Oregon. Wow, this state is just as lovely as legend makes it. The eastern Columbia Plateau makes for easy traveling, as there are not so many high mountains to cross. There are a few, but for the most part they are not as high as the Cascades.
Once you drop into the Plateau, there is an abundance of ranches, and huge farms. Not sure if most of them are family or corporate owned. But these are immense operations.
Very few towns appear along Hwy 20 across OR. They are few and far between. Especially between Burns and Bend.
As I drove across SW Idaho, the Oregon trail was, in places, visible along side of the road. I went across the very lower southwestern part of the state on Hwy 78 from Grandview, south of Mtn Home AFB to Nampa. It is an awesome drive. High mountain desert for the most part.
In places, the ground looks wrinkled and chewed up. It must have been a really difficult time for the pioneers crossing it on foot, and in covered wagons. I can understand the broken axles, and wagon tongues. The lame horses, and oxen, pulling the bouncing wagons across the rocky ground. In some places, the gullys and arroyos are so deep, they can hide armies of mounted warriors.
If you let your mind drift, you can imagine the long, dusty, wagon trains. Women and children walking at the slow pace of the oxen as they haul the overloaded wagons up one hill and down the other on an seemingly endless journey into the unknown. I traveled in 15 minutes further than they did on a good day.
Just think of the courage it took to leave everything, and everyone you had ever known, and travel, sometimes at grave personal danger, into a uncertain, but promising future. In a time when people seldom went more than 20-25 miles from the place of their birth, these intrepid adventurers left it all and journeyed into history.
It's difficult not to draw similarities between these pioneers and the current influx of imigrants moving into our country. Then, as now, there was opposition to the invasion of aliens into inhabited lands. The First Nations had flourishing, productive communities in the path of the imagrants looking for fertile lands to settle, and the greedy invaders looking for gold on lands promised by treaty in perpetua by a forgetful government.
I can understand both sides of the current controversy. The incoming invaders were not content to live as the local population did, but were insistent on forcing their beliefs, laws, and way of life, onto the indigenous population.
I don't see a whole lot of difference. I know this is not going to make me very popular, but if someone can point out something I have missed, please do so.