California/Oregon Trail

Fort Hall and Driving to Yellowstone

We backtracked this morning so I could go to the National Oregon/California Trail Center, which was totally worth it! We paid for the thirty minutes interactive experience, in which a tour guide (“the wagon master”) led us through back rooms designed like jumping off points, demonstrating various things like how to load a rifle, the mercantile, and a simulated wagon ride with a speaker reading diary entries. It was honestly a very unique, fun experience.

Fri July 2nd 1852: …Passed Fort Hall and camped at the Hudson Bay Co. trading station. [two words] very good the station is on the Snake or Lewis fork of the Columbia river. Weather pleasant. Mosquitos
[excessively] troublesome.

http://www.oregonpioneers.com/SolonShedd_diary.pdf

We went from there to Fort Hall. A trading post and common stop for emigrants, the original Fort Hall is not accessible to the public, but a replica has been built about 14 miles away, and it was that replica we visited today. It was surprisingly tiny, compared to previous forts we’ve visited. Fort Hall actually changed hands a few times – built originally by a mountain man, he eventually sold it to the Hudson Bay Company, who abandoned it sometime in the mid to late 1850s (no one seems to know the exact dates). The American government took it over at some point, again, the timing seems uncertain, so I’ll have to do more research into it to see if my fictional family goes through it.

**Detour Alert**

How could we help it? Only a few hours from Yellowstone, which neither Daniel nor I had ever seen, we detoured up that way, intending to arrive at 4:00 PM, just in time to miss the day rush and enjoy the evening. We actually managed to obtain a campsite in Yellowstone itself, so we figured we could set up camp and then explore for the evening. I know, I know, that’s not nearly enough time to really enjoy Yellowstone, but it’s all the time we had and at least we got to see it! Anyway, I may have miscalculated the timing…I thought it was only 2 and a half hours from Fort Hall, but apparently our campground itself is over four hours away! This means we won’t have as much time as we thought, and that we will have to get up insanely early tomorrow to meet that day’s schedule. There’s nothing for it now, though, so I’m going to sign off here and let you know how it goes tomorrow!

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