Welcome to Awakenings

Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Are We There Yet?

Since history is recorded to be revisited year after year after year the same can be said of blog postings. Questions posed in an earlier year can still be reflected upon a year(s) later, especially in relation to travel in the 21st century where "on the trail" so to speak is much different. Whether traveling by car, bus, train, boat or plane, one question inevitably pops up from at least one of the passengers on the trip..."Are we there yet?" If a kid is involved (maybe even more than one), the question more than likely arises multiple times to the point a headache consumes the listener's entire brain allowing one thought to find its way out, "SCREAM!"

Step back in time...

Do you suppose the children of the early pioneers questioned along the way "Are we there yet?" Every five minutes a repeat of the refrain, "Are we there yet?" An ever nagging, whiny "Are we there yet?",  "Are we there yet?", "Are we there yet?"

Needless to say, the mode of "trail" travel was not by air conditioned automobile, camper or RV. Instead, it was by crude wagon, horseback or on foot. Everything you owned was crammed into one wagon. A grueling 2000-mile journey across western plains and mountainous trails would last five months, instead of a few hours! Conditions were harsh plagued with accidents, illness, raging river crossings, mud, dust, monotony, and often terror. In spite of unimaginable, unforeseen circumstances, they trekked onward ... onward toward a dream, hope of better times in a land to the west. Could you endure such a journey if all modes of travel today were nonexistent?

These Oregon Trail pioneers were lucky they weren't seriously injured or even killed when their wagon overturned. Yet they might say their hardships were well worth the price of freedom; and it is for that unique Western experience that preserving the Oregon Trail is vastly important to our national heritage. – True West Archives –

Read on...travel along the 'trail' doesn't get much better...

The shadow of fear loomed endlessly regarding the possibility of encountering native Indians who had been 'reported' as being savages. Can you imagine traveling into a territory where it was known for men to be killed and scalped while women were taken prisoner? That, of course, would indicate the women witnessed the brutal slaying of their husbands. While many of the women were eventually saved, it was reported they went insane and lived only a short time after being rescued from captivity. They had nothing left, their husbands were dead, more than likely the children too, wagons were burned and all possessions taken from them. They were stripped of everything in life they had ever known or owned.

Pathways of Pioneers: Massacre Rocks

Had it not been for the determination and perseverance of these early pioneers the west would not have been won. Winning, however, came at a high price for both the white man and the Native American Indians who, by the way, were not all savages. 

But, that is another story. . .

Now, back to our initial question: "Are we there yet?" I do fear had one asked that question he or she would not have been brave enough or in the condition to ask it again! What do you think?

Long dresses, trousers with jackets, hot sultry weather, &
tumbleweed were commonalities along the trail.
Hardy Pioneers
After taming the eastern seaboard, crossing the Western Frontier
proved to be just as treacherous as crossing the Atlantic.
This, however, did not impede the push westward
as hope, faith, and courage continued to prevail.

By crude wagon they traveled
With limited communications
Across the Mississippi
Westward to the Appalachians
File:Tiny Star.gifFile:Tiny Star.gifFile:Tiny Star.gif
Walking beside the wagons
Eased the bumpy trails
But not the loudly clanging
Utensils and pails
File:Tiny Star.gifFile:Tiny Star.gifFile:Tiny Star.gif 
Fetching water from a stream
Collecting dried buffalo chips
Shaking out dusty blankets
Were never regarded as quips
File:Tiny Star.gifFile:Tiny Star.gifFile:Tiny Star.gif
Days were long and grueling
Under the sweltering sun
Dusk welcomed time to rest
Once chores were finally done
File:Tiny Star.gifFile:Tiny Star.gifFile:Tiny Star.gif
Gathering around the campfire
With smiles and laughter perchance
Lessened the pains of their labors
As they enjoyed song and dance
File:Tiny Star.gifFile:Tiny Star.gifFile:Tiny Star.gif
With new land in sight
After months on the trail
Labors did not end
For bodies thin and frail
File:Tiny Star.gifFile:Tiny Star.gifFile:Tiny Star.gif
Shelters needed building
Fields hoed then plowed
Candles dipped for lighting
To unveil the shroud
File:Tiny Star.gifFile:Tiny Star.gifFile:Tiny Star.gif 
Without modern tools
Hands aching to the bone
Time for rejoicing
In a place to call home
 File:Tiny Star.gifFile:Tiny Star.gifFile:Tiny Star.gif
Sod shanties, crude cabins
Canvas stretched across dirt floors
Muslin on the ceilings
Kept grime from falling indoors
File:Tiny Star.gifFile:Tiny Star.gifFile:Tiny Star.gif
  Yet, in spite of it all
Smiles of joy would beam
It was a place called home

A part of their dream