Daniel Smith embarked upon the trail within the Apple II computer game, under the guidance of fifth grader Jordan Welch of Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1992.

August 12, 1843
Day 1

Today we set off on our two-thousand-mile journey to the fertile Willamette Valley at the Oregon Trail’s terminus. Our Lord Jordan guides my hand along this venture, and I trust He will keep us safe until we reach salvation. I take with me my family members; my wife Emily, and my children Mary, Jeb, and Abby. Although they are good Christian names, the Lord has decided to change them. My wife apparently will now be called Pizza. And my children are now named, Butt, Shredder, and KenGriffeyJr. Despite my misgivings my patient wife reassures me that the Lord doth move in mysterious ways. He also went ahead and renamed me DorkNutZ, but I care not if it gets us to Providence.

August 13, 1843
Day 2

Oddly enough, despite my long experience as a farmer, the Lord has changed my occupation to that of a banker. Not sure why, I know nothing of banking, yet this allowed our wagon party to attain an extra sixty dollars in which He intended to “buy more bullets and stuff.” Perhaps I’ll regain my farming knowledge once we homestead, perhaps not, but who am I to question Jordan?

August 14, 1843
Day 3

We have been on the trail for just a few days, and yet the Lord has opted to have us stop and hunt even though we have over seven hundred pounds of food on the wagon. Guiding my aim with His hand, I shot and killed nine buffalo each weighing roughly two thousand pounds. All told, that is 18,000 pounds of meat. I am able to carry a hundred of that back to the wagon. The Lord knows this and yet He had me just go plumb crazy slaughtering buffaloes. Their carcasses litter the prairie, festering in the noon sun. I just know this will harm our legacy when history is recounted.

September 2, 1843
Day 24

My children and Pizza are ill. Jordan has set us on a grueling pace, and He does not stop to allow them rest. “Lord, can we please rest?” I pray. Just click the big button on the side there that says REST.

September 15, 1843
Day 37

Near dusk we approached the Snake River. Despite a depth of some twenty feet, the Lord forsook all reason, instructing us to ford it and march our oxen into the roaring waters. I pleaded, “Are Thou serious? Tell me you are serious, Jordan, because our wagon bed stands five feet. We will most assuredly drown.” My pleas were ignored. He clicketh FORD, and now Shredder and KenGriffeyJr have perished into the Snake.

I know our God has a plan, but I do not understand when all the information about a particular river is known ahead of time, why we would still… and now I’m hunting again. My children have been swept down the Snake River, yet here I stand in a clearing, spraying bullets 360 degrees like an unmanned fire hose. Squirrels and deer now join the dozens of buffalo as carrion for the crows. This here Oregon Trail is a cursed hell.

December 18, 1843
Day 82

The Lord has finally returned to guide me after a lengthy absence in which He instead oversaw the journey of an Italian plumber by the name of Mario. Does Jordan not know that when He leaves us, I must sit and wait for Him to return, frozen in time, susceptible to the elements?

Last night, Butt died of hypothermia. Oh cursed God, why when I cried to you for help, cradling my child, did you swap with a Sioux trader eight boxes of clothing for five bullets? We had plenty of bullets! That’s all we do have. And yet you parted with the last winter coat for my dearest Butt. At least now she’ll join her mother who last week succumbed to dysentary, of which she gave no fuss.

Oh Jordan, what have I done, as your servant, to deserve such neglect and cruelty? All our faith has been for naught. I am lost. I am alone. And here come some more buffalo. Lock and load.