Monday, February 13, 2012

Where Pioneers Walked

During this month when we think of some of the great heroes of our country, I also remember those pioneers who settled the West.  One of my most memorable moment when I was on vacation was a visit to the Oregon Trail near Baker City, Oregon. The Interpretive Center was filled with dioramas of life on the trail, there was a live show with songs of the era, and a fiddlers music exhibition.

Original and rebuilt wagons were on display on the grounds. Looking down into the valley twin ruts from the wagon trains wove through the countryside. Then following the highway a bit, my brother-in-law took a turn off, and with just a short walk I was able to walk down those ruts made so many years ago. A  hawk circled overhead, the raspy sound of grasshoppers, a crow calling and a bee weaving its way among the sagebrush blossoms seemed to intensify the silence.  I was transported back to that era long ago.  Closing my eyes I could almost hear the wagon wheels rumbling , the cattle lowing, and children running and playing as the train moved along.

They walked for 2,000, women, and children by the tens of thousands. These pioneers followed the Oregon and California Trails to find new lives in the West. Mothers, fathers, and children walked with their wagons across endless prairies, scorched deserts, craggy summits, and swollen rivers. Days were hot and nights were bitter cold. Often, they fought starvation, and for five months straight they marched as far as twenty miles a day.

Despite the distance and perils, over 300,000 departed from Missouri. Between 1810 and 1860, approximately 60,000 of those pioneers came to Oregon, mainly to find farmland.  But there was a terrible cost.     
Oregon-California-Mormon Trail Deaths
CauseEstimated deaths
Indian attack3,000-4,500
Run overs200–500

These hearty folk knew the dangers, but were willing to make the sacrifice for a better life.  They knew that it would require hard work even death. They did not subscribe to today's Entitlement Mentality. How many of us would undertake such a journey?  If today's society would emulate just their attitude, it would be a better world.  
Acting Balanced

1. Are you planning anything for Valentine's Day?
As a matter of fact I am scheduled for a mammogram.
2. What song automatically popped into your head when you saw this question?
Love is a many Splendored Thing.
3. What did you have for breakfast today?
I skipped breakfast because I was going to a birthday party after church and there would be a lot of food.
4. Where do you keep your keys?
In my purse
5. Who was your favorite teacher from when you were in school? 
I pretty much liked them all, but my Civic's teacher, Mr Graham, when I was a Junior in High School was probably the coolest. He made the study of government and our responsibilities seem important


  1. What an interesting place to visit! And I think at that time many people in this country were hard-working, courageous folk who endured hardship to get where they wanted. Definitely a dying breed in this country.

  2. I would love to visit that place! I love to read books on people crossing the country looking for land to live and farm. Very nice. Hope you have a nice day!

  3. Congrats - you have been awarded...
    Check it out!

  4. That would be such a great place to visit! So interesting! I didn't realize Meet Me on Monday had moved to another site...will have to go check it out. Have a great week! Karen

  5. Visiting you is always like a history lesson and I so enjoy it!

  6. Your music is Perfect!!! It's freezing her in TX!!

    Coming to you from MMOM and am following you via GFC and hope you'll do the same.

    Have a great day!

  7. Great little history lesson here. I can't iamgine all that they went through. xo Diana

  8. That is very interesting! I am not sure in this day in time (I know I would not) if I would walk 20 miles a day for a better life. But put in that situation, who knows. That would be very hard. Visiting from Meet Me On Monday! Thank You for sharing!

  9. I love this historical stuff and yes... many of us take for granted cars, trains and planes. It is amazing, when you think about it, that any of them survived!

  10. The historical trail was very interesting. Also, congrats on taking care of your health so well - I am amazed by the number of people who do not. Visiting from STT.

  11. Visiting this post again from Stumble Tuesday! Very interesting post! Stumbled!

  12. I admire the pioneers for the strength and commitment. Times were tough and I don't think there are many of us these days who would be as successful as they were then.

    I found you on Stumble Tumble Tuesday.

    Our Banana Moments

  13. I wish just for one day I could live back then!

    Happy Valentine's Day. sandie♥

  14. what a place to visit. I can almost imagine myself hearing the sounds that carried along the dusty trail based on your description. It seems to me we do so much faster than those of years gone-by, and that we have alluded ourselves to think it's better. but really - it's just faster and thus sometimes easier.
    but more often than not - we don't do it "right."