The Real Reason People Rarely Rode In Wagons On The Oregon Trail

The Real Reason People Rarely Rode In Wagons On The Oregon Trail

Exploration. Expansion. Onward into the sunset. The Oregon Trail might not have the prettiest history at all times, but it’s history nonetheless, and historians have spent lifetimes piecing together all the details of life on that dusty avenue. The Oregon Trail stretches over 2,000 miles, a journey that took months for even the best-equipped pioneers. One indispensable piece of equipment? The wagon. Pack your kids, pack your mother-in-law, and hit the road, right? Well, it turns out it wasn’t quite that easy. In fact, for all those wagons crossing the country, very few people actually rode in them. Here’s the real reason people rarely rode in wagons on the Oregon Trail.

#TheOregonTrail #History #Trail

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  1. Gwyneth Binder on June 4, 2023 at 9:18 am

    Why do paintings always show horse pulling wagons rather than the oxen’s or mules?

  2. wayne newby on June 4, 2023 at 9:20 am

    Narration to Fast

  3. ARailway on June 4, 2023 at 9:21 am

    They did walk, but occasionally they got tired and rode in the wagons.
    One 12 year old girl bragged in her diary that her parents rode some,
    while she walked all the way, on one particular day.

  4. free agent on June 4, 2023 at 9:22 am

    I know at night the wagons would be put in a circle, anyone that stepped outside would be killed by an arrow.

  5. Linda Edelblut on June 4, 2023 at 9:22 am

    In Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie–the entire family rides almost all of the time (in fact she asks to run alongside once and Ma says no, why is not explained–since this is actually a memory from when Laura is about 4 years old, she probably couldn’t keep up.) Anyhow their mattresses are stowed in the wagon the kids seem to camp out comfily enough on them.

  6. Brian Mitchell on June 4, 2023 at 9:25 am

    I died of cholera on the Oregon Trail

  7. jim h on June 4, 2023 at 9:25 am

    Problems were
    They took their wants
    And not only their needs

  8. Harvey Post on June 4, 2023 at 9:27 am

    Very bumby hav an adult trike no suspension oh the back on rough pavement and railroad track.

  9. Daryl Jacobson on June 4, 2023 at 9:27 am

    I don’t believe Conestoga wagons were used on the Oregon Trail. They were too long and heavy for crossing the Rockies, Blues and Cascade mountains, Prairie Scoones and farm wagons were used on the Oregon Trail where Conestoga wagons were much more suited for the Santa fe Trail and other less mountainous terrain. I guess it’s possible a few of them may have been able to make the trip over the mountains, but certainly were not one of the two said "main types".

  10. Jr nu mex on June 4, 2023 at 9:27 am

    no wagon is fast. up to the horses on that one

  11. cdjhyoung on June 4, 2023 at 9:31 am

    A number of the comments here seem to be surprised about the idea of walking the Oregon Trail. We need to remember that 180 years ago, the most common means for anyone to go from A to Z was to walk. To own a riding horse was above a middle class purchase. If farming, most common the family would have only a single animal. That being said, any draft animal will only do so much work in a day. If you take the horse and wagon six miles to town and back, that is a days work for the horse. So people walked to where they were headed. It was the norm. So for farm folks, who would have been the most common settler of the era, walking beside the wagon, or horses would be the norm, not the exception.

  12. david thelander on June 4, 2023 at 9:33 am

    A great book, if you have an interest in the Oregon Trail is ‘The Wake of the Prairie Schooner,’ by Irene Paden. Full of great stories, first hand interviews. The book was written in the mid thirties. Great photos, diary entries, maps. This book took her many years to write. She and her family would spend summers camping and exploring and interviewing people along the route. A wonderful book – I recommend it highly.

  13. Ray James on June 4, 2023 at 9:34 am

    I live right next to the Chisholm trail in Texas, thought about driving a herd of cattle up it numerous times.

  14. Woog75 on June 4, 2023 at 9:35 am

    Some years back we were in, I believe, Idaho on way to Yellowstone. There was a "covered wagon museum". Gave us some idea of how it went. As I recall, we were told that people walked next to the wagons. Boys were tasked to count the wheel rotations so to see how many miles gone. The roads outside of St. Louis (Gateway to the West) were littered (as shown in a brief part of this video) with chairs and other belongings that were jettisoned. There is an early John Wayne movie, "The Long Trail", I think, that shows the travelers coming to a bluff, and taking the wagons apart, getting the parts lifted, and then the wagons put back together again. Hard to believe that some of the children of the travelers lived to see autos and airplanes.

  15. Larry Rice on June 4, 2023 at 9:36 am

    Nice picture of Oregon Butte

  16. Barry Morrow on June 4, 2023 at 9:36 am

    Good video

  17. DeeShannon Garrison on June 4, 2023 at 9:37 am

    They walked. All that way. That is crazy. Think I’d have stayed put on the east coast, thanks.

  18. it doesn't matter on June 4, 2023 at 9:38 am

    Europeans have been falsely calling themselves "superior" for a long time. The world now sees how superior they really are…😂

  19. Chino Man on June 4, 2023 at 9:39 am

    I crossed the continent in a wagon in a reenactment dare. Brutal

  20. Grunge on June 4, 2023 at 9:40 am

    What interesting facts do you have about the Oregon Trail?

  21. Clarence McGregor on June 4, 2023 at 9:46 am

    They rode like a Ford pickup.

  22. Steve Lee on June 4, 2023 at 9:47 am

    Children walking beside wagons or oxen were sometimes killed when wagon wheels would roll over them. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints there is a children’s song that says, "pioneer children sang as they walked, and walked, and walked, and walked."

  23. jann hebrank on June 4, 2023 at 9:47 am

    such a sad thing…and now those same people whose ancestors encroached upon tribes and stole their land and were here in this country without benefit of citizenship are wanting to not allow others seeking asylum as their ancestors did, Just murderous people I guess. They killed off the natives and now want to deny asylum seekers by forcing them to live with no food and water. Its sad.

  24. Time Out on June 4, 2023 at 9:48 am

    Why didn’t they fly ?

  25. David leary on June 4, 2023 at 9:49 am

    Simple. They were full and heavy.

  26. PEEPER57 on June 4, 2023 at 9:51 am

    Does the Conestoga horse still exist?

  27. Freedom Forever on June 4, 2023 at 9:51 am

    It took you four minutes to explain the lack of springs made it uncomfortable to ride in wagons. Lame.

  28. Steve Harrell on June 4, 2023 at 9:53 am

    Glad to see clips from "The Big Trail".

  29. Lucky Jones on June 4, 2023 at 9:57 am

    My Great, great, great Grandfather came across the Oregon Trail with his wife and 11 children in 1853. They settled in the Willamette Valley south of Salem and our family still has possession of 5 acres of land on the original homestead, where we hold annual family reunions, occasionally with an Oregon Trail reenactment complete with covered wagon and period clothing.

  30. Stewart Jones on June 4, 2023 at 9:58 am

    The larger of the two wagons looks very much like a wain an English wagon as in the John Constable picture "The Hay Wain".
    Charles’ Wain is over the new chimney and yet our ‘orse not packed. The Plough star configuration used to be called Charles or Carl’s Wain.

  31. Lori Graham on June 4, 2023 at 9:59 am

    I’ve driven horse and carts. Unless you are on paved road, it’s a rough ride.

  32. Rick Ward on June 4, 2023 at 9:59 am

    Actually, the answer is arithmetic. Every pound of people in the wagon detracted from the useful that could be carried. That load had already been stripped to the bones and the wagon overloaded with consumable cargo (food, water, etc). Under such circumstances, causing a beast of burden to suffer your weight unnecessarily was generally considered to be inhuman.

  33. Mik Mik on June 4, 2023 at 9:59 am

    I read that "Prarie Schooner" was an actual Wagon equipped with mast spar and sails using the prevalent WIND to power its movement over the flat land of the prairie. As I understood it the "Conestoga" Wagon was a BOAT it could cross rivers with a dry cargo. A full team was SIX horses, while most families found it hard to assemble two or four OXEN as prime movers.

  34. Conway Twitter on June 4, 2023 at 9:59 am

    Rarely? I’m calling bs on this one. Wagons were the best way to carry essential belongings.. clothes, food, water, and maybe very important keepsakes. A lot of people took wagons. A lot of them even had cooks so a chuckwagon was a must. Maybe everyone but the person driving the wagon and very small children walked or rode horses, but wagons were still taken.

  35. Shade Tree Life on June 4, 2023 at 10:00 am

    In my hometown, Oregon Trail wagon ruts run right across the #8 fairway at our local golf course. The trail runs through our valley and is marked and you can follow it for miles, to Fort Hall, also the Hudspeth Cutoff is right there where they turned South off the trail to go to the Salt Lake Valley. Interesting and historic area.

  36. vince williams on June 4, 2023 at 10:00 am

    My Stepmom was related to the Applegates. Applegate trail, Applegate river, Town of Applegate.

  37. George AKA Dad on June 4, 2023 at 10:02 am

    No suspension and Gel cushions hadn’t been invented. :-}

  38. Tony Baker on June 4, 2023 at 10:06 am

    Because they did not have cars?

  39. VTPSTTU on June 4, 2023 at 10:07 am

    I used to live about a hundred or two hundred yards from where the trail passed. The ruts were all gone, but it was fun being that close to where history had passed. I’m sure that people occasionally walked off the trail a little ways and crossed my yard while they were hunting.

  40. Bbs rawat on June 4, 2023 at 10:10 am

    सभी लोग कमाल के थे आनन्द के लिए पेन्ट यूअर वेगन मूवी देखें माफी चाहता हूं

  41. J G on June 4, 2023 at 10:10 am

    How many people found ‘nice enough’ places along the way and never made it to Oregon?

  42. Brian Edwards on June 4, 2023 at 10:10 am

    There’s a period cartoon of a stagecoach with a wheel off, luggage scattered all over and the passengers standing around. Underneath it says "worse things happen at sea". It was a comment on the state of the roads.

  43. Paulo Ricardo Da Luz on June 4, 2023 at 10:12 am

    E as Conestoga wagon? Eram de Lancaster na pennsylvania, sec 18, e estas idas para o Oregon eram em wagons menores e puxadas por Mulas e Horses. Interessante esta história sec 19.

  44. Zee Best on June 4, 2023 at 10:12 am

    3:32 – Real reason: wagons were heavily loaded and had no suspension for the extremely bumpy trail.

  45. Shirley Balinski on June 4, 2023 at 10:12 am

    Generally the wagons were typical small,farm all pupose wagons(4’x9 ‘ app.). There wasn’t room to ride or sleep inside. All would have walked except very small kids, the sick or elderly. The inside was completely filled with food, household goods & farm necessities. Horses were not used so much as oxen & occasionally mules. Both did not require a diet like horses, were stronger, did not tire as easily & in the case of mules, more sure footed. A long journey by foot but, it was step at a time.

  46. Corwin Christensen on June 4, 2023 at 10:13 am

    There were as many different kinds of wagons that moved west than there are different cars on the freeway today. Many were unique, built by a local blacksmith in the town they were leaving behind, who often modified other designs and even made up their own. Every shape and size from the Mormon Handcart to the 21 mule borax wagons. It is true, however, most of the time people chose to walk alongside rather than ride as the wagons were packed with belongings and provisions for the trip.

  47. Dan Davidson on June 4, 2023 at 10:13 am

    My great grandfather traveled that Dusty trail in the 1860’s

  48. Scott Galbraith on June 4, 2023 at 10:14 am

    The wagons were full of dead bodies after the first 3 months.

  49. Stu Duerson on June 4, 2023 at 10:15 am

    Mormon Mesa, west of Mesquite, is interesting in that it has remnants of both the Santa Fe, and Mormon Trail. Even in the desert, time is slowly erasing these features.

  50. david thelander on June 4, 2023 at 10:16 am

    You didn’t mention that MOST wagons were pulled by oxen. If you were fortunate, you had mules. Horses were used only seldom, and mostly for saddle.

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