June 21, 2018 – I don't care about the trails that went through here in the 1800

I had a very good night and I had sweet dreams. You humans got up early.
The weather wasn’t too good and it was very windy. My humans stopped at one of the Rest Areas and there was a nice lady, Judy that gave my humans some information about Nebraska.

Nebraska lies in the Great Plains and the Midwestern. The tribes of Indigenous peoples that lived in Nebraska originally included the Omaha, Missouria, Ponca, Pawnee, Otoe and various branches of the Lakota (Sioux), some of which migrated from eastern areas into this region. The Lakota was the tribe that fought at Little Big Horn.

Back in the 1800 were a couple of trails going through Nebraska
From 1804 to 1806 the Lewis and Clark Expedition took place. This was the first expedition to cross the western portion of the United States. It started in in St. Louis, passed through the Continental Divide of the Americas to the Pacific coast. Lewis and Clark were Captain Meriwether Lewis and his close friend Second Lieutenant William Clark commanded a selected group of US Army volunteers.
The Oregon Trail, the California Trail and the Mormon Trail took from east to west were the trails I am talking about.

The Oregon Trail took place between 1840 and 1869 and over 500,000 pioneers went westwards to fulfill their dreams. It started in Kansas City and ended in Portland after 2,000 miles.
But this trail was part of an ancient network of Indian footpaths and animal trails long before the settlers made it a wagon road.
In the early 1800s the British, French and American fur trappers followed that paths. “In 1812 fur trader Robert Stuart and sic companions, following an Indian trace in today’s Wyoming, mad an important discovery, a wide pass, 7,550 feet in elevation, across the Continental Divide. South Pass made overland travel with ox-drawn wagons possible, and it became the gateway to the West.” (Source: Oregon Trail Brochure by the National Park Service Bureau of Land Management U.S. Department of the Interior). The California Trail took the same route but separated from the Oregon Trail at Soda Springs to end in California. The main reason to go to California was to find gold and get free land.

The Mormon Trail was different. The Mormons were founded in 1830 by Joseph Smith in Fayette, N.Y. “The church headquarter moved to Ohio, Missouri in 1839. It remand there until 1846 when the church moved beyond the Rocky Mountains into then unsettled Mexican territory in the Great Basin. There, Mormon leaders hoped to be insulated from further harassment, antagonism and persecution. Membership grew rapidly from 1830 to 1845, and the church prospered. Hostility, fear and controversy, however, surrounded the church. The rapid growth of church membership, the financial success of the members and their church, religious beliefs that were outside mainstream Christian tradition, the practice of plural marriage (polygamy), a large well-armed militia, the blurring of lines between church and state, and the perception by some non-Mormons that the church was a threat all fueled intolerance. Hostilities escalated, an on June 27, 1844, Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were killed by an angry mob while jailed in Carthage, Ill. “ (Source: “Mormon Pioneer Trail” by National Park Service Bureau of Land Management U.S. Department of the Interior”.)

By 1845 about 11,000 Mormons lived in and around Nauvoo, Ill and in September 1845 more than 200 Mormon houses and farm buildings were burned to make the Mormons leave.
In 1846 the first Mormon Trek left Nauvoo to go to the Valley of the Great Salt Lake. City. In the next 20 years about 70,000 Mormons traveled by wagon and handcarts overland.

After the settlers and Mormons settled in the West the issue of delivering news and mail came up. When the mail from home arrived it was old because sometimes it took months to be delivered.
In 1848 the U.S. Post Office awarded a contract to the Pacific Mail Steamship Company. Now the mail traveled from New York to Panama by ship, was transported by rail across Panama and went on by ship to San Francisco.
In 1860 the Pony Express began mail service. The Pony Express was riders that crossed the country on ponies. Every 75 to 100 miles were home stations where to riders could rest between runs. They started with 86 stations and ended with 147 stations by mid-1861.
The horses averaged 10 miles per hour, at times galloping up to 25 miles per hour. During his route of 75 – 100 miles a rider changed horses 8 to 10 times.
The first riders made it in less than 10 days from Kansas to Sacramento. The average was 12 days.

You might ask how I know all that. My mistress read the information she got from Judy at the Rest Area to me. She said it is good to know history.
Well, I don’t care about history. All I am interested in is food and getting a nap and of course cuddling with my humans.

We didn’t drive far today and stopped around noon at a Walmart parking lot. My humans were tired and had some work to do. So they said and they were looking into their little things called iPhone. Sometimes they talk to somebody with that. How can that be work?
There was not much to see today. We are still in something they call Nebraska and there are still a lot of steaks running around on the fields.

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