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Some years ago I was out for a weekend drive and stopped to take some pictures along the old Oregon Trail.  Near Hagerman.  In Idaho.  I emailed some of them to friends and one wrote back and asked when I visited Oregon.  I replied the trail ran through several states and the name was given not to a location but a destination.  My friend couldn’t seem to process my explanation.  And to think I almost married the woman!  In hindsight, I can now see how a lot of dinner conversations would’ve left her with a blank stare.

Only in Your State recommends a portion of the trail for experienced hikers.  In fact, near the Hagerman Fossil Beds.  You get some wonderful views and a taste of history.  I’m a history buff.  I’m also glad I didn’t live in most previous eras.  I’ve read some of the diaries of the people who survived the walk west.  They left a lot of heartache along the way.  Children sometimes died, were buried and their graves were forgotten.  There were sometimes hostile encounters with indigenous people and dangerous animals.  The walk would’ve at times appeared endless and in the end, some probably regretted leaving the comforts of the east. Or what passed for comforts in the 1800s.

And, yet, it also tells us a great deal about the character of early Americans.  They were almost superhuman in endurance.  Physically and mentally.  Let’s not lose the gift they left us.  This is truly a blessed land and worth defending.

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