that California began far earlier than the post-depression years.
On Facebook a few weeks ago I saw an interesting shot of Cajon Pass. Now I travel Cajon Pass every time I’m back in California visiting family. THIS is the Cajon Pass that I know now. (It’s not usually this bad. This is a post-accident shot, although, Friday afternoon traffic heading up the hill and to Vegas for the weekend gives this shot a close run for its money.)
But this is the shot I saw of Cajon Pass on Facebook – many years earlier than what I remember of it.
Pioneer life. It’s so much more than reading Little House on the Prairie and reading about the Gold Rush days in California.
Here’s a site that gives an interesting brief history about the pioneers that started the Oregon Trail.
Here’s a few days account from Diary of George Edwin Bushnell: TRIP ACROSS THE PLAINS IN 1864:
June 13th (Mon.) Passed 5 Indian graves, about 7 ft. from the ground on scaffolds. Near the Junction House, we passed 262 wagons today.
June 14th (Tues.) Came up a storm last night, rained nearly all night, and today the road Is wet and muddy. Passed the 0 Fallen Bluff trading post 55 mi. below the Julesburg upper crossing of the South Platt. Saw 2 Indian villages, and camped near Alkali Springs.
June 15th (Wed,) It rained hard all night last night, and we were all wet this morning, and lay by till 10 o’clock. Met a long train of Mormon wagons. There is 300 on their way to Nebraska City for goods. Camped 2 mi. below Lone Tree crossing 35 mi. below Julesburg.
You can find his diary, along with many other written accounts and recollections at Diaries, Memoirs, Letters and Reports Along The Trails West
Prepare to settle in for a while. Once you start clicking and reading, it may be hard to return to real life.
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