Saturday, November 17, 2018

Journey to the California Gold Fields


All of our gold rush teams have made it to Golden Gulch! Some had very few troubles, while some needed multiple tries. We heard of the struggles that some of the teams had, and it's clear that the journey was full of dangers and obstacles. 

For this writing, your task is to take the role of a gold miner in Golden Gulch who is telling what he or she knows about the journey to California. You can discuss the perils that were faced, the choices that had to be made, the challenges that the miners had to overcome and the stories that you heard. You are more than welcome to offer advice and suggestions to others who will follow. Make sure that you use the information from all the teams and not just your own. The way you structure this is up to you, but be sure your point of view is a gold miner who has arrived in Golden Gulch. 

As always, write with clarity and precision. State your opinions, but be sure to have supporting evidence. The world poured into California for the gold rush so let's tell the story of the journey that people from all over the world took as they attempted to get rich!

74 comments:

  1. The routing BLOG and the traveling lesson
    I'm a miner in Golden Gulch and this is my story. My team, the Golden Goods, had decided to take the Mining Company's route. It left the earliest and was the cheapest. We didn't realize that since it was not officially spring yet; it was still cold. There was no grass so our oxen died. After we had eaten our oxen we had to return to try again. The next time we tried we went aboard the Golden Princess around Cape Horn. The Waves were crashing, thunder was rumbling and it was horrible! But since the ship was so luxurious it was smooth sailing. Them we saw Golden Gulch ahead! We also had to pack the right things for the right places. We had to plan out what we were going to do and think hard. Some teams were not as lucky. One team had to try 3 times to get to Golden Gulch. Their boat bottom kept falling out and they didn't pack well enough.

    These are some of the stories I heard. One team got stuck in Panama waiting for a boat. Another team member drank from a puddle and got cholera. He would have been fine if the other people were there. Another team got stuck in Dead Man's cut off. Their oxen died of hunger. Some teams had no troubles at all! One team went to Panama and had no problems. Another team took a ship and was fine. They could have gotten scurvy. Or the bottom could have fallen out. None of that happened though.

    Here is my advice. Always plan ahead and always pay attention. Always pack well. If people stick to this advice they should have good trips.



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    1. Great job Makhai!
      Wow, I structured mine a lot like yours. Great minds think alike!

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    2. Well we are on the same team! ;-)☺

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    3. I like the description you gave about your trip around the Horn. Wouldn't it be horrible if the ship actually fell apart on the voyage?

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    4. I wasn't sure if I was supposed to put cholera or not.

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    5. If the boat had fallen apart IwouI woul have gone that way!

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  2. Great job, Makhai! Thank you for pointing out the fact that my team, Golden Valley, had to try 3 TIMES!!! Nobody do what we did! Trust me, it would mess up your luck of getting gold.

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  3. Well, I guess you're welcome?

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  4. Yes, you are welcome! wink wink !

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  5. A gold fever in California spread throughout the world. There are many ways to get to California from the East Coast, such as, by wagon, boat, foot, or horseback. Some are successful and some aren’t. There are three routes to California: over land, through the Isthmus of Panama, and around Cape Horn. The Isthmus of Panama is the quickest way which takes 5 weeks if you’re lucky. The route around Cape Horn takes 5-6 months. The journey over land takes 4-6 months.
    My team (The Golden Goods) had to take two tries to get to Golden Gulch. Golden Gulch is a mining area where miners like me mine. On our first try, we took the Mining Company. We didn’t realize that it was still winter, not spring. There was not enough grass and our oxen died. Our second try, we went around the Horn (the Golden Princess). The weather down there was bad, but we left at the right time and it was smooth sailing.
    My advice is to leave at the right time: not too early, not too late. There are many stories that I’ve heard from previous people who tried to get to California. The Golden Innovators went through the Isthmus of Panama and got stuck in Panama waiting for another ship, paying for food, water, and shelter. The Golden Valley went around Cape Horn and crashed in some rocks in the bad weather and their ship sunk. One team went through Dead Man’s cutoff and they died of hunger. Some teams had no troubles. It was smooth sailing through out!
    If you follow my advice and leave at the right time, you should be good to get to California!

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    1. Good summary of how you got to California, Sean.

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  6. There were many different and dangerous ways to travel to California in the Gold Rush. Some were more dangerous than others. I chose an unguided wagon trip through Dead Man’s Cutoff. I brought my own wagon, but it didn’t keep me safe. My wagon fell apart. Dead Man’s Cutoff was like a desert. I was lost, and I couldn’t find any water. If the trip had been guided, I might not have gotten lost.
    The next morning, I began the trip back to the east coast. I thought about my mistakes. I needed to fix that I only considered the speed of the route that I chose. Next time, I will consider the safety.
    When I made it home, I carefully examined the prices. Dead Man’s Cutoff was not very expensive, but it was not a good route. I made sure the route I chose was a guided trip. Another wagon trip left in late winter. I knew there would be no grass for my oxen to eat. After carefully examining all the advertisements, I decided on a guided wagon trip that left later in the year. I had no trouble getting to California this time!
    Other miners should remember that traveling to California is dangerous. The fastest route isn’t always the best. I chose the fastest route and I nearly died. Some nearby miners told me about the lure of the Isthmus f Panama. It is the shortest route. When they reached the other side of the Isthmus, there weren’t any boats. The miners were stranded. One person said that he had survived Cholera. Another group spoke about the deadly jungles of the Isthmus of Panama.
    Others told me that they should have checked the bottom of their boat. It fell off while they were sailing around Cape Horn. Then they spoke of the dangers of Cape Horn. The waves crashed and the rocky shores smashed boats. They told me about Cholera, Malaria, and Yellow Fever.
    Then we all told the stories we’d heard about the most dangerous route, the Strait of Magellan. It separated Cape Horn from the rest of South America. The winds were so fierce they could tear off a ship’s sails. The rocky sides tore ships apart. It was deadly. Only the most experienced sailors survived.
    Getting to California required skill. It required attention to detail. To leave my home and go somewhere new required courage.

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  7. Great job of telling about many of the dangers our mining teams faced as they tried to get to California, Carrie. I agree with everything you stated in your final couple of sentences. Would you have wanted to try the journey in the 1850s?

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  8. Getting to The California Gold Rush

    Hey there. Names Faisal, miner Faisal. It took some time to get to California for the worldwide event, the California Gold Rush. Me and my team, the Golden Monarchs, traveled overland and got cholera. We went back to the east and went to a ship in Boston which went around Cape Horn and than got to California for the Gold Rush. Some got there in no time, while others like me, took time to get there. Cholera, scurvy, and malaria were sicknesses that you could get on your way to California. It wasn’t easy, there ain’t no such thing as easy back in the days. My friend died because he was stranded on Panama for months and drank bad water.

    A lot of people had troubles. One team got stuck in Panama. Another got stuck in Deadmans cut off. One left in the winter and the oxin didn’t have enough food so they died and the team was stranded in the middle of the prairie. One of my teammates drank bad water and got cholera, than we all had cholera. The Golden Valleys boat, its bottom rotted off. It took a long time for them to get there.


    So, now you know what to do. Make sure you have supplies like water and
    food, don’t bring your own Wagon. Last but not least, think about what route you should take, so you don’t waste your money and die. One more thing, make sure you have a pick and shovel. GOODBYE!!

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    1. good job fasal I like your intro

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    2. You sound like a gold miner, for sure, Faisal. Good job of discussing the dangers of getting to California for the Gold Rush, and your advice at the end is sound.

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    3. Nice intro, man! i like the 'Miner Faisal' part

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  9. I’m a very poor miner in Golden Gulch, and I have a long and sad story. My team, the Golden Valley, had to attempt getting there three times! Some teams had no trouble at all. My team, had many troubles getting to Golden Gulch. In fact, we tried The Golden Princess, but our ship’s bottom fell off, and we ended up swimming with the penguins. Our ship’s bottom fell off probably because of rotten bottoms. I have heard from some of my miner friends that they had horrible experiences. One team was stuck in Panama waiting for a boat. Also, another team member lost control over his thirst and he drank from a disgusting puddle and got a very bad case of cholera. Also, one team’s oxen died of starvation and then a team was stuck in Dead Man’s cut-off. But, one team went through Panama and nothing went wrong, and another team went on the Golden Princess and were able to avoid scurvy or having their ship’s bottom falling off. But my team was most unfortunate of all. Some of the poor choices made were when one team went through Dead man’s Cut-off. Also, another team left for california too early because of greed and their oxen died of hunger.
    I have many suggestions for our team and the gold miners that are still on their way. One suggestion is to never build a wagon by yourself, because if a professional builds it, then it probably won’t break down. Second, never, ever drink from a dirty puddle so you don’t get cholera like one of my friends did, and make sure to bring enough water for the trip. Finally, always pack appropriately, but don’t over-pack. If you follow my advice, then you probably won’t have as many problems as my team did. I feel like I will get a lot of gold as long as I don’t have any troubles that I had on the way here.

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  10. David (AM’s father)December 2, 2018 at 7:27 PM

    What a terrible turn of events having the bottom of your ship rot off! Thankfully you didn’t drown or freeze in the water and through perseverance you are here to tell the story. I always enjoy your writing and your empathy for those who suffer misfortune. I was especially moved by your feelings for the slaves who endured such hardship attempting to free themselves through the Underground Railroad. I will check often to read more of your work.

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    1. i really like all your details Ali

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    2. The ending of the blog has good thoughts, Alejandro. Your advice is good-what advice would you have for the Cape Horn route?

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  11. I am one of the miners from The Golden Innovators. My team chose to take the road of Panama. We expected to have an easier time than the others, but we were wrong. Everything went fine at first making our way through the jungle, but when we reached the Isthmus...things went wrong.

    Our first obstacle was the jungle! There were shrubs and animals but we all made it out fine, even though I kept on getting cuts and stumbling. The hardest part of going through the jungle, probably to your surprise, is seeing. That’s actually why I got so many cuts. There are so many shrubs and vines! Although another part of me felt as though this was beautiful with the colorful flowers and frogs! I’m sure Westyn and Edan thought the same! But I wouldn’t really want to go back there because of the dangerous animals and insects. These creatures are always watching you. There are snakes, big cats, mosquitos, and more. Edan got a minor cold, but since it was minor he fought it off easily. Overall the jungle was not much of a problem for any of us, but this was not the end of the journey.

    The next part of my team’s journey was the hard part. This part cost us so much! Almost our lives! This part made me wish I was back in the jungle. When my team and I got to the shores of Panama there was so much commotion! Everyone was piling into ships. One would expect we were able to get on a ship. But there were so many people, the ships were full and one by one they all left, leaving us behind. We thought another ship would come, but none came. We were stuck there! We were stuck waiting for the cholera to reach us...The town nearby was no good either. Rotten food, dirty water and more. “It’s hopeless! HOPELESS!” is what we all kept saying. Fortunately, we were wrong. After a while of being stuck there a ship did come! It was actually a fellow team we had met in our home town. I can not say how grateful I am that they came. I mean, Edan, Westyn and I were all on the verge of either sickness or death due to the dirty water and the threat of cholera. Westyn in particular seemed to be getting weaker. Anyway, we made it through the ocean just fine, no boat bottoms falling off or scurvy.

    Finally, we made it to Golden Gulch. We were happy as can be that we made it. But keep in mind, if you are a miner there will always be obstacles no matter what! Don’t completely lose hope like we did, always be open to the possibilities around you! Thank you!
    -Selena


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    1. Your story has excellent details, Selena! It tells the inside story of how you got to California. You did a great job of adding depth, and your writing sounds as if you are just sitting around telling people the story of your journey. Great job!

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  12. Many people from all over the world are coming to California to look for gold. There are multiple ways to get to California such as houseback, boat, and wagon. Horseback does not carry a lot, but it is a fast. Wagon is not as fast, but it carries a lot of materials you may need. Taking a horse or wagon someone can get lost. Taking the boat it is less likely that someone will get lost because the captain should know where they are going. We went to Panama because a ship was leaving around the time our we wanted to leave for California. We had multiple choices and we went with Panama because it is kind of cheap and it was fast. We packed only the things necessary and a lot of extra money because we didn’t know how long we would be in Panama. Since I’ve been here, I’ve heard stories of people that didn’t make it to California such as a small group of people that sailed around Cape Horn and their bottom fell off their boat. If I was in there shoes I would have carefully packed, and try to carefully chose my captain so I know how experienced this he is.
    There are more dangers in coming to California. One of them is leaving at the wrong time. Something that may happen when you leave at the wrong time is the oxen die because of the conditions. Another thing I heard was that a person got cholera and his friend knew how to deal with cholera but wasn’t there it save him. He still survived but that was the only thing that stopped them from getting to California on their first try. It would be better to travel in groups because if someone gets hurt or lost another person can help bring them to safety. Some other troubles you may encounter, when going through dead man’s cut-off, is not enough food or water for you and your oxen. The wagon can break and you could be left in a desert like environment. I would pack a lot of food and water because I would need to feed the people traveling with me and all my oxen. I would also take a guide because I don’t want to take any wrong trails and get lost.There was this story I heard that really got my attention because I took this route and was okay, but one group took this route and was stuck in Panama waiting for a boat to arrive. The only difference in between our trips was that they got there late and the ship that was supposed to pick them up left before they even got there. We packed a lot of food and brought extra money because we had no idea how long I would be staying in Panama.
    All my stories and my adventure gives you an idea of how the journeys were like in the gold rush. Follow some of my advice and take a guide you should be very successful on your journey.

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    1. You have a lot of information, Ravyn. Overall, did you enjoy your journey to California?

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  13. The trip to Golden Gulch was relatively easy for me. I caught the ship Gold Star, and stopped at the Isthmus of Panama. I walked across the Isthmus, and then caught a ship going back up to California. However, I almost ran out of money buying fresh water and food. Despite that, my experience was fairly smooth compared to some of the stories I heard. For example, a company called the Golden Innovators took the same route as my company, the Gold Bug Miners, and they nearly died because they ran out of money to buy food and water. Fortunately, they survived long enough to be picked up by a ship. Another company that goes by the name of Golden Valley rode a ship called The Golden Princess. The ship wasn’t seaworthy and while they were going around the Horn, the bottom of the ship fell right off. However, I think that The Golden Princess just got worn out because the Gold Nuggets took the same ship long before Golden Valley and made it successfully to Golden Gulch. Apparently, The Golden Princess was a common choice, because the Golden Goods took the same ship, and succeeded on their second try. The first time though, they used a different route. They went overland.

    Going overland caused a lot of failures from what I heard. The Golden Goods ended up surrounded by dead oxen in the middle of the prairie, because they left too early. They left in the winter, so there was no grass to feed the oxen. The Finders of Gold took a shortcut with no guide, and they didn’t end up so well. There was very little water in Dead Man’s Cutoff, and it was hard to survive. Eventually, they made it back east and started their journey again. The Golden Monarchs, another company, would have made it to Golden Gulch, except one of their company members got cholera.


    For the miners that are still looking for a way to get to California, take a ship. Although they might take a long time, boats seem successful to me, and I really enjoyed my experience because I had a good captain. Panama is risky, but if any of the miners want to be in Golden Gulch quickly, it is the best decision. However, when it comes to overland routes, be careful about your wagon.The miner whose claim is next to mine, Diamond Dan, says that he took a wagon, but it wasn’t sturdy enough and fell apart a day into the trip. He said that he just bought the first wagon available. He said, “Had I gotten a better wagon, my pockets might have been filled with color by now.” So for all the miners going overland, get a good, sturdy wagon. However, whatever choice those miners make, be prepared. The trip to California isn’t easy.

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    1. Great post that reads very smoothly and educates a reader about the trip to California during the gold rush, Aleeza. The flow of ideas is excellent!

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  14. I have been lucky enough to not encounter and hardships during my journey to California. But there were many times where we were on the verge of encountering hardships. We have been on the verge of scurvy, cholera and losing the bottom of our boat, but we were able to get through. Not only because of our amazing Captain Swain, but because in the hardest times, all the people onboard could fight through. We had to make many choices, from trying to figure out if we should go through the Strait of Magellan or Cape Horn. Also finding out if we shouldn’t have gone aboard the Golden Princess in the first place because of these difficulties.

    From what I have heard about other journeys many things have happened. Particularly cholera from the Flying Monarchs mining team not to mention being stranded out on the Isthmus of Panama by The Golden Valley. These are only a few of the stories i’ve heard. Others i’ve heard had no problems at all but those people were the ones that went aboard ships. The stories say the wagon is not as safe as the ships. But the biggest story i’ve heard is the disappearing ship. People have disappeared, but only when they went by foot. That’s why my gold mining team went by ship.

    If I was to be a miner I would definitely go by ship because from my experience and the stories it’s safer and better in multiple ways. Also if one was to go by wagon be sure to go during the spring so that the oxen could eat. Don’t forget to bring the pulley because it’ll cost ya! One of the most important things is keep a budget. California is very expensive so have at least $50 to spare. Another thing is when one gets to California they have to be ready for a whole lot of work. Getting off a ship after five months, it’s very hard to walk. So when one gets to the gold fields they need to have patience and save their energy for the real work.

    There are many lessons one will learn in the gold fields. But anyone who gets to the gold fields will have to be ready for any hardships that come their way. As a miner the biggest part is no matter what don’t give up because if one does they might miss a huge chance of striking it rich.



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    1. I’m here to report to you on my recent journey to Golden Gulch. My team, The Golden Innovators traveled to Golden Gulch by boat to panama. I chose to go to panama because it’s the quickest route, getting to Golden Gulch sooner means that we get more gold to ourselves. The panama route was also very cheap more the cheapest route.

      There were also many troubles getting to Golden Gulch. My group was stuck in panama waiting for a boat to come in and pick us up and actually take us to Golden Gulch as I mutter ruination. We had to spend the least amount of money until the boat arrived. For me it took 2 months until i arrived at Golden Gulch. Miners could get cholera and die.

      My friends and I were warned us about the dangers and what cholera could do to us. We spent as little money as possible waiting in panama. Luckily we didn’t have many troubles on my journey to Golden Gulch. Well see you miners back in Boston.

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    2. @Nassali-You have a great amount of information. Good way to start off with the big idea that you had few problems but then explain that many others were not that lucky.

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    3. @Westyn-You've touched on some of the problems of travel through Panama. Are you glad you selected that method of travel?

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  15. There's a joke in there can you guys find it.

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  16. My team, The Golden Valley, took three tries to get to Golden Gulch. We had unique struggles like, the bottom of the ship fell off and then we crashed. Another one was when we went through the Strait of Magellan and a wave made the ship we were on, the Golden Princess, crash into land. Getting to Golden Gulch was hard for my team.

    Some struggles that other miners had included miners drinking from dirty puddles because they didn't know they could get sick, teams also waited for a boat to come to Panama, or they got diseases like Malaria, Cholera, and yellow fever without knowing. Some of the other teams had less struggles and some had a lot of struggles.

    Getting to Golden Gulch was a challenge for all the miners.

    - Emily Zhang

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    1. It's true; traveling to California during the gold rush era was a challenge.

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  17. Hi guys,

    I am glad to report back to you about my latest journey to California for the Gold Rush. It turns out there are many ways to get to California, some over land and some on a boat. Every route had the potential to be safer than others or more dangerous than others.

    My group fortunately had no troubles getting to Golden Gulch. My team got to the Golden Gulch on our first journey. The trip took about three months to get all the way to Golden Gulch in California from Missouri. We took the overland route on a wagon with some expert guides. This turned out to be a good idea. This was a good idea because we left at the right time of the year so there was enough grass and food for our horses pulling the wagon. We also packed enough food, and water and had a sturdy enough wagon to survive the trek.

    We had heard stories that some people had taken the Isthmus of Panama route which was the quickest route. This route had many challenges including sickness and possibility of being stranded. We heard that the bottom of people’s boats could rot causing even more problems. The problems they faced when there boat suffered rot was that there boat would become unsturdy which could make the boat sink from flooding. On top of that, we heard boats could slam into rocks around the horn which would cause there boat to break into many pieces. For these reasons we decided to choose the overland route to avoid all these scary possibilities.

    Choosing your route had to be a smart decision in the Gold Rush so you could stay safe and make it all the way to Golden Gulch. We chose our specific route since it was the shortest with the exception of the Dead Man's Cutoff. We didn't pick Dead Man's Cutoff because it had the words “dead man's” which made us think it's not the best route to take people. We imagined with a name like that people probably die on this route. We also found out that one of the team’s was unsuccessful making it to the Golden Gulch on this route. As a result, we chose the wagon route with expert guidance for safety and speed. Our route worked out well for my group. Our team had no problems on our way to the California Gold Rush.

    We learned that during the journey to the Gold Rush it is important to have the correct supplies to survive and make it to the Golden Gulch. My advice on going to the California Gold Rush is to pack lots of food and water and find a pretty good sturdy wagon for the trip. In addition, having expert guides helped a bunch when able to find them for the trip. From my view, these are good things to consider when planning your journey to Golden Gulch. This certainly helped us avoid being like the Golden Valley team who took several journeys to get to Golden Gulch

    Now that we have made it all the way to Golden Gulch, I sure hope we find a lot of gold and stay safe!

    -Kash

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    1. nice job kash :)

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    2. Excellently done, Kash! You've told so many aspects of traveling to California during the gold rush that any reader would learn a lot from your post. Great work!

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  18. We are in the process of getting to the San Francisco Bay and we are having bad trip. We have gone around Cape Horn and we are coming upon huge waves. Our boat was almost toppled over and we were close to hitting a big rock.
    I have heard that some people have had the bottom of their ship fall off. The people just float away. Some people get stuck in Panama trying to get passage to california. They drink from puddles and die
    from cholera. My friend almost got killed in Panama himself.
    It seems like we will never get there. We might try to get passage in Panama if we keep getting bad weather. I want to be in California so badly I could jump off the ship that I am riding on and swim to California.

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    1. You've certainly told of some of the challenges of traveling by ship to California, Eli. I like your final sentence.

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  19. As a miner in Golden Gulch, I had a smooth time riding on the Golden Princess. However, I’ve heard good old stories that weren't so good after all. I heard from my best friend Kain from Boston that a mining team got stuck in Panama, and another one drowned at sea because the bottom of their boat fell off. Someone also said that their team member got eaten by a bear but that ain’t so realistic since there ain’t no bears in the middle of the prairie. Then there is that one group whose team member done drank out of one stinky puddle wa’l his friend was hunting buffalo so he got cholera. Poor, poor Billy. The overland struggles were hard as well. One group decided to bring their own wagon but that was a big woopsy of a daisy because they didn't know what type of wagon to bring or how many people could fit inside before the wagon breaks. All because of that misinformation, their wagon broke!

    My journey around Cape Horn was a beauty. There were no storms. There were no bottoms of boats falling off or sails ripped in the wind. While I was on the ship, I met some new friends with my mining group. We sang songs about the valley, and told stories wa’l we ate the delicious mystery food that the chef cooked for dinner every night.It was a ton of fun and excitement, until we got to… Cape Horn! Everyone panicked as loud as they could but when the moment of arriving at bad ol’ Cape Horn came. There wasn't no storm there. Everything was good. There were no problems and everyone went back to normal routine of waking up, having breakfast. Telling stories, having lunch. Wash off, tell more stories, eat dinner, and go to sleep.

    In the end traveling to California was not as hard as getting cholera or the bottom of my boat falling off, but it was still good at least. I am more excited to get to Golden Gulch than a cow being fed after three months of starvation. That was my good ol time of getting to Golden Gulch.

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    1. Your voice is GREAT, Etai! That makes this entertaining to read, and you've covered many details of the travel to California. Nicely done!

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  20. There were dangers and challenges when my team was trying to get to the gold fields of Golden Gulch. There were some problems along the journey to Golden Gulch. First, my team used a wagon and went through the prairie. We left at the wrong time and there wasn’t food for the oxen; the oxen died of thirst and hunger so we were stuck. The second time my team tried to get to Golden Gulch, we took the Golden Princess around Cape Horn. We made it to the gold fields. A sickness that somebody could get on a ship is scurvy. One thing that happened to other gold miners was that a team tried to go through Panama. They needed to wait for a ship to pick them up. A different team got stuck on the prairie like my team did; one person from that team drank from a puddle and got sick. They didn’t know the water was dirty and had cholera in it. They had to try again.

    There were difficult choices my team had to make along the journey to Golden Gulch. Some choices that my team and I had to make are that after our first time trying to get to Golden Gulch, we needed to decide to go through Dead Man’s Cut- Off, through Panama, or Cape Horn. We chose to go through Cape Horn. The reason why my team chose this route was because Dead Man’s Cut- Off didn’t sound that good if a traveler went through it. It didn’t sound that good because the Dead Man part sounds like people got killed there. Panama had a lot of diseases because a miner was going through the jungle. A couple diseases that a miner could get are malaria or yellow fever. Another team went around Cape Horn on their first try. My team thought that if we took this route, we would get to Golden Gulch faster.

    There are many ways that I heard one could use to get to Golden Gulch; to me around Cape Horn is the best. A piece of advice that I want to give to the gold miners that were trying to get to Golden Gulch, I’d say that around Cape Horn is the easiest route. I think this because the ship left at the right time so there weren’t so many bad events that could happen. One thing that was bad on the ship was that anybody on there could get scurvy. When somebody gets scurvy, one can grab them and the person’s skin will go through the cracks between his or her hands. Somebody can get scurvy by not having vitamin C. It was hard and challenging on the journey to Golden Gulch but I am glad I got here.

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    1. Your writing is well-structured, Jinjoo. You have discussed many team's adventures and you show tell good information about the trip to California.

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  21. To get to California as a miner, there are many ways, but most are very dangerous. One group of miners went through the Isthmus of Panama. In Panama there are some diseases such as Yellow Fever and Malaria. A couple groups that I know of went around Cape Horn which is dangerous too. One team almost got scurvy because they didn’t eat enough vitamin C. Another group’s boat crashed, and when they tried again, the bottom of their boat fell off. One team made it around quite smoothly.

    Other teams tried wagons. One group went too early and their oxen died because there was no grass left. One person in my friends mining team got Cholera. Another team’s wagons fell apart because they weren’t made good enough! As you can see all options are unpredictable dangers, but I was lucky and I made it by wagon very smoothly and found some gold.

    I think that one should be cautious of what they pack, what method of transportation they use, and what decisions they make. I wouldn’t like to get any diseases so I was careful and didn’t get any.I also choose to go by wagon and I made to California.

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    1. Good organization makes this piece of information easy to follow and understand, Sofia. You have good coverage of some of the main challenges in getting to California during the gold rush era.

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  22. My team made it to Golden Gulch on are first try but most of the teams had to take multiple chances. My team went through on a boat to Panama. Then my team traveled through the Isthmus of Panama and got a ship San Francisco. While other teams were at Golden Gulch or struggling on their journey. The journeys that some people were dreadful and hard but others sounded easy but were hard.


    On some of the travelers told me about getting colora, malaria, scurvy, and yellow fever. But back then we did not know not to drink out of puddles on the ground because someone can contract malaria. We also did not know to bring vitamin C on long trips like going around Cape Porn to block scurvy . Us travelers did not have bug spray to block yellow fever. We sometimes got food that was not processed properly which sadly caused colora. But I was lucky I got none of the diseases. Unlike other teams who got malaria,colora,the bottoms falling of the boats, getting stranded in Panama or dead mans cut off. That's not even half of the problems or risks on the way to the goldfields or the diggin’. No one can tell all of the ways to travel to the goldfields.


    My team was lucky we made it to the goldfields on our first try.we got twenty-five more gold nuggets. So we basically only had to pay five gold nuggets. M group was lucky because actually got picked up unlike most miners heading to the goldfields.


    This is what happens in the Gold Rush times. It was hash back then in Gold Rush days.

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  23. The trips to the California gold fields were very dangerous. Some people made it to the gold fields successfully, but some did not. To get to the gold fields, people had many problems and challenges. Many bad diseases and events happened including scurvy, cholera, boat damage, and leaving at the wrong time. When miners were traveling by boat, the bottom of the boat could fall off causing the boat to sink. The ships could also run into some rocks that could cause water to come in and sink the boat. The diseases could be really bad. Scurvy and cholera could both kill someone and there was no medicine to treat the people who got those diseases. Scurvy happens because of the lack of vitamin C. Cholera happens when someone drinks out of dirty water and gets sick. The miners who drank out of the puddles didn’t know that cholera even existed.

    When my team of miners were trying to get to the Gold Fields of Golden Gulch, we took the Golden Princess which was a boat. My team made it successfully to Golden Gulch on the first try. We got to stake first claim because our team did not have any problems. I saw that it was hard to get to Golden Gulch for some teams. One team of miners got to Golden Gulch in three tries. Other miners had different problems. One team went through Deadman’s Cutoff and got stuck there. Deadman’s Cutoff was a shortcut. As Patty Reed says, “don’t take no shortcuts.” One team was more successful than my team because they got to Golden Gulch successfully but also used transportation that didn’t cost as much as the transportation that my team of miners used.

    To be successful to get to the gold fields of Golden Gulch, people need to try to use one route that doesn’t cost that much. Miners also have to use a route that they know will work or a route that they are confident with that will work. Most teams weren’t successful on their first try because they chose a weak route. There were also things that stopped miners from getting to the Gold Fields of Golden Gulch. The diseases and the weather stopped the miners from getting there. Some teams were successful though. When people got to California they would usually walk for a little while and then by walking they would get used to Golden Gulch. Then they would stake their claim. Miners’ claims would usually be close to the water because that is where they would go gold panning. When miners had a chance, they would usually go panning for gold.

    Some miners were successful, some were not. In the end, the miners usually got to the gold fields of Golden Gulch. There were many routes that the miners could use. There were deadly ones, but there were also routes that were perfectly fine. Miners tried to use the one route that was best for them. Many events could happen over the course of the journey to the gold fields of Golden Gulch. The trip was a risky trip, but it was worth it for the miners because they wanted to get wealthy and rich. I think I would strike it rich because there was a lot of gold in the Gold Fields of Golden Gulch. Everybody had a chance to strike it rich.

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    1. The one above is mine.

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    2. You have a lot of details to show your knowledge of the trip to California, Nari. I agree that the trip was risky for many miners. Hope they got rich to balance out the risk.

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    3. You described the things like diseases, and incorrect planning well. You also described that the outcome of a small mistake, could be very important.

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  24. Getting to California is a difficult, but doable journey. I myself, nearly died once. Others died on the way to California. Me and a couple of friends set out on wagon heading towards California. On the way I caught Cholera and nearly died. I don’t know how we managed to get back to the East Coast and snag some tickets for a boat to California. Nothing really happened and we had smooth sailing and got to California soon, but the monotony nearly killed us all.

    As soon as we reached California I started to hear stories about how dangerous the journey to California could actually be. Some poor group’s boat fell apart from the bottom. Another group’s wagon fell apart. Another team crashed on the Horn. I did not realize how dangerous this journey was. I, personally am happy to be alive. This journey is not for the faint of heart, thought it is one of my fondest memories. Hey look, gold!

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    1. I like that final phrase. It makes the reader wonder just how much gold you found.

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  25. I am a gold rush miner who just arrived safely at Golden Gulch, a mining camp in California. Before I get too busy mining for gold, I’d like to share the experience of my journey and offer some advice to future miners. Our team took two tries to make it to California in the gold rush. Our first try was the overland route of more than 2,000 miles, where more than 1,500 miles were mountains and deserts. The overland route takes about five months. We left in early summer in order to arrive before winter came. But one member got really sick, and we couldn’t continue. We had to give up our trip overland because of the delay. After he was well again, we traveled to Boston and caught a fare around Cape Horn aboard the Golden Princess. The ship was very crowded and our ship’s bottom almost rotted out! Luckily, our voyage around Cape Horn succeeded and we arrived in Golden Gulch.

    Other miners, unfortunately, weren’t as lucky. Some fellow miners’ oxen died due to leaving in the winter when there wasn’t enough grass to eat in Dead Man’s Cutoff. Ships sailing around Cape Horn crashed into cliffs and ship bottoms fell out. Some miners got malaria in Panama waiting for a ship to pick them up. They had to wait for a ship to pick them up because some sailors didn’t want to go back to Panama to pick them up. The sailors wanted to join the gold rush quicker. One team had to try three times in order to complete their journey. In general, they had to take three tries because they hadn’t made very good choices.

    I have several tips for miners who will follow, based on my experiences. People should follow this advice or they could die. If going on the overland route, miners must leave in the early summer or late spring in order to arrive in California before a harsh winter and have plenty of fresh green grass in the prairie for the oxen to eat. Miners also need to travel with people who are experienced guides and who will provide provisions. That is a good idea because some miners had been totally inexperienced with traveling and their own wagons and supplies weren’t strong enough. Whichever route to take, a miner must make good choices and be well prepared for hardships and challenges! If miners follow my advice, they will have a much smoother and safer travel than without my advice.



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    1. The tone of your writing sounds as if you are a well-experienced traveler to the gold fields. You have good advice which is based on the details you provided. Great writing, Amy!

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  26. Hi, I just experienced the hardest journey of my life! It was extremely difficult because on our first attempt to get to Golden Gulch we took a wagon passage named Dead Man’s Cut off. We thought it did not mean what it said, turns out it did. Our oxen all died, we had no leader, and we were searching for water. A couple of days later we found water and returned to Boston. On our second attempt we did make it because of a few reasons. First my friend told us not to drink from the puddles because we might get really sick. We also left at the right time of year, which is in the middle of Spring, so our oxen had plenty of grass and vegetation to eat, and we didn’t get snowed in. I think that happened to the Donner party. Lastly I was smart and I brought a pulley system to pull the wagons up the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

    I heard some rumors that I will share with you. One rumor is about someone who went on a boat and they crashed into a big rock while going through Cape Horn. Something else I heard was when a mining company went on a boat and the bottom of the boat fell off; that happened twice before they got to Golden Gulch. Then there was another mining team that went through the Ithsemist of Panama and they got stuck because there were not any boats coming around the Cape Horn to get them to Golden Gulch. Although there were teams that had a lot of trouble, there was a mining company that made a clean run from Boston to California without any challenges.

    There’s been talk about mining teams that crossed The United States using a wagon. Some planned on leaving early in Spring but that backfired because their oxen had nothing to eat because everything was frozen. Some mining teams left too late in the season so by the time they got to the Plains the grass was dead so their oxen didn’t have anything to eat. Also when leaving later in the season miners would get trapped at the Sierra Nevada mountain range because of the early snow. I also heard one team didn’t make it because one person drank from a dirty puddle and soon after he got sick. Again one gold mining team did not have any troubles or challenges to face and got to Golden Gulch.

    Here are some tips that I would give miners if I was still back East. First, I would bring fresh water because that way you don’t have to drink from the puddle and risk getting sick. Second, I would have a guide. Without a guide you might get lost. Also I would not bring your own wagon because it might fall apart if not built correctly and I would bring a pulley to help get the wagons up the Sierra Nevada’s. Lastly, I would buy a pick and a shovel in Boston because it is less expensive!

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    1. Lots of good details and well organized thoughts make this easy and fun to read, Cassius! Good work!

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  27. My Miner Blog
    I am a miner and my team of miners is searching for some gold. We took the fastest route to California, going through the Isthmus of Panama. On our journey to the gold fields we could have experienced many hardships such as scurvy or cholera. Someone could get scurvy from lack of vitamin C or cholera from drinking out of dirty puddles.
    All of us were vulnerable to these diseases or worse, yellow fever and malaria. Yellow fever is when an infection is spread by a certain mosquito and malaria is basically caused by a parasite of an infected mosquito. Thankfully we got to Golden Gulch safely and planted down our claim. Teams similar to ours made it to Golden Gulch safley. Other teams were not as lucky to get to Golden Gulch unharmed.

    Life as a gold miner can be tough during the 1840s. Some people are doing some hydraulic mining which is ruining our good ol’ sanctuary. After hearing about James Marshall finding gold, people were heading to California from across the whole world. Traveling can be dangerous and unexpected things could happen anytime. I don’t know if it was just a wave of luck or something but Golden Gulch was in my sight soon after we boarded that Panama ship.

    Once you’re able to look for gold be aware and check your surroundings, if you find gold keep it safe. Making smart decisions with your money can be a big help. Also, there are less dangerous ways to look for gold than in the mines: pan for some gold or go sifting

    As for traveling to the gold fields, one never knows when danger is lurking ahead. In the end our journey to California was difficult and rough. Although, doing it for for gold makes the whole journey worth it. In the end our travels went pretty well and we are standing on Golden Gulch ready to dig for some gold! Grab the pick and shovel and get ready to start digging San Francisco's gold fields!

    - Amiyah

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    1. I agree with your statement that traveling to California was difficult and rough. What do you think was the most difficult part?

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  28. I am a miner who made it to the gold fields of California. It was not easy. One of the first, tough choices my team and I had to make was how to get to California. We considered going around Cape Horn, but we heard stories about a boat that was sailing around the Horn. It was a stormy night and the captain could not keep control of the boat. The boat drifted closer to the rocks, then there was a loud bang, and the next thing they knew they were swimming with the penguins. We thought, maybe that was just bad luck, but then we heard another story about this group’s second attempt going around Cape Horn. This time, the boat creaked going through the dangerous waters, and the team noticed the bottom of the boat was rotting away. Then, the bottom of the boat fell off, and the boat sank. After the boat sank they went swimming with the penguins again. So, we chose not to go around Cape Horn.

    We considered going overland on wagons, but we heard stories about the dangerous obstacles out on the prairie. One team of wagons left too early in the year. There was no grass for the oxen to eat. The oxen were starving, and they dropped dead. The group was stuck on the prairie surrounded by dead oxen slowly rotting away. We heard about another group that went through Dead Man’s Cutoff, a cutoff that was dangerous but quick. There was no water and the oxen broke loose and ran away, off into the distance. The people were scavenging for water and clung to hope for life.

    The other choice was the Panama route. Only one other group we had heard of took the Panama route. They were successful. They walked through the Isthmus of Panama jungle and made it safely to the other side of Panama. Luckily they didn’t have to wait long once they got there. A ship coming from Cape Horn met up with them, they got on board and made it to the diggins’ no problem. So we thought maybe we should take the Panama route because it doesn’t sound that bad. So that is what we did. We made it to the jungle of Panama. The jungle looked scary. It looked scary because of all the spiders and wild animals. We made it to the west side of Panama. We all felt like winners, but a ship would not pick us up because they were so full. We waited there for a little over a month until a ship finally had room for us and we made it to the diggins’.

    Like I said and explained, gettin’ to the diggins’ ain’t easy. To get to the diggins’ you gotta have bravery, you gotta be stalwart, and you have to be courageous. When I get to the gold fields I want to get so rich that I own Hangtown. That’s my story as a miner.


    By Edan

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    1. Great details and an organized delivery make this a piece of writing that can truly teach readers about the journey to the California gold fields! Well done, Edan!

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  29. I am a miner with my mining friends and it took us two tries to get to the gold feilds.We originally got stuck in Dead Man’s Cutoff. We got there by wagon train and made it the second time, second time's the charm! Another team had to try three times to get to Golden Gulch. The trip was tricky, adventurous, and dangerous. I am writing from California, and I just got off my wagon and I am really stiff and tired from the long journey across the great plains.

    I have some tips for future gold miners on how to get to the gold fields without failure, hopefully. One tips is that they should pay attention to the time of year and leave around the middle of spring so that there will be grass for the oxen and the travelers won’t get snowed in when they are are in the mountains. It is also common to get cholera which is a really bad disease. If the travelers take a boat they need to make sure that the boat builder knows what he is doing and not selling tickets to get on a boat with a rotting hull. If the travelers boat bottom falls apart around Cape Horn, they would fall into the freezing waters. If at all possible get a ride on a side wheeler because these new boats haven’t had a chance to rot. Lastly, make sure the travelers have the right tools, most importantly would be ropes and pulleys to help pull the wagon over steep hills.

    I think that the travelers reading this should remember that it is the way the travelers get there and not how fast the travelers get there. My team learned that the hard way by taking the supposedly fastest route and got stuck in the middle of a prairie. Then we took a little longer route and got there without any of our cattle dying. The journey is all about making the right decisions and bring all the tools that are necessary to make the trip successful.

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    1. Well done, Wesley. You have great advice for travelers who attempt to reach California during the gold rush era. Readers can certainly learn from your writing!

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  30. Hi, I am a miner from New York and here is a little story about how I got to the goldfields with my mining team, the Golden Valley. My team and I first tried going around the Cape Horn on the Golden Princess; it was smooth sailing until we were about to cross to the Pacific Ocean. The waves were wild; our boat was rocking left, right, front, and back. Our captain tried as hard as he could, but unfortunately our boat crashed into the rocks. We were stranded in the freezing cold waters of the southern sea, floating on the remains of our boat. We got to shore and caught a ship back to the east coast.

    When my team got back to the east coast, we were disappointed but not discouraged. We knew that somehow we would get to California. My team contemplated our options and decided we would sail around the Cape Horn again. Hopefully this time we would be successful. This time around we had a good captain, but a bad boat. Our boat stopped in Brazil to get more fuel and supplies. We got everything we needed, but when we got back our boat was halfway under water because the bottom of our boat had rotted off. Luckily we caught another boat back to the east coast and carried on trying to find a way to get to the diggin’s.

    Golden Valley was determined to get to California, but didn’t know how. We decided to go overland to the goldfields. We had no guides and only a borrowed wagon. As my team was crossing the Sierras, our wagon started to fall apart; luckily I fixed it and we were safe. Finally we were in California. Five weeks later I got a letter from my dear friend Nassiali saying she had gotten to the goldfields on the first try around the horn and was mining in Hangtown.

    My advice to anyone who decides to come to California to mine gold is to try to again even if you fail. Don’t drink from muddy puddles, and have good transportation, wagon or ship,.

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    1. Your advice is strong and is based on the journeys of all who tried to get to California! Good stories about your journey here, Elanor!

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