The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Day 3 Crossing the Desert

Another day, another motel. The journey today was through the Great American Desert. It's huge and desolate. Can you imagine a traveler in the 1800s heading west and coming upon this immense wasteland for the first time? He would have no real understanding of what he faced, even if he had been told. No way to know where water could be found, or food. He wouldn't really know how far he would have to travel and in what direction except a general one. And, with no way to navigate accurately, even knowing a specific direction wouldn't be all that helpful.

Imagine the wagon train. A hundred or more people, wagons, livestock, all putting their lives in the hands of a few strangers.

This is what they would see...

And this...

And this...

Only without the wires, the road, and the buildings.

I have been through this desert 9 times now and each time I am amazed at the courage and maybe stupidity of the early settlers who tried to cross it. And those that found a spring, or a well of some kind, and stuck it out. Who built houses out of adobe bricks and whatever they could scrounge up for roofing. Who built towns that became cities like Tucson and Phoenix.

I don't know if I could have done it. I like to think so but I just don't know.

8 comments:

Argentum Vulgaris said...

The tenacity of the human spirit in search of hope knows no bounds.

AV

Michael said...

If I was alive centuries and centuries ago, I would have been an explorer, but I think I would die before I discovered anything.

Michael.

The Jules said...

Deserts always seem very alien to us (in England, the nearest we get to a desert is Western-Super-Mare beach when the tide's out, but that's only cos the sea is a mile away).

I like them, perhaps becuase of their unfamiliariy, but also because I can often find interesting snakes in them to annoy the missus.

CoyotePrime said...

Gave me a good laugh, Doug. We've lived here in Arizona for 5 years now, entering our 6th summer. I can't imagine how those early pioneers survived here. Even more fun is the idea of WHY any fool would stop in this desert and decide to build a house and settle down. No water, no trees, scorpions, snakes, cactus and precious little else. Best we can figure is they must have been hiding from somebody, and knew no one in their right mind would come in here looking for them.
Great post!

Douglas said...

Coyote- I like visiting the desert but I couldn't live there. I considered it a few times (more than a few) but couldn't do it. I have spent way too many years in high humidity environments and just cannot imagine adapting. Nose bleeds, eyelids dragging over my (dry) eyes, and constant sinus issues (yeah, dry sinuses cause headaches too)are just too much for me.

Et Al - I like to think that I would have been a wanderer if I had lived in the days of westward expansion. It's fantasy, of course. But I have moved many times and get antsy about every 3 to 5 years and want to move somewhere else so maybe I would have back then too.

CoyotePrime said...

Gave me a good laugh, Doug. We've lived here in Arizona for 5 years now, entering our 6th summer. I can't imagine how those early pioneers survived here. Even more fun is the idea of WHY any fool would stop in this desert and decide to build a house and settle down. No water, no trees, scorpions, snakes, cactus and precious little else. Best we can figure is they must have been hiding from somebody, and knew no one in their right mind would come in here looking for them.
Great post!

Argentum Vulgaris said...

The tenacity of the human spirit in search of hope knows no bounds.

AV

Douglas said...

Coyote- I like visiting the desert but I couldn't live there. I considered it a few times (more than a few) but couldn't do it. I have spent way too many years in high humidity environments and just cannot imagine adapting. Nose bleeds, eyelids dragging over my (dry) eyes, and constant sinus issues (yeah, dry sinuses cause headaches too)are just too much for me.

Et Al - I like to think that I would have been a wanderer if I had lived in the days of westward expansion. It's fantasy, of course. But I have moved many times and get antsy about every 3 to 5 years and want to move somewhere else so maybe I would have back then too.