Sunday, February 13, 2011

Ramblings, Comparison

I read with great interest a blog by Gypsy-GMAS: Life on the Road. Now all I have to do is try not to be too boring.

In the mid 1800's with the discovery of gold in California (1848) and the Homestead Act (1862) many enterprising folks left the safe haven of the east to head 2000 miles to the west and into the unknown. A covered wagon pulled by oxen or horse was the chosen method to cross the country. They sold their homes and most of their possessions and stuck out in a small wagon that was often made from the same wagon they took to church, with very few reminders of their former history. Most of these travelers walked all the way to their destination.

While carrying all of the families possessions (those they could take) these wagons were light, durable, metal reinforced and provided some privacy with the covered portion that tied front and back. They were light enough to be drawn by two oxen or a couple of draft horses. Supplies for the trip took precedence over everything. Easing the burden on the animals they packed a Dutch Oven, three-legged skillet and coffee pot. Food had to be dried, smoked, canned or preserved in order to make the long trip. Bedding and a minimal amount of clothing would be taken. Firearms for personal protection and hunting. First aid kits with all the old liniments, bandages were also taken along. Candle molds, lanterns, sewing supplies were included. China, furniture and jewelry were considered unnecessary.

While the wife and I will be striking out in a much smaller version of many of the motor homes and trailers that are currently available, we can't help but wonder what is was like for ancestors who crossed America less than 200 years ago. We won't take many clothes or personal possessions but we will have a stove, propane, batteries, lights, a comfortable bed, a heater, an air conditioner, a refrigerator, and lots of stuff to cook with and fresh food to eat.

We will travel 200 miles a day compared to walking miles a day and taking 4 - 6 months. Imagine what it must have been like to set up camp for the night after walking that far and most likely sometime after sunset. Looking for firewood and getting the fire going so you could cook dinner. Getting up before sunrise, eating and putting everything away so you can walk another 15 miles, getting closer to your destination.

And then you have to wonder what the future will hold. How will our kids, grandkids travel about the country forty or sixty years from now. I'll be looking into the next wave of RV later today as we visit the Seattle RV show.
So.....more to come.
Be careful out there......

No comments:

Post a Comment