Tracing the Oregon Trail

Dearest family and friends,

Parting this morning was desperately difficult. Home is so sweet, with the fields of corn and the lights glistening across the Wabash... its warmth shall be sorely missed. Our journey today was not encountered by any mysterious strangers or any such mechanical problems that often arise on long day treks. We have not met any game or wildlife that so many other pioneers wrote us with astonishment. There was one unfortunate mishap that involved our wagon and a bird, and I am grieved to relate that the poor bird still lies on a road in Illinois. Tonight we set up camp near Minnesota. Since we arrived so early in the evening, we rewarded our labors with a trip to the city to see the sights, though it was not nearly as exciting as those that we have back East. Many have spoken of the great trading post in a town called Bloomington, but it was alas anticlimatic and dissapointing. The offered goods did not please us, it is so difficult not to compare this world to the one we left. When the hour was late, the outside was still quite light, a new idea that would not be difficult to become accustomed to. I look forward to what tomorrow's journey holds. Our friends who traveled before us have spoken quite frequently of the phenomenon called the "Northern Lights" and I sincerely hope it will not miss our viewing. Alas, the night has drawn to a close and the candle is growing dim. Tomorrow we hope to reach Billings. The distance is quite far and the journey will be arduous. Colin is sleeping, I should not wake him for the oxen will be ready for feeding and the day's work before too long.

My love to all,
Pionetress Shannon