Canyon near Boise, Idaho. Just on the ridge above me are some ruts left in the ground from the Oregon Train that are over a hundred and fifty years old. I walked on them, noticing the pair worn so far down from weight of the covered wagons. Full of everything they owned: clothing, food, furniture, family heirlooms, and the family itself, set off on an adventure hundreds of miles into the unknown, for the promise of a new life. A happier existence. Richer farmland. Freedom.
I often take for granted living in the west, often complaining about it lacking the rich history of the east coast. I long for the museums documenting earlier times of our nation. I cannot invalidate what happened in the west, nor can I forget why those ruts in the earth above me exist. The generations that came before me were pioneers, in the truest sense of the word. They braved countless perils unimaginable even if you played the Oregon trail video game in Elementary school.
I look over this valley and try to comprehend what it must have been like to see this land unsettle, and to push onwards and go further west.
This is American history.