If you read Christopher’s previous post, you would know that our family (Wyatt is not in our family, in case you are wondering) is currently taking a road trip out west to places like St. Louis, Council Bluffs, Walnut Grove, and Yellowstone National Park. As I write this on a table in our RV, moving along in St. Louis traffic, I was reminded of the olden days. Back then, there were no cars, airplanes, or speed boats. If you wanted to travel from one place to another, it would take a lot of effort and commitment to reach your destination. You could not easily go on vacation or visit friends or family.
If you are wondering why we are specifically heading west, we are trying to follow the path of Lewis and Clark when they went on their laborious trip to view the territory recently purchased by Thomas Jefferson (our president at the time) from the French. This transaction was the Louisiana Purchase.
I mentioned earlier that Lewis and Clark’s journey was laborious. As you might imagine, their trip was no easy task. Nobody knew what lay beyond the Mississippi River at that time. Many people thought that dinosaurs and dangerous volcanoes would be found everywhere.
What they brought along for the trip was, as you might imagine, nothing along the lines of what you and I would bring to a vacation. Guns, flour, dehydrated soup, and even a few cannons were smashed into a 55-foot long keelboat with 33 men. The keelboat in which they spent the majority of their time had a 2-foot wide edge that rose to the top of the sides of the boat, making it easier for the men to push along the boat with large sticks. In case you didn’t catch that, I’ll say it again: the men pushed the boat along the water, nonstop.
Especially when the tiny party came to the foot of the Rocky Mountains, nobody knew what lay ahead. Many thought that the mountains would be just as bigger, if not smaller, than the Appalachian Mountains. Of course, this theory was quickly demolished as they started crossing them.
So, the old times were not all bliss and happiness as we make them seem. I don’t mean this post to be a downer, but I think that we owe the people that lived back then a lot of credit for getting through what they did. Thank you, Ye Olden Peoples.