“The foremost quality of our pioneers was faith, with faith in God, they did what every pioneer does… they stepped forward into the unknown.” Dallin H. Oaks
“The descendants of these pioneers can partially settle the account by being true to the cause for which their ancestors suffered so much to be part of.” James E. Faust
The Bee Gee’s song “Island in the Stream” blares from the radio of our Honda CR-V as we fly across miles and miles of barren flat fields surrounded by sage brush, rocks, and weeds. There is no sign of habitation for as far as the eye can see.
As I sit here in the comfort of my car, I think of my ancestors, who slowly traipsed across the many states in covered wagons looking for new lands to settle.
Here I’m bored with the flat scenery, but saved by playing the music in the comfort of my car versus sitting on the hard wooden bench seats of the wagons. The pioneers did not have the ability to play music as they traveled along, unless someone played a harmonica or fiddle as they bumped along the dusty roads. How spoiled we are.
This part of the world, to our pioneers, must have looked bleak. I admire their fortitude for continuing through this unknown territory to who knows what they would find. I even wonder if the desire to seek new came from their family, who left their home country for a new land?
What would it have been like to land in a new world in the late 1700’s from Germany, not even being able to speak our language? Then to travel across such desolate areas…
How does one leave the comfort and familiarity of our home to forge ahead into a new, unknown territory… especially without the vibrant music of the Bee Gee’s to encourage us along.
Later in the day, the gray clouds rolled in plastering themselves on the road directly in front of us. Then I thought of Christopher Columbus’ theory that the world was flat. Boy, it sure looked that way. It appeared as if the end of the road was a spring-board into outer space; or are we a bunch of lemmings following one another right off the cliff?
The pioneers forged ahead without GPS systems, and without detailed maps. Heck, there weren’t even any street signs to tell our ancestors whether they were going the wrong direction or not. To add to the dilemma when they arrived at their destination, they had to worry about growing their own food as they couldn’t run to the grocery store to pick up a few things. Heck, they didn’t even have a McDonald’s or a Pizza Hut, so they could stop to bring home a fast dinner before they settled in for the night.
I’m delighted that my ancestors did find their way to the NW as they had one heck of a long road to hoe with desolate lands and weather to deal with in route. I wonder if I would have been willing to make such a long trip with friends and family in tow? But what an awesome adventure!