Alcove Springs in Kansas
Can you imagine pulling up stakes and leaving friends and family for a trek across the continent to Oregon? On a covered wagon making 10 - 30 miles a day in all kinds of weather? Out brave pioneer families did just that.
Most pioneers started in early Spring to make sure they got over the mountains before the snows. They crossed what many called the Great American Desert, the land east of the Rockies in the Great Plains, and denoted the land was unfit for farming.
One of the places they would stop was Alcove Springs in Kansas near the Blue River. This was a lush meadow with a spring that refreshed the travelers before they would cross into Nebraska following the Blue River until they reached the Platte River.
This stop is famous for one family that stopped in 1846. The Donner Party who lost one of their members, Sarah Keyes.
In the limestone cliff, you can still see the words naming the springs, Alcove Springs. I am sure stories circulated around the camp at seeing the names of the Donner Party and knowing their fate. It had to have been a sobering thought when thinking of the known disaster and hardship of those who had gone before.
The journey west wasn't cheap. For a family of 4 the cost would be close to a $1000. The wagons, Prairie Schooners could cost 400-600 dollars.
Ten percent of those who went west, didn't make it. Disease and accidents accounted for most of the deaths. Cholera, rattlesnakes, accidental gunshots, and getting run over by a wagon were some or the problems.
It was a long hard journey the pioneers took to bridge a continent and create a nation. We owe a lot to the intrepid pioneers.
I hope you enjoyed this blog.
If you're interested in reading stories about the journeys west, I have several books in the Lockets and Lace series.
Also in Prairie Rose Collection
And Golden Dreams
Enjoy the Spring weather
Patricia PacJac Carroll