Meeker's journey was before much of a road system existed through much of the territory he traversed. You can imagine his odd looking expedition crossing open country like this, stopping to rest or camp at convenient waysides.
This illustration is a snapshot taken without posing on an occasion of a noonday rest in Oregon. Frequently this "noon spell" would be extended long after the mid afternoon hour had passed and afforded the best opportunity of writing my journal, the foundation of my book. Then when we did make a start to travel toward the cool of the evening often dusj would overtake us before camp could be made.
The oxen, Twist and Dave, look the picture of content and health and gained in weight as I moved out on the Plains until Twist sickened one morning and died before night.
BREAKDOWN! That is no small event. How will he get to the next farm or town to buy another animal, train it, and hit the road again? Or leave the wagon and Dave there and trudge to the next farm? Similar to our modern day breakdown
in the outback. but help is usually closer.
nails on 7th January 2021 @ 10:24am
Poor Twist. I think on their original journey west they only lost one cow while crossing a river.
I think Ezra Meeker is about 75 years old, during this trip. That's more than I want to do in my 70's. It must have not harmed his health because he was almost 98 years old when he passed.
In some of Meeker's writing he says that on their first trip west, they passed some wagons headed back east. By the time the party reached Fort Laramie Wyoming, all the men had died so the women were going back home.
L.E. on 7th January 2021 @ 10:33am
I don't think this was a breakdown. I think they were taking a siesta at noonin the shade of the wagon.
ArthurB on 7th January 2021 @ 1:47pm
Looking at the flatness of the terrain in the photo, the Meeker family said the worst part of the trip was from Boise to The Dalles. I hadn't thought about it, but the pioneers coming west, were unfamiliar with mountains. We live here, in the mountains so we would know what to expect, but these mountains must have been a huge surprise to the travelers.
L.E. on 7th January 2021 @ 2:52pm
Is that Jim the dog stretched out in the lower left corner? We need to see the dog in every picture :)
kmb on 7th January 2021 @ 3:17pm
I found this same photo on a website, but Meeker's driver William Marden is standing at the back of the wagon.
Evidently Meeker is able to use a couple of cows to help pull the wagon until he gets to the stockyards in Omaha where he purchased a 4 year old steer he named Dandy.
L.E. on 8th January 2021 @ 9:45am