We went to the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center. It's worth visiting. The exhibits are really well done. The oxen look very real, I felt like their eyes were following me.
A few fun facts from the exhibit. Three hundred thousand people made the trip across the country between the mid 1830s and late 1860s. It was 2,000 miles, and people walked most of the distance. One in ten died on the trip and were buried along the way. It was the largest unforced migration ever.
The trail started on the banks of the Missouri River, and ended in Oregon City, OR. The settlers were headed for the Willamette Valley. They were on the move for arable land and space.
Life was hard for the little people.
The wagons were uncomfortable, there were no springs. The wheel hubs had to be lubricated with a mixture of animal fat and pine tar.
The view from the center.
Here are the wagon tracks. In places, they were seven feet deep. The wagon trains made lasting impressions on the country. Unfortunately, fewer and fewer sections of the trail still exist. Roads and development have taken them away.