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Mark "SlowBro" Hurd
Begins: Aug 10, 2020
Date: Mon, Aug 31st, 2020
Start: Stoney Cove, Hills Ck Lake
End: Just north of Stoney Cove
Daily Distance: 2.5
Trip Distance: 176.5
Entry Visits: 202
Journal Visits: 4,896
Guestbook Views: 423
Guestbook Entrys: 7
Lost Wagon Train 1853
Slept well mostly due to exhaustion. But felt well rested this morning. Yesterday, after my long roadwalk, the top of my right food was aching, kind of like when your laces are to tight. Anyway, this morning the pain was not much better, but I figured a little walking would let me know what I need to do.
Back in 1853, it was the middle of October and the wagon train had sent out multiple scouts to seek help. Finally on Oct 16th a man named Martin Blanding was discovered below Disappointment Butte near Lowell, OR. in the Willamette Valley. He was nearly starved and there were some that questioned whether there could be over a thousand people stuck in the mountains like he said. But the good folks of the valley mounted a massive rescue operation. They sent riders up the Middle Fork with sacks of flour and readied wagons with provisions and rounded up fresh stock. It is estimated That 20,000 lb of provisions carried on 94 pack animals and 23 wagons were ferried up to the wagon train. People came from 50 miles away to help.
My wifes relatives relate that a man suddenly rode into their camp with a 50 lb sack of floor across his saddle and everyone began dancing and singing. He stayed the night and in the morning took the sickest child back down while the family prepared to move on. Meanwhile the rescuers were cutting the road up to the wagon train.
Amazingly there were only two deaths. One woman died in a wagon accident and another drowned in the Deschutes.
As for me, 167 years later, my foot continued to talk to me and the pain got worse. So after 2.5 miles I had a cell signal and called my rescuer, Nancy, to come pick me up. I was about 6 miles shy of Oakridge and another 24 from Lowell where Martin Blanding was found.
Although I didnt quite make it, I did hike 45 miles of the wagon road and really have a feel for what they saw and the country they traveled through. Faint traces of the wagon road seasoned my trek and made their journey more real to me. All and all a very worthwhile hike.
The journey is the reward...
SlowBro's Continental Divide Trail Journey
"I can't say as ever I was lost, but I was bewildered once for three days." -Daniel Boone
"The Journey IS The Reward" -SlowBro
"If you feel like quitting, just keep walking." -Gypsy Spirit
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