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Seventeen-year-old Moses Schallenberger wanted to go to California. In 1844, he joined a wagon train to do just that. There was only one problem: Nobody had ever made it to California by wagon before. For a year, he and
50 others struggled through high mountain passes and across wide rushing rivers, enduring dangerous encounters with Indians and buffalo, inclement weather, difficult terrain, near-starvation and disaster.Ultimately, Moses and his friends succeededbecoming the first pioneers to cross the Sierra Nevadas by wagon. Today, the trail they blazed is a major route into California.