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River crossings were hard and dangerous!!! Many pioneers lost their lives!!!


Dangerous River Crossings


River crossing were very dangerous back in the pioneer days!!! When you reached a river the worst trouble was swimming the cattle, oxen, and horses across the swift flowing rivers. Many animals would not make it across without the Indian’s help. It was also very fun for the Indians to cross the rivers. They actually enjoyed it, and would cross the rivers several times a day helping the pioneers for a small fee. If the pioneers were crossing alone many bad things could happen. Sometimes the wagons tipped over in the rapids and everything was lost inside it. Children might fall out of the wagon and drown. If animals got water in their ears they would go crazy and you would lose control. Before you crossed the rivers the boys and men had to unload the wagons and put everything onto large flat boats called scows. If there were no scows, you would have to float the wagon across. Children would help their parents prepare the wagons by making paste that would waterproof any open spaces on the wagon. They would take off the wheels and push the wagon into the river and it would float. Children and their mother usually rode inside the wagon. Two or three men would ride the horses into the water and try to steer the wagon with long poles. Most of the rivers had strong currents and tons of rapids. The Columbia River was the last and most difficult river. Three Island Crossing was the most important river on the trail. A few rivers I know are the Big Blue River, the Kansas River, the Green River and the Columbia River. River crossings were very hard and dangerous!!! By Omar.C




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River Crossings are Very Dangerous