The Oregon Trail (or crossing California with tiny people)


As we celebrated the birth of our nation this past holiday weekend, I thought it only appropriate to harken back to the days of yore. To revisit a significant period in our nation’s history and perhaps discuss the impact it has on us today.

I am, of course, referring to the late 1980s when oodles of children sat at their Apple IIgs’ and played Oregon Trail from Disc 1 of 2 they’d just inserted into the floppy drive.

The Oregon Trail – a great adventure game, traveling the Oregon Trail across the rugged landscape of North America.
What was it like to cross 2,000 miles of plains, rivers, and mountains in 1848?
The Oregon Trail allows you relive one of the greatest adventures in American history: the journey taken by thousands of emigrants on the Oregon Trail. It was a long, difficult journey–one that often resulted in failure and death.
But for those who succeeded, it led to a new and better life in the rich, fertile Willamette Valley of Oregon.

Fast-forward 165 years to when you begin to think that a 10-hour road trip with twin toddlers isn’t all that different…

You decide to set off on the trail the morning of July 7, 2013. If you leave too early, there won’t be much time for grandparent goodbyes. But if you leave too late, you may not make it home before the hoards of holiday traffic.

You depart Lake Arrowhead at a strenuous pace – traveling 12 hours a day, starting at sunrise and stopping at sunset.

Leaving Lake Arrowhead
Time: 8 a.m.
Weather: cool
Miles traveled: 0

Search is carsick.
Use an hour cleaning scrambled egg/yogurt puke out of car seat. You lose all baby wipes and an extra set of clothes.

Landmark: Base of Mountain, San Bernardino County
Time: 9: 30 a.m.
Weather: hot
Miles traveled: 22

Your credit card got sick and died.
Argue with cashier and bank to reactivate card. Purchase more gas.

You’ve lost the trail.
Panic that you have made a wrong turn. Desperately ask Siri to confirm route.

Landmark: I5
Time: 10 a.m.
Weather: smoggy
Miles traveled: 99

The trail is impassable.
The plethora of wagons (minivans) around you has mistaken the highway route number as the suggested speed limit. Plod along at the same speed as Oregon-bound ancestors.

Choose to ford the river of cars, letting your horsepower rest.

Landmark: Gorman
Time: 11:30 a.m.
Weather: air conditioned
Miles traveled: 139

No water.
Experience ear piercing screams because a water bottle has tumbled to the floor of the car. It is to be forever lost among Cheerio dust and rejected Trail Mix.

You pass a gravestone. Would you like to read what it says?
Here lies the sanity of any mother traversing the state with two toddlers. May she rest.

Landmark: Kettleman City
Time: 1 p.m.
Weather: effing hot
Miles traveled: 247

You decided to hunt.
You are out of snacks. Mealtime is critical. Stop at the midway point of your journey to feed your family.

You procured two hamburgers, one basket of fries and a chocolate milkshake. Protect your food from the entire population of California – also at the In-N-Out.

You are delayed.
All holiday travelers are attempting to make the same left turn back onto freeway. Morale declines due to idiot drivers.

Landmark: Harris Ranch
Time: 3:30 p.m.
Weather: stinky
Miles traveled: 279

Destroy has dysentery a complete muppet meltdown.
Search announces he is being a good boy. He points out cows to help the morale of his brother.

Strong Winds!
Cows smell awful. You are fearful of methane explosion.

You increased your pace to grueling.
Search: Cows stinky. They need to be changed.
Destroy: Farmer needs a LOT of diapers.

Landmark: Hwy 152, Pacheco Pass
Time: 5 p.m.
Weather: cloudy
Miles traveled: 375

Tricia is suffering from exhaustion.
Decrease pace to traffic induced crawl. Appreciate overwhelming stench of garlic opposed to cow dung. Attempt to wake small child who has now fallen asleep, which means bad things for bedtime.

Final Destination: Home
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Weather: cool Northern California dusk
Miles traveled: 418

You’ve made it onto the Road Trip With Toddlers List of Legends!
All members of your party survived. Barely.

Please enter your name:

Road Trip 2


Filed under Holidays, Humor, Stories, Vacation

3 Responses to The Oregon Trail (or crossing California with tiny people)

  1. Paul

    hahaha, awesome post. congrats on your win

  2. Gramma J

    I think you may consider flying next time. You can chase them around the airport instead.

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