"There were nothing to write home about when 1841 first settlers started from Independence, Missouri to go to Oregon Country or to California via North Platte and South Pass in the Wind River Range. But the United States were addicted to an expension fever, which spread with the "manyfest destiny" in 1845. Most of the white people believed that God gave them the right to own and rule the American continent ...". (5)
1,000 settlers were lured by ads in the press in Missouri in 1843, 4,000 in 1844 and 5,000 in 1845. The year of the big tracks was in 1843 because it was the first time for wagons to start to the west. It took the settlers five month on the 3,200 km route through the Rocky Mountains and there were a lot of Indian attacks. In the course of the history 20,000 migrants lost their lives.
Westward of the Mississippi you can find two routes through the Rockies to reach the Pacific Ocean. In the north it is the Oregon Route crossing the Sioux and Arapaho country and in the south it is the Santa-Fé-Line crossing Cheyenne country.
Europeans changed the country along these routes. They cultivated it, built fences and killed a lot of wild animals. The bison was most affected, the main food of the Natives living there. Millions of them were killed by the Europeans only for fun." (4)
Barbara und Todd Guenther organize special tours for those who are interested in history. On these tours you can comprehend the hardships of the white settlers.
We got an idea of it by following the old Oregon Trail by wagon, on horseback or on feet. The crossing of the continent was an extraordinary pioneer work. For the White Men it means heroism but for the Natives it is a further step in a policy of expulsion and extermination.
Todd, our guide on this trail was an excellent expert. He showed us different campsites where Natives used to stop on their summer hunts. You can see them still from tipirings.