You might envision dying of dysentery and low-tech computer game when you hear the phrase Oregon Trail. But for Don Martin, traveling the 2,000-mile route from Oregon City to Independence, Missouri is more than just a nostalgic game. A dream has come true here.
Martin, who resides in Prineville, Oregon, and served in the Navy for 30 years, declared that it was time to climb the entire path. He left in April and landed in Oregon City on July 20 after traveling for three months and documenting it. Martin did not, however, anticipate a standing ovation for his achievement in light of history.
Martin stated that “tens of thousands of 8-year-olds completed this trek, and the majority of them did it barefoot.” “That somewhat puts my actions into perspective. Though difficult, it wasn’t all that difficult.”
Martin set off on his voyage alone, accompanied only by his handcrafted supply truck, “Ollie,” and a stuffed ox that was meant to reference the children’s game slogan, “Olly Olly oxen free.” Martin set up camp outside, depending on the weather. He took cover in motels during storms and strong wind occurrences. Coming around a curve to his first excellent look at Mount Hood and witnessing the rock formations in Nebraska like Scotts Bluff are among his favorite trail experiences.
Many of the individuals who arrived from Midwest farms had never witnessed anything like this, according to Martin. “Both then and now, this is still amazing to them. The amazing thing is why it’s so difficult now and why we’ve forgotten it so totally.”
Some places still have wagon ruts, but the majority of the Oregon Trail has been plowed over or made into roadways. Oregon has a beautiful and fantastic culture. Additionally, there aren’t many published trail guides for the Oregon Trail, in contrast to the Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trails. Less than a dozen individuals that Martin is aware of have hiked it in recent years, and he wants that to change.
In order to help others who wish to accomplish the same thing, Martin remarked, “One of the things I’m doing is attempting to put together a trail guide.” “Reconnect with the pioneer experience that enabled the western United States as a whole.”
Martin said he thinks the secret to traveling the Oregon Trail has remained basically the same throughout history, despite the fact that current footwear is softer and roads are considerably firmer.
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