The route

Although emigrants traveling to Oregon and California came from all over de US, it was mainly the towns along the Missouri River where people gathered and left for the west every spring. One of these jumping-off places was Independence, and this small town will also be my starting point for this trip.
So here’s the plan. From Independence (which today is merged into Kansas City) I’ll start travelling south along what was known as the Santa Fe Trail, a popular trading trail to Santa Fe, Mexico. Very soon I’ll turn west towards the Great Plains, a vast and mostly flat land.
Via Marysville, Kansas my route will roughly go in northwesterly direction, a route that will eventually lead me to the banks of the South Platte. I’ll follow this river for about 150 miles until right after the town of Ogallala, where I will cross it and from then on follow the North Platte. This river I’ll follow for about 260 miles deep into Wyoming. In Casper, Wyoming I’ll leave the Platte and will roughly course into southwesterly direction. This will take me to the Sweetwater River, which I will follow until the Continental Divide.
South Pass will take me over the Rocky Mountains, to the other side of the Great Divide.
Lyman, Wyoming is going to be the most southern tip of my route through Wyoming. Right after the small town I’ll head in a northeasterly direction. Just before I reach Idaho, I’ll come across the US 30. This road going north next to the Bear River has practically been rolled out over the original Oregon Trail. Once I’ve reached Idaho I’ll keep riding on the US 30, that will keep following the Bear River for about 50 miles.
In Soda Springs the route will turn straight north. After a short visit through Fort Hall Indian Reservation, in Pocatello I’ll be back travelling the US 30. This road will eventually take me to the Snake River. After following it for about 150 miles, in Glenns Ferry I’ll cross it and ride south of the Danskin Mountains in a northwesterly direction. This will take me through Boise and into my fifth and last state: Oregon.
On it goes from here, straight into the Blue Mountains – the last big hurdle the emigrants had to take before they were overtaken by the first winter storms – until I reach the rugged Columbia River. I’ll follow this river for about 100 miles until The Dalles.
In this city, from 1849 on, emigrants had a choice; they could either sell all their livestock and wagons and travel the Columbia by boat. Or they could ride their wagons over the Barlow Road; a very basic, rugged road that led them in a long semi-circle around the south side of Mount Hood to their destination. I will choose this overland road, since it’s mostly highway along the river.

The Barlow Road will eventually take me to Portland, Oregon, where, if all goes well, I’ll arrive by the end of June. Well, at least that’s the plan. We’ll see how it goes in real life.