At the time of this writing, I am riding in the comfort of an air conditioned minivan, traveling through the deserts of Arizona and California along I-10. I began to think about 19th century settlers crossing these plains in their covered wagons. Did they cross through this region on their way to Los Angeles, or would they have taken a milder northern route? If they did cross through the desert, where did they get water? Would a single family travel alone with any hope of success?
I have so many questions about the daily life of a settler in the 19th century -- I'm hoping someone can point me to a good published diary or other historical account.