09 May 2005

Not the Donners!

We are home from our vacation in Shangri-La.
The trip takes half a day.
It's an amazing thing to think about.......

A trip of 700 or so miles, done in about 12 hours!
During the entire distance, we stayed dry, air-conditioned, and comfortable.
So comfortable in fact, Sara Jean reclined her heated seat and slept the last four or so hours of the journey!

We take it for granted.

Ever read the story of the "Donner Party"?
If you haven't, you should.
In 1846, the Donner party set out from Springfield, IL., headed to California in wagons. They were trying a new, "quicker" route, suggested by a man that had never made the trip himself!

The "shortcut" was a disaster. The terrain got more and more difficult, and their weather window closed just as the terrain became impossible. Soon they found themselves in snow 10 feet deep!
Literally starving to death, some of them resorted to cannibalism to survive.

As I hurtle down the highway averaging 60 miles an hour, including stops for gas, food, and rest stops, I often think of the Donner party.
For us, fuel and food are no problem. We take it for granted we will remain warm and dry. The ride in our "wagon" is so comfortable, sleeping while moving is not at all difficult!

We stay entertained and abreast of what is going on around us with an hourly news report via radio.
A GPS receiver tells me my speed, my height above sea level, my position on the earth within 500 feet, and my estimated time of arrival.
If we have an emergency, help is a cell phone call away.
In one day we can cover a distance that would take the Donners a month or more!

And this is in a car! Where's my helicopter?

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