Saturday, June 20, 2009

Thinking about the pioneers

Whenever I go for a drive around here I think of the folks who were here when walking or horseback riding was the mode of travel. I jump into the truck and head for Las Vegas thinking nothing of it. This was four or five days travel in olden times. I came across this historical marker on my last trip. The distance from Las Vegas to Blue Diamond was one day; Blue Diamond to the top of the pass at Mountain Springs was another day. You traveled from place to place out here based on the availability of water. I can hardly imagine the hardships faced by those early travelers.

There is another marker that I saw (but managed NOT to photograph) that indicated the next part of the trail after leaving the mountain pass was to a place where if you dug down a bit you would gradually get some water accumulation. That was twenty-five miles (forty km) from the pass. Then twenty miles (thirty-two km) further on you came to another 'real' spring. What a harsh, demanding life! Ten hours of walking through rough country with lots of dry stream beds to get to a place where you might get water by digging for it.

Here's another marker that shows the trail from Colorado to the coast.

You couldn't leave Colorado in the winter so it would be HOT by the time you got to the desert. At least that would mean it was dry. Here if there is heavy rain in the mountains, there are flash floods that still kill people. Not to mention that the clay soil becomes mud with any tiny amount of moisture. You would really need a good reason to travel this land; but, of course, once you started it would be just as tough to return to where you started!

Take it easy, it's still dangerous out there!

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