Sunday, October 07, 2018

Happy Trails

Since we are planning a road trip, I thought you might enjoy some historical accounts of the Oregon Trail.

These tidbits come from a book called "Christians on the Oregon Trail" by Jerry Rushford.

The journey could not begin until the grass along the trail had grown high enough to feed the livestock that would be making the trip, and left in late May. On Monday, May 22, 1843, the migration officially began with nearly 900 people, 120 wagons, and about 5,000 head of livestock--horses, mules, oxen and cattle. 

A major crisis developed when The Lord's Day (the first day of the week) arrived and most of the church-going population in the train made it clear they were not going to travel until they had observed a worship time, taken the Lord's supper, rested both the people and the livestock.  According to the son of one of the preachers:

On that first Sunday morning father was resting in his tent, and mother and the four girls were taking it easy after an arduous week, when several from the families around us broke in impatiently upon us and wanted to know at what hour we were planning to get off. "how is this, Captain Lenox," said one of them, "that you are not up and off this fine morning?" "We are not going to travel today," replied my father. "This is the Lord's day. The cattle need rest, and we need rest, and your families need rest." "Oh, you can't cram that down our throats" was the vigorous and irreverent reply; "We are going on." "Well," said Captain Lenox, "I have no authority to stop you, but you will find it to your interest to travel with a well-guarded company, rather than go it it alone."

To change the subject now, and along the same lines, a family in one of the tiniest churches in the area was moving away. They are the cowboy sort, and so the few people that remained, put on a Happy Trails going away party for these fine people who will be sorely missed.  They are going to an area where there is no church, so they will start one in an old school house that is on their property. The family consists of 3 couples--the parents and two daughters and their husbands.  They are apparently working in a business there.

In spite of being such a small group, the members managed to put on a whopper of a party, in the form of a chuck wagon with typical western food, and the tables were decorated with small cabins and toy livestock with hay bales.  

After we ate supper we sang all the Happy Trails western songs to them. The preacher had made copies of the songs  so that we could all sing the words and of course everyone knew those old tunes.  We also sang some hymns:  If We Never Meet Again and  Got Be With You Til We Meet Again, but it made the family cry, so the old father said we should sing some happier songs. The preacher led "If You're Happy and You Know it", an old VBS children's song.....

I just learned the history of the song, "Peace , Perfect Peace" at a 5th Sunday singing Mr. S. and I attended somewhere else. Originally, it had question marks: Peace?  Perfect Peace?  In this dark world of sin?  The blood of Jesus whispers peace within." Also, the song has a different tune in England than in our country.

Apparently as the decades have passed by, new publishers that didn't know the intention and history of the song, left out the question marks, but it certainly has more meaning when you learn this!!

Mr.S. always buys a new map book for me and highlights the route going in yellow, and then highlights the return route in orange or green. He then writes an itinery for me stating what places we will be on each day. I do not have a picture of it because I couldn't get his day-timer book .

This road trip is a big circle, as you can see. Just follow from Oregon across California and down to New Mexico, then up again and around. 

There will be nary a freeway for us, as  Mr. S. is planning an old towns of  America itinery and he likes the old highways because his Dad took his family on road trips on the original highways. His father made it his life's goal to take his family to every state in the south 48 and while the children were growing up, he did it.

There are some pretty colors here, but most trees stay green all year.

I like this old vase of Grandmas, with the  glass "frog" that has holes for arranging the bouquet, so today I got some hydrangeas from Dollar Tree and put them in, along with a sparkly dragon fly. Can you see it there?

 I hope to hear from you all soon and publish your comments!



Christine said...

Come back and share your outfits! Excited to see what dress you choose for Idaho!

amulbunny's random thoughts said...

I read an interesting article on the ruts that are still visible along parts of the historic Oregon Trail. When you consider how many wagons and horses and people traversed that trail, it's amazing. Whenever we drive the 15 to Las Vegas, or the 40 to Arizona, I always mention the hardiness of the people who came across the Mojave Desert to settle in the coast. There are still existing fragments of the wooden road that eventually became route 66.

I was in Normandy France in 1971 and you could still see the tank tracks through the hedgerows and fields from the DDay landing. At that time it was only 26 years in the past and towns were still being rebuilt.

Traveling mercies for a safe and fun trip.

Linda said...

I can't wait to see your pictures. It is a beautiful time of year to travel.

Lynn said...

I am curious to know how long your trip will take. And when are you leaving?

Amy B said...

What fun! I love traveling on the back roads. We haven’t had a road trip in a while and are getting a bit rusty at it. Looking forward to seeing all the lovely sights and interesting places!