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 Pioneers
When we were preparing to go full-time, family and friends were totally surprised (shocked) that we would want to pull up stakes and wander around the United States all by ourselves. They wondered when we would be "home" again and how they would get ahold of us. Of course we told them about our mail service and about our voice mail number that they could leave messages on. It is even easier for them to get ahold of us now since we have a cell phone and email. We can fly to meet family or we can jump in the car or motorhome and in just a few days we can be all the way across the country if we need to. We don't feel that we are far away from family no matter where we happen to be. 

Right now we are at the Three Island State Park in Glenns Ferry, Idaho, volunteering in their new interpretive center. The center is full of interesting information on those who traveled the 2000 miles of the Oregon trail in the mid 1800's. What gutsy people they were. When these pioneers told family and friends what they were going to do, do you think the family and friends wondered when they would meet again? Of course they did, but the answer was that they probably would never see each other again. Not only would they never see each other again, but they wouldn't hear their voice or see their handwriting again either. Remember that that was back in the days before the U.S. Postal service and telephones. There were no jets to transport them home for a visit. The only way back home was to retrace their 5-6 month trip on the Oregon trail or take a boat which was very costly. The railroad didn't go completely across the country yet. 

People told us that we were adventuresome when we announced our plans to full-time. I don't think so considering all that we have. We have grocery stores everywhere, good maps, fuel and water wherever we go. We have a comfortable home complete with air conditioners and furnaces. We also have TV, radio, and CDs for news and entertainment, refrigerator, stove and oven for food preparation. We have a shower and bathroom facilities, lots of water in our holding tank. There isn't anything that we really lack.

Those hearty pioneers had to subsist on bacon, beans and bread for the long journey, sleep on the ground under the wagons or in a tent, worry about where to find the next water or grass for their animals and instead of good maps they only had wagon tracks to follow and only a vague idea of the area they were heading into at the end of the trail. All they had was a dream that the grass would be greener in the new place called Oregon. 

Once they sold their homes back east and started on the trail, they were committed to the trail. They had all they owned with them and half way to Oregon, when the oxen were so weak from the lack of food and water, the pioneers had to throw their valuables out along side the trail to lighten the load for the poor animals. 

Compare that to us. Yes, we made a commitment to this lifestyle but it is easy to undo. We are not the adventuresome ones; our life is easy compared to the Pioneers of the Oregon trail. We admire their strength and fortitude and thank them for paving the way. 


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