Wednesday, March 27, 1850
Stopping Point: About 2 miles below Kingston, Illinois
Approximate Miles Traveled: 10
GPS Latitude: 40° 31.355′ N; Longitude: 89° 46.162′ W
John App leaves his home in Pekin, Illinois with his loaded wagon, two mules and his friend, Jake. Destination: California and the gold fields. These diary posts of his are real, and many of his thoughts also reflect the thoughts of thousands of immigrants who traveled the California and Oregon Trails with their hopes and dreams. The route to both territories began at several places along the Missouri River and converged into one corridor at about Fort Kearny in today’s eastern Nebraska. From there it followed the Platte and Sweetwater rivers westward into today’s Wyoming and Idaho where travelers reached several points called “the parting of the ways”… depending if they were going to California or to Oregon. The trails then became two distinct routes… the Oregon Trail and the California Trail. That point is still 1,500 miles in the distance for John and Jake, but they have begun their journey from home in Pekin, Illinois.
Today’s diary entry may not seem greatly exciting, but it is their first day out… and THAT is exciting.
Left Pekin March 27/50 at about noon – rather a gloomy time all day Reflecting about matters and things at home, got along pritty well, Stopped below Kingston about 2 miles Looks Like rain very much this Evening