Friday, February 27, 2009

My westward journal #6

4-13-1820

Dear journal,

Before the light was even up, we hitched the oxen teams to every wagon and we took into the unknown. A few hours later, we reached Ash Hollow. Like a silent signal, every wagon stopped. Everybody started trickling out of their wagons to look down the hill. I went to stand by father. He ran his hand through his ruffled hair and sighed. “Okay folks. We are going to have to get down there. We need rope. Lots of it. And make sure they’re thick and strong too.” Father finished speaking and everyone started getting rope. With all the rope gathered and put in a pile, it looked like a small mountain. Soon, people started tying ropes anywhere they could. Father looked at me. “When it’s our turn, your mother is going to drive the wagon. I want you to stay inside the wagon while you go down. I’m going to stay up here and help the other wagons get down. Do you understand that? Maggie?” I nodded. The first wagon started its decent. Five hours later, all wagons were accounted for. We looked around the hollow, and noticed it was full of ash trees, hence the name ‘Ash Hollow’. There was a stream for water, washing clothes, and washing dishes. We built a campfire and had our lunch. Father and the other men got together and decided that we were going to stay here for a few days. This was a good place. I liked it here. Would Oregon look like this?

Maggie, 9 years old

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