Tuesday, December 1, 2015

How was it getting to California?


The ways to get to California during the gold rush

Now that all of the teams have successfully made the journey to Golden Gulch, tell the world what it was like to travel to California during the era of the gold rush. You have your team's story, but you also heard other teams' stories. What is your opinion of traveling to California for the chance to strike it rich? Give your opinion to start your blog and then provide your own thinking based on the stories you heard to support your big idea. Different groups had different experiences, so be sure to think of the multiple perspectives of this blog post. Be sure you write with good spelling and conventions. The purpose of this blog is to teach others who read it about the task of getting to California during the gold rush.

Your team will earn gold nuggets for this post, so think hard about what you wish to tell your readers.

4th Graders-watch out for the use of the word "you".  

Think of who the writing is actually about!

93 comments:

  1. It was a challenge getting to California. Overland you could leave in early summer and not have enough grass for your cows to eat so they would die and have nothing to pull your wagon and result being stranded on the prairie. Overland you could leave in middle summer and get stuck in a early snow storm and people could die.Overland you could leave in late summer and not have enough grass and your cows die and being stranded as well as a 60% being caught in a snow storm and have people die. Sea you could leave any time and go around Cape Horn to have your ship crash into rocks and die. Sea you could leave any time and go to Panama and wait until winter to get a ship to take you north and get snowed in and die.

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    1. Yes Sara, I agree. It was hard for the miners to get to California.

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    2. A lot of great information, Sara! Good job! But, I agree that it was dangerous and a challenge to get to California.

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  2. In my opinion I think it is worth going to California to try to strike it rich due to the fact that traveling to California was an exciting adventure. There were tremendous hardships though, some of which my Gold Rush team experienced. First we left in the winter going overland so our oxen had nothing to eat. Then, we got snowed on so we had to dig our oxen out and then they died of starvation. On our second try, we took the Panama Route. Halfway into the trip to Panama we realized our ship’s floorboards were rotting. The boards gave way after another day and we were left stranded in the Caribbean Ocean. Finally, on our third try, we made it to Golden Gulch. We left in the summer time so there was grass for our oxen to eat. Our wagon’s axel was rickety as we descended The Sierra Nevada’s, but the axel held up. Despite my hardships I would like to try to get to California again. I would try again for the experiences and the challenge that the journey offered. Anyways, if I made it to California I might be rewarded with gold!

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    1. Great vocabulary Christian! I can tell you tried your hardest. Very good!

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    2. Leina is right about your work, Christian! You did really good. Good job!

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    3. Nice work, Christian. The telling of your story kept me wanting to see what was going to happen next. Great flow of ideas!

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    4. Nice job Christian I like the telling of your story!

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    5. Great job Christian! You organized your work very well!

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  3. Other team's adventures they went through were a bit hard, but my team made it there on our first Fate Card. The routes that the teams could've taken were Panama, around the Cape Horn, Overland, Dead Man's Cut-Off, St.Joseph. For example, The Gold Diggin' Gals went through Panama, just as my team did, ( Panning Pioneers ) All though, The Gold Diggin' Gals went through a bit of trouble. The Gold Diggin' Gals, they were supposed have a boat pick them up from Panama, but that boat didn't come, until they're second Fate card. Panama takes about one month, Cape Horn takes about six to eight months, Overland takes about four to six months. It took about three tries for The Gold Miner 49ers' to get to Golden Gulch. The risk of going around the Cape Horn, is that your ship could sink if it was to heavy, and if your ship was to light, against the rough seas, would tip one side or the other. The risk of going the Panama route is that your boat that was supposed to pick you up, could've been late, just like the Gold Diggin' Gals trouble. If you get stuck in Panama, you can die because there are some animals there that would eat you, or get stuck on the Island.. just waiting for a boat. The risk of taking Overland is that your cattle could die, the same risk of taking St. Joseph. The risk of taking Dead Man's Cut-Off is that you can die along the way. I think none of those ways are safe, all of them you could
    die from, and there are also puddles of water, that contain collera, and if you drank from it you would get collera because back in those days people didn't know those puddles had collera. Overall, I think my opinion of going to California for striking it rich, is worth it because the troubles you run into, you just have to solve that minor problem.

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    1. But my team, The Gold Diggin' Gals, only had 1 turn not 2.

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    2. But outstanding job on remembering who did what Lauryn!

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    3. Amazing job, Lauryn! As Leina said good job of remembering most of what was a teams fate.

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    4. Good jog remembering what happened to what team!

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    5. I meant to say good job

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  4. By Justin Pham
    The Mining Monkeys

    I think it was really hard for the gold miners to get to California.

    THE MINING MONKEYS:
    For my team The Mining Monkeys, on the first try to get to California, we failed to get to California. The Mining Monkeys took the Dead Man’s strait on the disastrous first try. On the second try, we succeeded to get to California because the trip during late spring meant that the prairies had grass to feed the animals pulling my team.

    Other Teams:
    For the other teams, most had to do two tries to get to California like The Mining Monkeys. But a couple lucky teams got to get to California on the first try, like the Gold Digging Gals. The Gold Miner 49ers got to go to California on the third time, which is unlucky.

    The Gold Rush:
    I think in the Gold Rush, many miners were very unlucky. Many miners who went to California on land ,died of cholera or being stranded in the prairie. Miners who took the sea route, many ships sunk and many people died. I think getting to California during the Gold Rush was very tragic.

    Conclusion:
    In conclusion, I think getting to California in the Gold Rush was very hard. It was very tragic during the Gold Rush. Many people died while getting to California. Now you know how hard it was for the miners to participate in the Gold Rush.

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    1. I love how you did different sections Justin!

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  5. It was difficult to get to California and was a challenge to most people. For example, getting stuck in the Pacific Ocean after the Cape Horn! But, my gold rush team made it to the gold fields. The Gold Diggin Gals went through the one and only, Panama and got stuck their waiting for a boat waiting. But they made it to the gold fields. But, I think it is worth going to California, Coloma.

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  6. Great details, Justin. Good job!

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  7. Also, one of the most worst sicknesses was cholera in puddles. That was from going overland. Ocean, there is Around the Cape Horn could crush teams to pieces. Also, there is the Strait of Magellan which also could crush ships to splinters.
    Panama could kill gold seekers when the captains did not come get the gold seekers and just join the gold rush. These poor gold seekers ether died of hunger or a ship finally picked them up and brought them to the gold fields. As I said my gold rush team went for the Cape Horn. We passed the horrible Horn but our captain got lost and no one of us knew where we were. The Gold Digging Gals helped us find our way to the gold fields.
    So in conclusion I think it is worth going to California

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  8. It was dangerous to get to California.To the fact that most people died.The most common disease was cholera.Most people went by wagon and their oxen didn't get enough food and soon they died.The Panning Pioneers took the Panama and they made it there first.Most people died on there first try.The Cape Horn is very dangerous because the storms are very hard to get through. I think it was worth going to California.

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  9. It was hard getting to California.

    How the Golden Potatoes got to California:

    We went through a really rough time getting to California.
    Never leave in winter crossing overland! We learned that the hard way by getting to California overland on March 4, 1850. We got snowed in badly!

    The second time we tried didn’t go so well either. We saw 2 other teams make it to California through Panama, so we tried it. That was a huge mistake. Our boat split in half! It split in half because it was an old boat and not seaworthy. We were swimming around in the water helpless.

    The third time we made it! A lot of other teams made it to California over land in summer. Only 1 team did not make it to California that way. We decided to try it. We left in July. We made it across the plains, but there was a little problem in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Our axle almost broke when we were climbing the mountains. Amazingly, the axle held! We were in California.

    Conclusion:

    In order to go to California, you should leave in summer, and cross overland.

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    1. Good writing, William. Your story is told with a good amount of detail and the ideas flow well.

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    2. Good job telling what to leave to get to California!

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    3. I thought spring was the best time to leave. Otherwise, you had an amazing blog, William!

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  10. Incredible blogs everyone! Keep up the outstanding work!

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    1. I like your encouragement of you classmates, Leina!

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  11. I think it was hard but easy at times to get to California.,

    The Game Gold Rush:

    In the game Gold Rush all teams had/have to get to Golden Gulch For 1 team to get there it took 3 tries, but 2 teams got there on their first try. Quite a bit of gold nuggets were spent to get there.

    Gold Rush:

    During the gold rush when miners were trying to get to California there were lots of dangers along the way.

    The Overland Dangers of getting to California:

    There were many dangers of getting to California overland.
    1.Cholera-If travelers were thirsty and were running out of water they would drink out of puddles, lakes or rivers. But doing that would be a very bad choice. If a traveler drank out of one they would get cholera which is disease that induces vomiting. A puddle, lake or river can get by animals putting their feces in them.
    2.Early Snow- If a wagon train left to early or to late in the spring it may get caught in an early snow storm. Which usually occurred in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, like what happened to the Donner Party.
    3.Running Out Of Food-A great danger was running out of food. If there wasn`t enough food packed travelers would resort to either eating their cattle or cannibalism.

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  12. Going Around Cape Horn To Get To California Dangers:
    1.Going Around The Horn-When going around the Horn it is near Antarctica so it would be very cold and stormy. Sometimes ships would crash into rocks and sink, sometimes trapping people inside.
    2.Running Out Of Food- Running out of food was probably a very big concern. If a ship couldn`t get to port fast eventually everyone on the ship would die of starvation.
    3.Becalming- Becalming was a problem many ships faced. Becalming occurs when there is no wind to help a ship move. Many passengers on a ship that was becalmed grew severely sick.
    A possibility if becalmed is the bottom of the ship could rot and eventually cave in sinking the ship.
    4.Storms- If a ship got in a storm and it was raining the water would fill the ship and eventually sink the ship. If lightning struck the ship , ships were made of wood, the ship would burn.

    In Conclusion:
    These were a few ways to get to California. But all ways have dangers and risks. In a historical-based game and history there were/are many dangers that await. If a miner struck it rich he was extremely lucky.

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    1. Nicely done, Alexis! I like how you listed off the risks of the routes! 110/10 :)

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  13. My opinion on traveling to California is that it requires lots of supplies because it is dangerous. You need rope to climb mountains, food to eat, barrels of water, and much more to survive. Some Gold Rushers went around Cape Horn, some went through Panama, and some went over land. One supply you needed is you went over land is a strong and sturdy wagon. If you don’t have a wagon, you have to walk. One supply you needed if you went by sea would be coats. It gets cold around Cape Horn so you need coats. There are many dangerous paths and routes to take, but I prefer to go over land. It’s dangerous crossing the Sierra Nevada Mountains with ropes and hooks because you could fall and die, but when you get to California you could strike it rich by finding gold! I can’t imagine finding gold in the 1840’s.

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    1. Good examples of the dangers to prove your big idea, Zeta!

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  14. Getting to the gold fields in California wasn’t safe or easy. There were two ways of getting there, by land and by sea. The three main routes of getting to the gold fields were the Cape Horn, The Isthmus of Panama, and Overland.

    Cape Horn:
    Cape Horn went down and around the tip of South America. Cape Horn wasn’t so easy to get around. The waters were very rough here so many ships crashed into the rocks, leaving the miners stranded. Most captains couldn’t get around Cape Horn so they were forced to abandon their ship. If a ship didn’t have something heavy the wind would blow the ship on to it’s side.

    The Isthmus of Panama:
    The Isthmus of Panama was dangerous. A ship would sail to the Atlantic side of Panama, the miners would walk to the Pacific side of Panama then they would catch a ship heading North to San Francisco. Sometimes miners could be stranded for months waiting for a ship to pick them up. People died from malaria, yellow fever, and other tropical diseases.

    Overland:
    People taking the overland route went from the East coast to the West coast. Many people died of cholera, a disease the people got from drinking polluted puddles of water. People drank from the puddles because they were thirsty. Some people attempted to take cutoffs or shortcuts, that were dangerous. Overland was the safest route if people didn’t take shortcuts.

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  15. Introduction:
    Trying to get to the gold fields was a challenging venture. If the miners were lucky, they got to the gold fields without any trouble or people dying, but if they were unlucky, people would die and they might not have got to the gold fields. These were the most popular routes to take: Panama Route, Overland Trail, and the Cape Horn.

    Panama Route Fate:
    The miners would take a ship to the Atlantic side Panama, which might not have even made it, but usually did. If the miners made it through the sail to Panama, sometimes they would catch a ship, but if they were unlucky they would be stuck in Panama without a ship to take them to San Francisco.

    Overland Trail Fate:
    The people who took the Overland Trail had to think wisely about when they would leave. If they left in winter, there wouldn't be any grass for their cattle and ox, so there cattle and ox would die, so they wouldn't move anywhere. They would start running out of food and water, so they would drink out of puddles and get cholera. If they left in spring there would be plenty of grass for their cattle and ox to get them to San Francisco safely.

    Cape Horn Fate:
    The miners who took the Cape Horn had to think about what ship they were taking. If they took a weak not-so-well-built ship, they would crash and explode in the Cape Horn. If they took a strong, stalwart ship they could come out of the Cape Horn alive to go to San Francisco.

    Conclusion:
    During the Gold Rush, the people who were determined to get gold didn't really think about what would happen on their way to the gold fields. That is what I think about the Gold Rush.

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  16. Lots of ideas, Rhys. Good main points. Did ships explode, literally?

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    1. I would like to change my conclusion to: "The Gold Rush was a very challenging incident for the miners."

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    2. good use of our vocab in BTGHS!

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    3. I think it was not worth it to get to the gold fields of California to try to strike it rich. Trying to get to California was a venture that was daring to take. A lot of men died on this journey to get to California’s gold fields. There were popular routes to take. The Cape Horn route, Panama route, and the overland route. But all were dangerous, but just in different ways.

      Panama route:
      Miners would take a ship to Panama, go through a jungle to the Pacific side, then catch a ship to San Francisco. It is possible to die doing that. Gold rushes sometimes had to wait weeks, even mouths for a ship to take them to California. There is a good chance that gold rushers died waiting there.

      Cape Horn route:
      Ship taking the Cape Horn route started from the east coast, around the tip of South America, then to the port of San Francisco. This voyage took six to eight mouths; it was highly posable for a miner to die on the journey. This voyage was very dangerous. Some ships that went around Cape Horn crashed into rocks and were destroyed.

      Overland route:
      If miners took the overland route in winter, they would die because there would be no grass for their oxen, so their oxen would die. So the miners would be stranded and would die. Miners had to leave in spring. But still that could be dangerous. While in the mountains, an early snow storm could hit and the gold rushers could be stuck and die. People also died from a disease called cholera. Miners also tried to take short cuts that had disastrous consequences.

      In conclusion I think it is not worth the risk of dying to get to California.

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    4. Great job Declan your blog is outstanding!

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  17. Ways to get to the gold fields in the 1800s
    The Gold Miner 49ers!
    There were many ways to get to the gold fields. Many people came from all over the world to mine for gold. These were most of the routes that people used.
    Route 1. Overland
    One of the ways to get to the gold fields in the 1800s was to travel overland. Traveling overland in the gold rush was to go by wagon, or horseback. Railroads were built in the 1860s. But going in there was certain seasons matters.
    In winter, going to a gold mining state in winter on a wagon would cause problems. A traveler’s cattle might die of starvation if there wasn’t enough grass. Wagon train or travelers would have to leave their possessions behind. Another problem for going in winter was the Sierra Nevada Mountains would be covered in piles of snow and the people getting to California might got buried with snow. Leaving in winter caused a lot of trouble. One was the pioneers going to California might get so cold they would freeze to death. In summer there was some problems that could happen like a miner’s ox could get too hot and burn to its death. Another was that there might not be enough growing grass and the cattle would die and travelers could get too hot and die. The most dangerous fact to travel overland was that Native Americans would capture travelers and steal their horses, cattle, and belongings.

    Route 2. Over Seas
    Going over seas was very difficult and dangerous too. There were three routes to get to California, The Cape Horn route, the Panama route, and the Strait of Magellan.

    - Cape Horn
    Cape Horn took six to eight months to get to the gold fields. Gold miners had to sail around South America, stopped at San Francisco and then traveled to the foothills. Most ships crashed into rocks and sea ships were destroyed. For most gold seekers told this was the slowest trip to California.
    - Panama
    The Panama route was to sail from the East side of the world to the border between Mexico and South America, and traveled through the jungles of Panama. This route used to be the fastest way to Northern California but it took a while to catch a ship going to San Francisco.
    - The Strait of Magellan
    The Strait of Magellan was a narrow cut through Cape Horn. It was fast but it was very dangerous. Ships crashed into rocks, some were destroyed by the narrow paths. Most ships were deserted and destroyed.
    It was very difficult to get to the California foothills for mining gold. After comparing all possible the ways, we decided to go on the wagon. It took my team months to get to the gold fields by traveling overland. The first time, we left in winter and didn’t make it. Our cattle didn’t have enough grass and it was too cold. Then on our second try, we had cholera and still didn’t make it. Then we finally got to Golden Gulch but a Native American took our donkey. Many people tried and didn’t make it to California. We got lucky!

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    1. Nice job Katie E. thats lots of writing!

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  18. When my team was going to Golden Gulch, it was not an easy journey. On May 5, 1850, my team, The Gold Diggin Gals, chose to take the Panama route. We chose that route because it was the quickest route than the others. When we got to the jungle in Panama, we didn’t get yellow fever at all. But the ship that was supposed to take us north didn’t come. We waited in Panama for two weeks until the ship finally arrived. We arrived in San Francisco on June 21, 1850. It took us one week to get to Golden Gulch. We finally arrived at Golden Gulch on June 28, 1850. That is how we got to California.

    Other tams took the ST. Louis route with another company. The team that took the ST. Louis route, got cholera and all of their animals died so they had to abandon their wagons and their supplies. They had to plan well so they could leave before winter so they could not get caught in the snow on the mountains. These are some of the struggles that could happen when taking a dangerous journey.

    Another route to get to Golden Gulch is the Cape Horn route. The journey could take six to eight months to get to San Francisco. Lots of ships that go this route, crash into big rocks. Some ships though were slow enough to get past the rocks. It was the safest but the slowest route you could take.

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  19. My team made it to Golden Gulch easily. I guess we were very lucky. My team is called the Panning Pioneers. At first we chose the Panama route and got there easily. There was a traveler who knew were he was going. We then got a boat and made it to Golden Gulch. We were the first team to make it to Golden Gulch. We got it on the first fake card too. Other teams struggled to get to Golden Gulch. Not a lot of people took the Panama route. The people who chose the Cape Horn route crashed their boats into the rocks. The Panning Pioneers were the only team to get to Golden Gulch on their first fake card. It was dangerous for all the other teams. The Gold Miner 49rs got to Golden Gulch on their last fake card they were very lucky. Most people took a wagon train there. People died from diseases and some people died from suffocating in snow. Teams tried to take the fastest route but failed. Overall I think it was dangerous trying to get to Golden Gulch.

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    1. I disagree when you said that your team was the only team to make it to Golden Gulch on the first try. My team, The Gold Diggin' Gals, also made it to Golden Gulch on our first try.

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  20. Getting to the Gold Fields in the 1800s

    Mini Miners

    there are many ways of getting to the gold fields in the 1800s. One way was to go overland or go to Panama, walk through the jungle, and catch another ship heading to California. Or just go aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaallll the way around Cape Horn. My team decided to take the overland route, but the problem was, we didn't bring any food or water for our oxen. So we were stranded out in the middle of nowhere, without any food or water. We hade to start over.

    The next route we took was also overland, but it was a better company. We left on July 5, 1850. Luckily, we brought more than enough food and water. the problem came in when we got to the Sierra Nevada Mountains. We thought we didn't bring a rope to pull the wagon over the mountains. When it seemed like all was lost, one of our members found a rope and we all heaved the wagon up the mountains. On our way down the mountains our group had a celebration. after we got to Golden Gulch and got our claim, we still had tons of food. So we sold it. That was our adventure to Golden Gulch.

    Conclusion:

    It was hard getting to California in the 1800s.

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    1. Your blog has an entertaining tone to it. I like the story you tell, Will.

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  21. Getting to California was very hard for my team ''The Gold Miner 49ers!'' We needed lots of luck because we would rather be stuck in the middle of nowhere or our team would have cholera by drinking out of a puddle. Other teams took 2 or 3 times but us 4! The Panning Pioneers were lucky and made it to the gold fields in one try! People that were heading to California needed lots of useful supplies and resources. When the miners that were heading to California, most teams took the Cape Horn it was about a 50%50% chance making it to the gold fields. Our first fate was leaving on March 4,1850 ,but it was winter so the grass didn't grow and we couldn't feed our oxen to move our covered wagon. My teams 2nd fate was when we tried to make it around the Cape Horn but our ship crashed into rocks and were stuck in the middle of nowhere! My team's 3rd fate was when someone on my team drank out of a puddle that had cholera in it ,he spread the decease to more of my team members and were all sick. Then the man who was driving the covered wagon kicked us out because he didn't want us to give the disease to him. Our 4th fate was when my same team member drank from a puddle ,but didn't get cholera then we finally made it to California!
    It was very hard getting to California to mine for gold.

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  22. In my opinion, it was very hard to get to the gold fields in California. There were many different paths but all very dangerous. It was a long journey, not comfortable at all and you could easily die.
    Taking the over-land trip was usually easier than the ocean trips. Traveling by the ship was in great demand. The ships were full and heavy. Many people that stepped on the ships were not seaworthy. Also some of the ships disappeared and were not found for many years.
    The two ship routes that people took to California were the Panama route and around the Cape Horn. The Cape Horn route was more dangerous than the Panama route. The route was longer and the sea at Cape Horn were rough with many storms. When ships took the Cape Horn route they would have two ways to get there. They could either go Strait of Magellan or go even longer around the Cape Horn. The time to go on ship to the gold fields was roughly about 7 months.
    The over land trip had truly lots of way to get to the gold fields. Traveling over land was also very hard but most people who tried this where successful. Usually people would carry their belongings in the wagons that were pulled by oxen. People just walk alongside the oxen. Others rode on horsebacks.
    Our team started traveling by ship but it did not worked out. The bottom of our ship rotten out. Then we traveled over the land and we arrived successfully.

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    1. Good Big Idea and your proof to support the idea is strong, Emma!

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  23. It was hard to get to the gold fields. You would either go around at Cape Horn or you could go though the Overland route or the Panama route. Going around Cape Horn is a longer route than the Overland route and the Panama route. Ships have gotten pushed back going around Cape Horn by strong winds, large waves, strong currents and iceburgs. These dangers are known as sailor graveyard. Most Forty-niners that were from the mid-west or east traveled the Overland route. They would go through Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho and Nevada. Most Forty-niners took the Overland route because it cost no money. Oxes, mules and horses carried their grub steak with them. A lot of Forty-niners were afraid of Native Americans attacking them but it barely happened. Most Forty-niners died from sickness and diseases like cholera from drinking water. By taking the Panama route it was quicker getting to the gold fields by cuting off 8,000 miles. The trip started off near the Chagres River off the Carribean Coastline. Forty-niners sailed on a panamanian canoe. They kept a eye out for their mules or horses through the jungle once they landed. Many died from diseases like malaria, yellow fever and cholera. After going through the jungle reaching Panama City, some miners never did reach the gold fields. Miners arrived at an outpost to take a boat ride to the gold fields. Therefore getting to the gold fields was very hard in the 1800's.

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  24. Overall, getting to the California Gold Fields was very risky. No matter what route a miner took, he had to take some type of risk. In my opinion, the gold isn't worth taking the risks
    to get to California.
    The following routes could be used to reach California:

    Overland Route:

    The Overland route was dangerous. It was a fast route, but traveling through the plains could spell disaster. For one thing, if a miner left at the wrong time, he could get caught in an early storm while crossing through the mountains and get snowed in. Also, there might not be enough grass to feed the oxen. Another issue was cut-offs. Cut-offs were trails that led off the main trail and were supposedly shortcuts. A cut-off could contain rough terrain and little amounts of water. Some people also caught diseases like cholera, which can be proven deadly.

    Panama Route:

    The Panama route was the quickest route to the gold fields, but later, miners would end up waiting for long stretches of time. The reason for this is, when a miner makes it to the Pacific side of Panama, they have to wait for a ship to carry them to San Francisco. Another danger was crossing from the Atlantic side of Panama to the Pacific side. The danger in doing that is going through the jungle. There were all kinds of animals and plants that could slow someone down, or even hurt them while they crossed through.


    Cape Horn Route:

    The Cape Horn route seemed to be a popular route for many miners. Basically anything that could float was put into use. Sailing around the Horn (Cape Horn) to San Francisco was extremely difficult. There was dense fog surrounding the area, near-freezing temperatures, large rocks, and difficult terrain to navigate any ship through. Cape Horn is practically a ship's graveyard!

    What it was like trying to get to California in our gold rush game:

    In our gold rush game, our first objective was to get to California.
    A few teams made it on their first try. Most teams, including my team, The Mini Miners made it to California on our second try. Finally, one team made it to California on their third try. Our team tried to get to California overland by taking Dead Man's Cutoff. We left at the wrong time, so on our journey, our oxen starved to death due to the lack of grass. We eventually made it home, but soon we tried going overland again. This time e had an expert guide and left in spring. We didn't even take Dead Man's Cutoff, and guess what? We arrived safely in California. Along the journey, one of my team members was going to drink from a puddle, so I yanked him back from the puddle. It turned out he was lucky, because the puddle was infested with cholera.

    Conclusion:

    In conclusion, I would not have taken the risks of trying to make it to California for the gold.

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    1. Great job John F. you really wrote a lot and it was all so well written!

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    2. But, you should explain why you would not go to California in the Gold Rush.

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    3. Thanks for your feedback, Josh. I will keep that in mind on our next blog assignment.

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    4. I agree with Josh-you told a lot of information, and it was interesting to read. Your blog does a great job of informing a reader! Well done, John!

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  25. Traveling to California was rough during the gold rush. For example, my team was lucky and reached golden gulch on our first try. However, we took the route round the Cape Horn, and the other team that made it first try took the Panama route. Overland teams weren’t as lucky, especially teams who took the Dead Man’s cutoff.
    The most common reason teams didn’t get to California was a disease called Cholera. The reason teams got Cholera was that they drank from puddles in the Prairies in which Buffalo did things the teams didn’t know about, such as using it as an outhouse. Another reason was teams took “cutoffs” that made the journey longer, such as the Dead Man’s cutoff. Teams that left in summer had their oxen starve to death. And that’s only the possible fates for the overland route.
    However on the sea route fewer things could go wrong. On the Panama route, there were only two bad things that could happen. Something in the jungle could kill you. Or the boat that was supposed to pick you up would be delayed. (This happened to the only group that took the Panama route.) On the Cape Horn route, the two problems were bad weather and shipwreck.
    Most of the teams caught cholera along the trail. My team got stuck in the Pacific, but a ship coming from Panama guided us to San Francisco. In conclusion, traveling to California was risky or even life threatening during the gold rush.

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  26. For some people getting to California was easy, but for most it was hard.

    Easy side:
    The richest people usually had the easiest time getting to California. If one had a lot of money they could buy more provisions. Good planners had it easy too. They would get enough supplies, leave at the right time, and have good transportation(new boat, new wagon, or strong animals).

    Hard side:
    The trip was unsafe. If one went overland they could get caught in an early snowstorm when crossing the Serra Nevada mountains. If one went to sea their boat could sink or crash. If one didn't plan correctly they could run out of food, sink, crash, get very sick, their oxen could die, or get caught in an early or late snowstorm.

    Getting to California could be easy or hard depending on who one was.

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  27. Going west through Dead Man’s cutoff was a huge mistake. We had our oxen perishing and we were left in search of water. That prevented us from getting to California. The Panama route was successful in the beginning but later on people had to wait for months to get a ship. Cape Horn was not as successful as other routes but was a 50% chance of getting to California. Ships crash there and not every ship or captain was of good quality. Wagon trains going west were highly successful. Cholera was found in puddles. My team had fresh water so we did not drink out of the puddles which prevented us from getting cholera. We made it to California!

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  28. Josh The Gold Diggn' GalsDecember 10, 2015 at 8:27 PM

    INTRODUCTION
    At Sutter’s Mill in the small town of Coloma in1848, James Marshall found a gold nugget. Nobody knows why this particular gold nugget gave almost every one the desire for gold but, this small incident made a worldwide historical event. During the gold rush there were many different ways to get to California, but all of the routes were extremely difficult and dangerous. Men from all over the world quit their jobs and traveled to California, planning to find enough gold to become a wealthy aristocrat. Unfortunately, most of these men’s dreams faded away, and they realized the hard reality of the gold rush. Often, they didn’t even have enough money to pay for their daily grub (food). Some men gave up and settled in the Western States to farm. But, other men had gold fever. They went from mining town to mining town in hope of finding gold. Many people from different cultures came to California which started the worldwide event of the gold rush.
    CAPE HORN ROUTE
    The Cape Horn route was long and dangerous. Miners who decided to take the Cape Horn route sailed from the East Coast around the tip of South America and north into San Francisco. The three most common dangers due to the length of this six to eight month long journey were:
    1. Since the journey was so long there were many different places to crash, especially when going around the vile tempered Cape Horn.
    2. The journey was so lengthy that sometimes the captain got lost in the raging ocean and put the lives of his passengers at stake. (The Panners of Gold experienced having their captain get lost and though they made it to Golden Gulch, it took them a very long time to get there.)
    3. Also, because of the length of this pilgrimage, running out of supplies was very common. Sometimes ships were even becalmed for months on end! Sometimes, if ships couldn’t get to a port on time, the passengers, crew members, and captain would all get scurvy and die.
    An alternate route for ships that didn’t want to go around the horn was the Strait of Magellan, but it was just as, if not more, deadly.
    The miners found the journey slow, tedious and very dangerous. However, for voyagers who needed to deliver a considerably large quantity of cargo to the Pacific coast, it was the best route. For those reasons, I think Cape Horn was a protracted and treacherous route.

    PANAMA ROUTE
    Panama was the fastest, but most dangerous of all the routes. People who went to Panama sailed into the jungle and then, took another ship north to the gold fields. At first, this route was very successful. But, over time, fewer people used this route because of dangers.
    1. Sometimes after people made it through the jungle and were waiting for a ship, no ship came. They found themselves stranded in Panama without any sanitary water and disease lurking around every corner.
    2. When traveling through the treacherous jungles of Panama it was very easy to get sick. The two most common diseases were malaria and yellow fever. Since there were no cures back then for those diseases, travelers would usually die. Even now, malaria and yellow fever are hard to cure.
    For those reasons, I think Panama was the most rapid route, but also the most perilous.
    Since my team went through Panama I noted the following in my miner’s log:
    Today our boss told us that we were going to California, and we chose to go through Panama. It cost 40 gold nuggets but our boss payed for it. I am nervous and excited. On May 5, 1850, we made it through the jungle safely (thank goodness!) But, unfortunately, we were waiting for a ship but soon it struck us like a hard slap, that no ship was coming! Now we are trapped in Panama with no sanitary water and malaria, yellow fever and who knows what other beastly diseases? May 6, 1850, what is that in the horizon? A ship! We are saved! We are at Golden Gulch!

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    1. I had to do my blog in two posts because it was to long to fit in one post

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    2. This is kind of like the intermission in a good, lengthy movie, then! I really like how you showed your entry in your miner's log. It adds authenticity to the piece and is unique to all the other posts. Nice touch, Josh!

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  29. Josh The Gold Diggn' GalsDecember 10, 2015 at 8:28 PM

    OVERLAND ROUTE
    The overland route was not very safe either. The pioneers who decided to take the overland journey had to wait until spring to leave so they could have enough grass for their oxen. Even if they left in spring sometimes the miners left too early in spring and their oxen would starve. They would find themselves stranded in the prairie with little food and no oxen to carry their wagon. But, if the miners left too late, it could result in a hazardous situation. There could be an early snowstorm and the miners could end up like the Donner Party. Most miners believed in strength in numbers, so they purchased supplies and wagons and joined mining companies. But, getting into mining companies was very expensive. Some cost $300 to join!
    Two of the main dangers along the way were:
    1. Along the overland trail, running out of water was a calamity. If the miners ran out of water, their oxen would die of thirst. Thirsty pioneers were tempted to drink from puddles, in which cholera was often lurking. If one person got cholera it would quickly spread and the entire mining company could die.
    2. Even if a miner prepared for everything, he still needed a bit of luck to survive. In the miner’s log it says, “The overland trails were lined with broken wagons, abandoned supplies, and the carcasses of dead animals. For those reasons, I don’t think the overland route was not very secure either.
    CONCLUSION
    The journey to the gold fields was burdensome and risky. If gold miners wanted to get rich, they had to tolerate traveling extensive distances, terrible weather, awful transportation, and the threat of disease. Most of the time miners didn’t strike it rich. In fact, miners didn’t actually make that much money. Instead it was the men who “mined the miners” that made the most money. For those reasons I think the journey to the gold fields was perilous, difficult, and not worth the risk.

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    1. Your post definitely informs a reader about traveling to California and does so in a way that holds the interest of the reader. The vocabulary in this piece of writing is incredible Josh! You have taken on the challenge of creating a piece of writing that informs and entertains, and you have won that challenge. Exceptional job!

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  30. I think that traveling to California was full of risk and hardships.

    When taking the Panama route, one would often travel through the jungle, which contains a variety of poisonous snakes to go along with the swarms of dangerous mosquitos. Once getting through the jungle, a traveler might have to wait weeks, even months to catch a ship than was California-bound. If they couldn’t catch a ship soon enough, they could catch deadly diseases such as cholera and die.

    The Cape Horn route was also very dangerous. The ship captains were often inexperienced, and there was always the risk of crashing into the rocks and being destroyed. The weather could get awful. The winds were so strong, you had to stay in your cabin for almost the whole day. The waves are like huge walls of water ready to crash down and capsize your ship at any moment.

    Traveling overland was extremely dangerous although many gold seekers chose this route. There were buffalo, who had the strength to charge right through your wagon. Even though it didn’t often happen the wild Native Americans could easily have their tribe attack and rob from your wagon train in such a little time. Your animals could get underfed and could starve leaving you stranded in the middle of nowhere. If you left too late, you could get caught in an early snow and freeze.

    Although there were risks and hardships, at times, gold seekers might find their trip exiting and adventurous, seeing things they’d never seen and doing things that they had never done before.

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    1. Good work, Catie. Your Big Idea is well-supported and the writing is smooth and easy to read!

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  31. I think that it was very risky to travel to California in the 1840's for gold. There was very little technology since it was during the 1800's when not many electronic devices were discovered. The electronic devices would be able to help make transportation machines more sturdy. In the gold rush era there were two ways to travel from the eastern side of North America to get to the gold fields, by land or by sea. Both were dangerous.

    Traveling by sea was very dangerous and many people died taking this risk. During the gold rush many people were very excited to reach California so a lot of boats were needed. There were not many good ships so people used whatever they could to get in order to arrive to California by sea. Unfortunately, many of the ships that people used were previously abandoned and not in good shape to sail . There were two commonly used routes to get to California in the gold rush: Cape Horn and Panama. The Cape Horn route was dangerous because there is a lot of bad weather in that area. The Panama route was sailing to the country Panama, getting off a ship, and then catching another ship that was going to California. It is dangerous because if there was no ship the people would run out of supplies and have to wait in Panama for a very long time. Some people die of malaria, mostly because there were a lot of mosquitoes in Panama.

    Another way of traveling to California was across land. In 1849 many people got gold fever and were so determined to get to California they decided to take shortcuts. These shortcuts were not always what the people wanted them to be because a lot of these shortcuts turned out to take longer and then it would start to snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains and the people would end up stuck. This was dangerous because the people would not be able move so they would have to wait in the snow and then would run out of supplies. Some people also left in the wrong season and ended up out in the snow. Another problem for traveling over land were hostile Indians. Most of the time the Indians were peaceful but occasionally there were problems. Some people died of disease as well. A common disease was cholera since many people drank filthy water.

    Although there were many people who passed away trying to get to California most people succeeded in their journey. Some people made it to California by lots of luck, but the majority of people made it to California by careful timing and preparation. The people that took time and carefully planned their journey might have had to pay more money and take longer but they probably had higher chances of getting to California.

    Getting to the gold fields was definitely not easy. The journey was a really threatening and risk-taking trip.

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    1. Excellent piece of writing, Emelia! You do a great job of informing a reader about the journey to California, and you've created a set of information that is 100% accurate. Nicely done!

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  32. Traveling to the gold fields was dangerous no matter which way you took.

    The Overland route: The Overland route took four to six months and was very dangerous. If a miner left too early he could run out of grass for his oxen but if he left too late he could get caught in an early snowstorm and die.

    The Cape Horn route: One of the two ways to get to California by sea, the Cape Horn route was the longest route to the gold fields, taking six to eight months. Since Cape Horn is close to Antarctica, it is very dangerous because there are many storms. Though Cape Horn was dangerous, there was a small strait through it called the Strait of Magellan. Though faster, the Strait of Magellan was much more dangerous than Cape Horn because there were many more jagged rocks.

    The Panama route: The second way to get to California by sea, the Panama route is by far the most dangerous. Miners taking the Panama route would take a ship to Panama, walk for two miles across the dense jungle of the Isthmus of Panama, and catch a ship heading to California. Unfortunately many captains didn’t bother to stop at Panama, leaving several people stranded there to die. On top of that, the jungle held many dangers such as leeches, cholera, and mosquitos, which carried yellow fever and malaria.

    Conclusion: Getting to the gold fields was very hard, but if you made it and struck it rich, it would all be worth it.

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  33. My team is the Panning Pioneers.

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  34. In 1849, a miner could travel to California either by sea or overland both of which were very dangerous.

    (Sea) The Panama route: It can be the fastest way to get to California and possibly the least safe route that can be deadly. A miner had to sail to Panama, then go through a deadly jungle, and then hope a ship would pick him up. Sometimes miners could spend weeks and even months waiting for a ship to pick them up that might never come.

    (Sea) The Cape Horn route and the Magellan Strait: It can be the longest route to California and also deadly, although a captain can choose to take a shortcut called the Magellan Strait. The shortcut would save hundreds of miles but is much more dangerous. Going around the horn is hard enough. Near the tip of South America (the Horn) there are a lot of giant rocks a captain might not be able to avoid and the ship crashes and possibly sinks. If the ship makes it safely around the Horn passengers have to hope their captain is good about navigation and can get everybody to California safely.

    Overland: The overland journey can be the safest route to California if a miner leaves at the right time of the year and knows not to drink from the puddles. The puddles may contain cholera from buffalo droppings. A miner should leave in spring to make sure there is enough grass for the animal(s) to eat and to make sure he doesn’t leave too late and get piled on by snow.

    Traveling to California was dangerous in 1849 by ship or by wagon.

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    1. good use of details, Ana!

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    2. Good summary of getting to California during the gold rush, Ana.

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  35. I think getting to the gold fields was really hard. The miners had to pack all their stuff and take long hard routes to the gold fields. It was also difficult because travelers hoping to strike it rich had to choose between the Cape Horn route and the Panama course. This was a hard decision because both were dangerous. Cape Horn was dangerous because you could crash into rocks. The Panama route was hazardous because you could get stranded. Sometimes a ship wasn't waiting for you on the other side of Panama. Even if the traveling miners managed to make it through the passages, they still faced diseases and starvation. Therefore, I think getting to the gold fields was tough.

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  36. On January 24th, 1848 a man named James Wilson Marshall discovered gold in the tailrace of the sawmill at Coloma. No one knows why this small finding created a global event called the California Gold Rush, but it did. People from all over the world started their way to California no matter how dangerous the journey was.
    The routes that the gold rush teams could've gone through were: Panama, Overland, St. Joseph, Cape Horn, and Dead Man's Cut-Off. All these routes were very dangerous because anything in your group could die.
    It was very risky to try to travel to California, but in the end it was always worth it when you struck it rich! It was very fast but also very dangerous to go through Panama. It was dangerous to go through Panama because you could've gotten lost in the jungle and die of starvation. One time a team trusted a flyer that advertised Panama: The fastest way to the gold, but that was the biggest mistake they had ever made! The flyer said a ship heading north would pick them up, but there was no ship heading north! That was the scenario my team experienced.
    So here's how it happened, we hopped on a boat for $40 and sailed to Panama. Then we leaped off and went through the jungle. We thought a ship would pass by in a couple of days so we waited, and waited, and waited. About 2 weeks had passed and we were getting worried because we had only brought so many gold nuggets and we had to pay for our food and water. Eventually, we stopped paying for our water and food because we thought we were going to die anyway. But just when we had almost lost hope completely, a ship coming north appeared and picked us up. The captain sailed us to California and we had a little celebration for making it to the Gold Fields of Golden Gulch.
    Other teams traveled overland with wagons and oxen. The problem with relying on your oxen is if you leave during the winter, your oxen can die. They die because during the winter, there is no grass for them to eat. With your oxen dead, you don't have anything to pull your wagon with. If you can't pull your wagon then you have to leave all of your belongings behind, including food and water. If you wander too long without food and water, you die. Sometimes when you are traveling overland and you don't have any food or water you find puddles along the way to California. You feel like you can't resist drinking from them because you need water to survive. This was the problem for most people traveling overland trying to get to California. In these puddles was a disease called cholera. By drinking these puddles along the way to California, people died. Cholera is a deadly bacteria found in water that is normally alongside the roads.
    Because people felt like they so desperately needed gold, any ship was used to get to California. Even ships that were rotting were used to travel to California, which was not very smart at all. Sometimes, when people use rotting ships that have been abandoned for years, the bottoms or any other parts of the ship completely rot before you even get halfway to California. Then, people who were once in that rotting ship are now stranded in the ocean with no sense of direction whatsoever. Unfortunately, those people die in the ocean because they have no resources at all. Now you might be thinking, "Well, why can't they just drink up the ocean? The ocean is made out of water." Well, to answer your question they can drink the water in the ocean but water that salty is deadly to humans. Sadly, they didn't know they would die so they drank the ocean and you guessed it, they died.

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    1. I had to do my blog in 2 posts because it was way over 4,069 words.

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    2. Sorry, I meant characters, not words.

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  37. My team, The Gold Diggin' Gals, and the Panning Pioneers made it to California in one try. My team was just delayed for a while. A few teams, like the Mini Miners, got to California in just two tries. An unlucky group, The Gold Miner 49ers, made it to California in three tries. It took them awhile to get to the Gold Fields of Golden Gulch. But I guess that isn't very unlucky because you can experience the disappointment of the people traveling to California multiple times as well as the troubles they faced. So technically, it's better if you have multiple tries, you get a more thorough experience of what it was like to travel to California in 1800's.
    In conclusion, when traveling to California in 1800's take an overland route and leave around the intermediate part of summer so your oxen have enough to eat and you can avoid an early snowstorm. It may be dangerous, but making the campaign to California is always worth it when you become rich!
    ~Leina,The Gold Diggin' Gals

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    1. Excellent work, Leina. I like how you wove the facts with the stories of the teams in our class. Your post does the job of educating a reader; that was the goal of this assignment.

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  38. Getting to the Gold Fields


    The Panama route

    The Panama route to the gold fields was a dangerous route. It was dangerous for many reasons. Your ship could sink. Once you got to Panama, the ship that was supposed to take you to California, didn’t get there on time and you could be waiting for over 6 months. Or maybe on time! You could also get ill. The Panama route was the fastest route during the gold rush times.


    Over Land

    The over land route was probably one of the hardest routes. You could get lots of diseases on your way to the gold fields. One of the most common diseases was cholera. They would get cholera by drinking the puddles that the buffalo put their droppings in. As they went into the foothills, a snowfall could happen and the snow could rise so high it would suffocate them. If they ran out of food they might have to use their animals for food. Then they would pull their own wagons. Also buffalos might stampede and run over them. These were only a few of the dangers there were.


    Sea Route

    The sea route to the gold fields was one of the best routes if you had lots of luggage. The sea journey was usually around Cape Horn. The Cape Horn route was very dangerous. It had rocks high enough that they would reach above the surface of the ocean that would make the ship wreck. It also had very large waves that were able to reach onto the ship’s deck. Then they would have to bucket out all the water. The trip could take as long as six to eight months to get to Cape Horn. The journey was very dangerous and long. There was another way to get around the Horn. The route was the Strait of Magellan. There were many different directions in this route. You could be going forward and then turn and end up going the direction you were coming from. It was very difficult to find your way thru there. The Strait of Magellan was also known as the ship’s natural graveyard. It was so tight that it was very common for ships to bang into rock or land. It was not easy or safe but it was good for luggage around Cape Horn.

    Summary

    I think that getting to the gold fields was very rough and not easy. I say this because every route that there was there were at least a couple of dangers that were common. People were at great risk but to them it did not seem to matter. It seemed to matter only to get to the gold fields. The gold rush was a world wide event that brought people to the gold fields just from a piece of gold that James Marshal found at his and Sutter’s saw mill. It was a very rough time getting to the gold fields.

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  39. Our trip to California was a bit hard. We decided to take Dead Man’s pass. It was not a very wise choice because we didn’t make it to Golden Gulch. We started off okay, but then our axel snapped and the wheels popped off. We were then stranded in a place with very little water. We took another route, and it got us to Golden Gulch! Even though our wagon was very wobbly, we made it over the mountains. When we got to Golden Gulch we took claim number 3. I’m glad we are luckier than other teams though that took several tries to get to Golden Gulch. We have over 60 pieces of gold left over from the extra 100 pieces of gold that we got to pay for passage for the routes. I am so very glad that we made it to Golden Gulch. We should have recognized that it looked dangerous to take Dead Man’s Pass. Those are my reasons why I thought that our trip to Golden Gulch was a bit hard.

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  40. Cape Horn Route
    The Cape Horn route was dangerous. The route was from the East Coast around the tip of South America, then sail north to San Francisco. It took about 6-8 months to make this journey. Lots of ships that attempted to sail around Cape Horn crashed into the rocks and were demolished. Most miners thought this route was too slow, so they avoided it. But it was the best choice for sailors who needed to take big amounts of supplies to San Francisco.
    Panama Route
    Miners taking the Panama route hiked through jungle to the Pacific side, and then caught a ship sailing to San Francisco. First, this was the fastest way to the gold, but then the gold hunters had long delays. Thousands of gold seekers were waiting for a ship to take them north when they got to the Pacific Ocean. The sailors who took the gold seekers to San Francisco didn’t want to sail back to Panama. So they joined the rush for gold. Gold hunters had to wait months in Panama for a sailor to take them north.

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  41. Getting to the gold fields was extremely hard. One reason is miners had to get to the gold fields in spring. If miner were on their way in winter the snow could fall down and suffocate to death. Miners traveled together with companies they had formed. Miners paid $300 just to get in a mining company. The most common and deadliest disease in the gold rush was cholera. Another common way to die while getting to the foot hills of California was trying to get their gun out from under their supplies they shoot themselves.The Panama route was first the fastest, but then there were waits that took 1-6 months. People went to California on anything that floated. The Cape Horn route was not the fastest or safest route, but you could go through the Strait of Magellan. The Strait of Magellan you could crash into land or rocks. Getting to the gold fields any way was hard and tough.

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  42. Well done, 4th graders. Some of you really put a great deal of time into this blog post and have done an incredible job. Your task was to educate a reader about how to get to the California gold fields for the gold rush. Collectively, you have created a resource on this blog site that other 4th graders could use to learn about travel to the California Gold Rush. Excellent work!

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