Monday, March 25, 2019

How Did They Do It?

I'm very blessed to have the kind of job that allows me to work from anywhere. One of my dear friends has taken a job in St.George, Utah and I'm visiting her this week. What a beautiful place! Different in so many ways from my beloved Georgia, I'm loving the amazing views.

Two other friends joined us (along with one of their sons) and we've had a wonderful reunion. Here's a picture I took. From left to right - Carol, Kate, Alison, and Jay.

Yesterday, we took a trip to Snow Canyon for a short hike and some photo ops. As we stopped to look at God's beauty around us, we wondered how the pioneers who went west in covered wagons managed to get across this rough terrain. I wondered if they were as taken with the lovely mountains and desert expanse below them as we were. Then I thought that possibly they couldn't see the beauty for the hardships it would cause for them.

Research over the years has told me that crossing rivers were likely the most dangerous part of the trip west. When rivers were swollen with snow melt or when they were flowing quickly, wagons were most vulnerable to turn over. Loss of life of people and animals was common. Supplies were lost. Losing the precious supplies they'd brought or managed to buy along the way could be catastrophic. Obviously, losing parents, children or friends was an unbearable consequence of taking this amazing risk for a different life.
The terrain is rutted and rugged. The mountains are jagged and steep. A typical wagon train only traveled between ten and twenty miles per day. Adding obstacles like this could slow them even further. They followed hunting trails where they existed and some of them used guides. Many had to walk through the rutted trails hunting for smoother places for the wagons to follow.

The mountains couldn't be avoided. They'd go around where they could, but it wasn't possible to go around all of them. They were far to vast for that. Scouts would search for spaces and holes in the rocks that were large enough for the animals and wagons to get through. Some of my research includes tales of wagons being dismantled on one side and rebuilt when they got to the other side. The idea seems a little far-fetched and impractical, but I did see it in more than one account.

One thing is certain... The people who settled the west were determined, hearty, and amazing. Their vision for what they wanted from life was clear and they were willing to sacrifice to get it. What inspiration for any of us as we face difficulties and obstacles in life!


Annie's latest release is Book Eight in the Colorado Matchmaker Series. You can find Delilah and Ethan on Amazon.


Annie Boone writes sweet western historical romance with a happy ending guaranteed in every single story. Inspiration comes in many forms and Annie finds more than one way to make her stories entertain and inspire.

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