Sunday, July 26, 2009

Road Trip UT to NY: Day 1 (Provo to Scottsbluff)

I feel like I'm in 4th grade again, driving (albeit in reverse) along the Oregon Trail. I don't know about people who didn't grow up in Oregon, but we Oregonian kids studied the Oregon Trail in depth for a whole year of school, culminating in a week-long re-enactment, complete with an Indian attack carried out by the 6th graders.

The pioneer fun carried on in the form of the Oregon Trail computer game, which is pretty much all I remember doing, ever, during elementary school computer lab time. This one time, I started out as a farmer, didn't have anybody die of dysentery, cholera, a broken leg, or starvation, chose to raft the Columbia River, and didn't crash, but then computer lab time was up and I had to walk away just moments from finishing what was basically a perfect game. Sigh. I can still feel the thwarted anticipation of earning a triple score for being a farmer.

So you can imagine my giddiness when on our trip today we started passing such notable sights as Fort Bridger. Fort Bridger! It was all I could do to restrain myself from going into town to trade some goods.

We set ourselves at a steady pace with meager rations. We only drove 9 hours but we limited our food to what we had in the car plus one $5 sub from Subway to split among us all. It worked out pretty well. We're staying the night in Scottsbluff, Nebraska and are looking forward to visiting Chimney Rock tomorrow. Chimney Rock!

Nebraska is very exotic to me. The stoplights are sideways and the only past tense that exists is third-person singular, at least if the front desk clerk at our hotel is any indication. There are rolling fields and country highways whose speed limit is 65 mph and everything seems very wholesome and corn-fed.

Next up, on Day 2: the rest of Nebraska, and hopefully a goodly portion of Iowa.


Emily said...

Wow! Sounds like you guys did good. 9 hours down...awesome! Good luck tomorrow. Drive safe, and I'll be watching to see how tomorrow goes.

Susanne said...

"Fort Bridger! It was all I could do to restrain myself from going into town to trade some goods."

Ha,'re so funny! Glad you are doing well on your trip thus far.

Liz Johnson said...

I LOVE OREGON TRAIL. I would buy that game today if I could.

I once saw a t-shirt with a covered wagon on it with "You have died of dysentery" in the old font. I am still kicking myself for not buying it.

Nancy said...

Liz, my husband just downloaded it. He'll be posting the instructions. I've never played it, actually.

But this is what I just heard,

"Okay, we have Daddy, Mommy, Rachel, and Miriam...what should Daddy be, Rachel? Should he be a teacher. Okay. Let's going shopping. What should we buy? We're going to need a lot of bullets..."

I was like, "What the...?"

Andrew said...

@Liz - You can download it for free from

It should run on Windows XP just fine, since it still runs a type of DOS.

Vista and Macs, though, don't use DOS, so you'll need to use an emulator. If you have Vista, download DOSBox; if you have a Mac, download Boxer.

Just made it to Williamette Valley as a teacher with $0--I was the only one who survived.

JackJen said...

Um, Liz....Bridget....

Here's your link. I came across it today and thought, "BRIIIIDDDGETTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!"

Then I read your comment, Liz, and my surfing gets to be a twofer.. =)

Here you go!

here you go!

Sarah Rose Evans said...


Craig said...

I don't get it--please explain the past tense third person singular comment.

Bridget said...

You know, "They was doing some construction down by Chimney Rock before. We was stuck in it for a long time."


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