Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day 2014 - Roller Pass

I am sitting at the foot of Roller Pass. I am imagining what it must have been like here in September of eighteen forty six. In a few short months winter will be here.
They had traveled overland across the pararie the had crossed the Continental divide, braved the scorching desert in the summer. Entered the mountains, following the water slowly up through the valleys to arrive here at the foot of at least on hundred yards of steep slope. The only way for them to get to Sutter's Fort before winter was up and over.
Multiple heavy wagons, prairie schooners, in the meadow wait their turn. The children run around gathering pine cones. Playing with their friends or helping mom with the chores. Months and months of 'car camping' had left their clothing tattered and torn. They were not going to look like a bunch of vagrant vagabonds when they got to town if mom had anything to say about it.  So she worked to keep them in clothes, to keep them fed and healthy.
Meanwhile the men took one wagon at a time and hitched multiple yoke of oxen to them. Using ropes, pullys and rollers they slowly pulled each wagon up and over the steepest 'road' they had ever seen. It was this pass that the Donner party missed when they headed up the wrong valley and gave a lake and a pass their name by eating each other to stay alive.
It is quiet and serene here now without a sound of anything man made except perhaps the far off roar of a jet passing over head taking busy people to busy places to conduct business. Here this valley site quiet and alive with all the buzzing and chirping and chattering that belong to God's green earth. A beautiful place, that for a time held the future if California and the spirit of the pioneers that would establish American civilization on the west coast. A toast of fresh snow melt water to those hearty souls who have so much to become Californians!

No comments:

Post a Comment