Iron Horse Opens the West

We all know about and celebrate the high profile heroes of the American West. The mountain men, explorers, sheriffs, the outlaws, the Indian warriors. It seems to me that we often don’t take a step back and really appreciate the courage and resourcefulness of the pioneers going along the Oregon, California ,and Santa Fe trails. They faced uncertainty every day and hour. They had to completely  rely on their guides. Fresh water, food, were all unpredictable; fear of Indian attacks, buffalo stampedes, storms, disease, and the many possible accidents that can occur in 1800 mile walk across the country. The survivors of course, had to be tough, courageous, and resourceful. Still I think it’s their hopes and dreams that provided the power to sustain them.
This picture of the oxen and covered wagon highlights the mother and son relationship. Those of us blessed with such a relationship know well the confidence and comfort that comes with it. This picture honors the mothers who cooked the meals,butchered the meat,plucked the chickens, cleaned the clothes,, comforted the sick, and often stood toe to toe with the men to deal with the many hazards of the trail. I really believe that their love, often made the unbearable, bearable.
There are several sculptures done by Veryl Goodnight, that beautifully highlight the pioneer woman and her spirit. I would recommend taking a look at her work. The images will stay with you.

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