Nowadays, we don’t think twice about hopping in a vehicle and heading out to commute to work or on a day trip to visit relatives or even a 1,000-mile vacation to the Grand Tetons. But a hundred and fifty years ago, it was a different story. Before planes, cars, and trains, travel was limited to walking, horseback, or wagons.
Westward expansion in the U.S. in the mid-1800’s called for many a family to pack up their possessions and purchase a covered wagon in which to travel. Such a move wasn’t easy and was often plagued with hardships and illness.
Travel inside the jarring wagon was anything but pleasant. Often family members would choose to walk alongside it rather than endure the constant jolting. Breakdowns and delays were the norm for those heading west in search of free or richer land.
In my novel, Under This Same Sky, my heroine, Becky Hollister, and her pa, with the help of hero, Pastor Matthew Brody, must cross a sizable river in a covered wagon. When the venture goes awry, Becky is forced to take the reins and spur the horses across. It takes every ounce of strength and courage she can muster to make it to the other side.
Crossing a river wasn’t the only challenge wagon travelers faced. Travel by land was slow and treacherous, with many obstacles to overcome. The rugged prairie terrain often caused broken spokes or axles. After a rainstorm, wheels would become bogged in mud and some routes became impassible.
The further west the homesteaders traveled, the more difficult the challenges–steep hills, harsh weather, wild animals, and hostile Indians. Wagon trains were common in those days, pulling into a circle by night for protection.
Though the journey was difficult, there was often joy, anticipation, and community among the travelers as they journeyed toward a new home.
~ Have you ever made a major move from one region to another? What was most difficult? What brought the most joy? I’d love to hear your experience!
Cynthia Roemer’s PRAIRIE SKY SERIES: Stories of faith and resilience on the Midwest prairie Inspirational Historical Romance
UNDER THIS SAME SKY ~ BOOK ONE
UNDER PRAIRIE SKIES ~ BOOK TWO
UNDER MOONLIT SKIES ~ BOOK THREE
~Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble
**Connect with Cynthia Roemer on Facebook, Goodreads and Twitter.
Interesting information! Thanks for sharing! Loved the old picture.
Great to hear from you, Linda! Isn’t that a great picture? Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Hope things are going well for you! Blessings!
Years ago I moved from the Northwest to the Midwest. It was a job move right out of college and one of the scariest things I’d ever done! One of my brothers helped and then he took a bus back home. It was a great adventure for him as a teen. The stress of moving made me sick, so early on I found a doctor.
Oh, wow! So brave of you fresh out of college. So did you stay in the Midwest? That would be quite an adjustment. Thanks for sharing your experience, Linda!
We moved from Southwestern Pennsylvania to a suburb of Dallas, TX years ago and that was so hard to leave family and friends. I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been to travel by wagon train! Also the thought of not seeing family that I left behind would have been heartbreaking.
True on all counts, Linda! I never have had to live away from family, but I can imagine how difficult that would be. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences. Blessings!