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Wandering WY: The Parting of the Ways

Something I've learned this year is that it is nearly always worthwhile to pull over when you see the historic sign marker here in Wyoming. On our way home from Rock Springs, we came across this short pull off the side of the highway.

Leading off to the horizon in one direction, following the highway, you could see wagon tracks. In the other direction, you could only see the tracks for a few hundred yards until they disappeared into the sagebrush.

Standing right in the 'Y' of this pivotal part of the Oregon Trail you got a sense of how difficult it would have been to make the decision to go separate ways. The more popular would take weeks longer, but have plenty of water for humans and livestock. The lesser chosen route would only take days, but they would be dry days with no way to change your mind once the decision was made. Travelers who had been together for hundreds of miles would say goodbye for the last time not knowing whether they would meet again at the journey's end.

As a nation, it seems that we are standing in another 'Y' on another pivotal path to our future. Each person will cast their vote for which route we take forward tomorrow. In many ways, it seems there have already been several emotional goodbyes between individuals who have chosen their route differently. Just as the emigrants could not have known what the journey's end would bring them, we cannot truly know where this moment in history will take us, but I think it is well worth pondering seriously.

Which path would you choose, longer with water or shorter without water? Why? Do you feel like we are standing at a crossroads of our own?

Thank you, fellow adventurers! You can follow the lilmissbearpaw blog page on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @lilmissbearpaw for sneak peeks into upcoming posts and my adventures. This will also be a great place to share your own adventures!

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