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17 May 1845: On the Little Blue River

This morning we turned away from the Missouri River, and will follow the Little Blue River up to The Platte. The shocking thing I learned this morning while I helped Uncle Luke yoke the oxen is that we will be just a small part of a much larger wagon train which has left from Council Bluff, in Iowa. We will meet up with them at Ft. Kearney in a few weeks.

Uncle Luke says that we can travel about ten or fifteen miles on a very good day, if there are flat roads. He has asked me if I would read the odometer each day and record it in this diary, so I shall try to remember. Today we traveled about 8 miles.

After we reach Scotts Bluff, and the prairie comes to an end, it will be much slower. Then there will be mountains and rivers to ford and much hardship. I look forward to seeing the Great Rocky Mountains, but it all seems so impossible.

Uncle Luke walked alongside the oxen for most of the day. He said that he would be walking most of the way to Oregon, as would the other men. The wagons are so full of supplies that there is very little room left. Only the children and old people, and the pregnant women, like Mama, may ride.

About 8 miles today.