Over 150 years ago, 26 wagons and 250 people trudged along this route, headed south to establish a new settlement.
To get to their destination, they had to travel over hundreds of miles of difficult terrain, only to be faced with the obstacle of blasting through rock with dynamite and lowering their wagons and horses 2,000 feet to the Colorado River bend below.
Now we were traversing 50 miles of the same (almost) trail in our Ford pickup, which is ricocheting off the road, our stuff flying around like popping corn, even at a tortoise pace of 10 miles an hour.
Oh, will this road ever end? It had been nearly two hours of this bouncy, trouncy, fun, fun, fun, fun, fun. This is rough on your body, even with air conditioning and cushioned seats. Even after our 4 hour, character building hike yesterday, I'm a wimp.
I would have made a pathetic pioneer.
Finally we arrive, and peer down at the hole-in-the-rock. This couldn't have been where they lowered 26 wagons. It looks impossible.
Exploring the surrounding area, every other descent is sheer vertical cliff. The impossible pass must have been the location of this incredible feat of human accomplishment.
Standing in the footsteps of people who lived in a different era - and who essentially were a different breed - I felt humbled.
Compared to them (and many people around the world today), I was soft, weak, feeble.
With our modern comforts of living, sometimes it's difficult to imagine how others have (and still do) live without them - running water, temperature control, soft furnishings.
I've been in homes in India, or Latin America. I look around, and I realize that these people don't have a soft place to sit, or to lay their body. They do both on a dirt floor, or a wooden bench.
I try to imagine what that would be like - me, who has grown up with comfort all around me - carpet, cushions, beds and pillows. What would it be like to never have an area softer than dirt to sit?
What would it be like to live without running water? Or to travel by wagon? To be exposed on a daily basis to what nature has to offer - whether freezing temperatures or burning heat?
I guess that's one reason I like travel (and overland travel in particular). It forces you to face some of the discomforts of life- that most of the history of the world, and most of the people living today- face on a daily, consistent basis.
It forces me to be tougher. And I think that's a good thing.
Sunrise (we camped right there).
Greg's name was carved in stone.
Using the pull up bar for some morning exercise
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