Tag Archives: Oregon Trail

That Pioneering Spirit

"Oh goody. It's raining."

 If you enjoy wearing a pioneer woman costume and sleeping in a damp tent that you set up in the pouring rain while wearing your soggy pioneer bonnet and a soaked pioneer skirt that gets tangled around your legs as you try to pound a tent spike into solid rock while 3 third graders (also in pioneer garb) complain about the inclement weather under your feet…then you’d LOVE the field study I just returned from (see Wagon’s Ho blog entry) with my kid’s Living History charter school.

 We had a fabulous time.

Learned a lot.

Stood at the bottom of the famous Laurel Hill (shoulda been named Laurel Jagged Cliff) on the famous Oregon Trail (shoulda been named Let’s Commit Suicide by Wagon Train) and I thought, “Wow, I wonder if I ‘d have let my husband talk me into hurling our wagon/worldly supplies/children/oxen over the edge like the pioneers did back in the olden days?”  and “What the hell were they thinking?”  and “I wonder how far I am from Starbucks, right now.”

Apparently, one pioneer woman (her name escapes me at the moment), pregnant with her eighth child gave birth three days AFTER getting her family down the hill.  I’m such a loser weenie.  I rode to the historic site in a heated touring bus, ate the 6 thousand calorie meal we’d packed that morning for lunch, and felt sorry for myself because I was probably gaining back all the weight I’d recently lost (see the Gym post).

This trip shattered every illusion I had about being a pioneer in any sense of the word.  I am a wimp-o-neer.  A pio-weenie.

Luckily, the next field study (leaving this Monday with daughter number 2) is being held at the coast.  In a Yurt.  Gonna feel like the Hilton, compared to the tent. 

Carolyn

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Wagons Ho

I’m going on an Oregon Trail Living History field study with my two fifth graders. 

I hear naughtly little children taste just like chicken...

We are going to ‘experience’ the ‘joy’ of roughing it on the real Oregon Trail in real wagons and wear real costumes and stuff.   Gonna do it the way they used to.  No new fangled stuff like dental floss or deoderant.  We’re going to sleep in a tent.  Supposed to rain, maybe even snow.  Just like in the olden days.  I hear tell a ‘master camper’ (whatever that is) will be accompanying us.  His last name is–no-I-am-not-kidding–Donner.  Just like in the olden days.  If the kids in my tent give me any flack, (you know, middle school ‘tude), I think after lights-out, I’m gonna tell ’em the whole saga of the real Donner party.  Then, I might allude to the idea that our master camper might be…I don’t know…related some how.  

That oughta keep ’em in line.

I’ll report back on my adventures upon my return.

Carolyn

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Filed under Children, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, parenthood, Writing