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March 10, 1848

We’re on our way! We’ve left Independence, Missouri and are headed for Willamette Valley, Oregon. We know the trail is treacherous, but our spirits are high. I’m thankful Professor and I were able to find others to travel with (Space Cat, Clumsy Ninja, and Signing Monkey), otherwise I don’t think we’d have set out on this journey. I’m excited to see more of this great country and hope Oregon is as beautiful as people say.

Even though we’re traveling together, we agreed to keep our supplies separate. We each have our own area in the wagon, and we’ve clearly labeled our supply crates. Of course, that doesn’t mean we can’t share if something bad happens, though hopefully we won’t have to worry about that.

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March 30, 1848

Everything was going so smoothly. I managed to drive the wagon without anything horrible happening, even though I’d never done it before. Professor led us safely across the first river we came to. It was quite impressive. Even when the wagon tongue broke, Space Cat had it fixed in no time. It almost seemed like luck was on our side.

Then Signing Monkey got sick. It wasn’t hard to tell she had measles, and we were pretty worried for a while. I’d packed some medicine which I gladly shared with her. I didn’t want her to die, and I certainly didn’t want anyone else to catch it. She seems like she’s on the road to recovery. I hope this is the worse we have to deal with.

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April 9, 1848

I sorely misjudged how much food I needed to pack, and now I’m starving. I’m holding out hope that if I don’t manage to find food for myself, someone will give me some food. Professor did just get food at that Fort we stopped at. He probably thinks I’m exaggerating, but I know if it comes to it, he’ll give me food to save my life.

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April 17, 1848

Signing Monkey saved me by sharing her food with me, and I’m eternally grateful.

Space Cat lost some supplies in the last river we forded. I’m glad it was only supplies we lost. When the wagon lurched in the middle of the river, I thought we were all going to drown. It was a relief to make it to the other side. I did feel bad for Space Cat as we watched her supply crate floating downstream.

I haven’t been feeling well today. I hope I haven’t taken ill.

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April 28, 1848

It turns out I was getting sick. I came down with typhoid, but thankfully I still had some medicine, and Professor gave me some good clean water. I was back on my feet in no time.

Things seems to be getting rougher the farther we travel. I know we should have expected it since we have limited options when something goes wrong, but it almost feels like the trail is trying to kill us. The axle on our wagon broke, but Clumsy Ninja fixed it. Space Cat lost more supplies while fording another river, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s worried about running out of supplies. I’m on the last of the food Signing Monkey gave me, and starvation is definitely a concern.

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May 15, 1848

This time Professor came to my rescue right away. He shared the food he obtained from that Fort, and now I won’t starve to death.

I have to say, Space Cat has the worse luck when it comes to rivers. Her supplies keep floating away. It’s a good thing we all seem willing to look out for one another, otherwise things would be looking pretty grim for her.

I am getting worried about our wagon, though. The axle broke for the second time. Signing Monkey managed to fix it, but I have doubts that it will last us to Oregon. It seems certain that we’d die if the wagon broke and we couldn’t fix it. I hope it doesn’t come to that.

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May 28, 1848

Professor died of dysentery!

My heart is broken. Our dream was to make it to Oregon together, but now I have to press on without him. I know he wouldn’t want me to give up. He left me clothes and medicine, but I’d much rather have him back at my side.

As though things weren’t bad enough, Clumsy Ninja says she’s worried about the amount of grass for the oxen. If they don’t have enough to eat, they’ll die. I’m quite familiar with that predicament. If we lose our oxen and can’t get new ones, we’ll all die.

Maybe I’ll be joining Professor sooner than I thought.

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June 10, 1848

Space Cat finally got lucky when we forded that last river. Maybe it was because Signing Monkey was guiding us across, but we didn’t lose any supplies. Unfortunately her luck didn’t last, and she was the victim of a thief. Poor Space Cat.

We’ve passed another Fort and through our first town, and it looks like our oxen will survive. That was definitely some good news we needed.

I had a bout of cholera, but between the medicine I had and the medicine Professor left me, I’m well again.

I’m worried about our water, though. It hasn’t been tasting very fresh lately.

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June 23, 1848

We were certainly in trouble for a while. We didn’t have any good water, and that would have certainly killed us all. Clumsy Ninja saved us, though, and found some clean water.

We’ve been crossing a lot of rivers. I had no idea there were so many on the trail. Signing Monkey is probably wishing there was one less considering she lost supplies in that last crossing. I don’t particularly like crossing rivers at all, but I don’t have much choice if I want to make it to Oregon.

I fell ill with typhoid, again. I had no idea I’d be so sick so often. I’d run out of medicine, but Clumsy Ninja still had some clean water, and Space Cat had medicine. They were kind enough to save me.

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July 11, 1848

Things were certainly looking bleak. Our oxen died suddenly, and as we all know, that means certain death on the trail. Thank goodness there are so many people traveling. I was able to trade some of my supplies for new oxen.

Unfortunately that means our supplies are running dangerously low, even more so since Signing Monkey lost another crate in a river crossing, so we haven’t been able to do anything about Space Cat’s cholera.

Thankfully there’s a town just ahead. Hopefully we can get her help there.

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July 30, 1848

Things have not taken a turn for the better. Clumsy Ninja broke her arm, and then one of our wheels broke. Space Cat and I managed to combine our supplies and traded some other travelers for a new one.

But now Space Cat has measles, and Clumsy Ninja and I just traded our last supplies to fix the wagon tongue. I don’t know if we’re going to be able to find medicine for her.

Our chances are not looking good.

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August 9, 1848

Space Cat and Clumsy Ninja died!

We hit an unexpected cold snap, and Space Cat didn’t have warm enough clothes. None of us had any extra to give her, and she froze to death.

Clumsy Ninja was bitten by a snake. I told her not to touch it, but she thought it looked cuddly.

Now it’s just me and Signing Monkey.

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August 26, 1848

I can’t believe we made it!

It was certainly looking grim for a while. You know you’re in dire straights when a thief complains that you have nothing worth stealing.

And all those rivers! I thought our wagon would finally break apart, and we’d die.

But here we are in Willamette Valley, Oregon.

If only Professor, Space Cat, and Clumsy Ninja could see it, but they’re here in spirit with me.

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