In the footsteps of rugged pioneers – sort of.

For over 12 years I have driven, or rode, across I-80. A bit of Missouri, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Utah going west. Going east on I-80 I have traveled through Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New York.

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Before I get totally lost in this post I want to recommend a series of books – historical novels – by Dana Fuller Ross.

Independence! Is the first of the series and set in 1837 during a land rush to claim the western lands by American settlers in a race to lay claim to the land before England or Russia take ownership.

At that time, in American history, most of the population lived in the New England Colonies. People were piled up on each other. President Andrew Jackson opened the west to anyone that wanted wide open spaces, had the fortitude to settle and improve the land they chose, and wanted out of the confines of the east. Thousands of men, women, and children started their journey across country to a better way of life. Many didn’t make it.

In Guernsey, Wyoming there still remains evidence of this westward move. Joe tells me there is a cave where the immigrants left messages carved into the walls. Register Cliff is the name of this historical site.

Somewhere around 18 or 20 years ago I read the “Wagons West” series and I was reminded of it today as we made our way up US 30 leaving I-80 in Wyoming.

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On US 30 in Kemmerer, Wyoming stands the very first JC Penny store from 1904. It was known as the “Golden Rule” store that served the mining families and ranchers out in the back of beyond Wyoming. The store has been turned into quite an amazing museum which also sells goods to tourists. It is worth stopping to see if you find yourself in the back of beyond.

US 30 is a two-lane road used by the trucking industry, as well as normal traffic, to get into Idaho for livestock and produce which makes its way to your table. The landscape will not keep a teen interested for long. It is nearly 200 miles of dirt, scrub, rocks, an occasional town with a population of 96 souls, trains curving along the rivers and streams, and the highway.

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Montpelier, Idaho is located on the historical Oregon Trail and has erected a learning center in this small town. Click the Montpelier link above to be taken to the website and watch the movie they have.

Seeing the Oregon/California center in Montpelier brought those books I spent hours and days reading – Wagons West. Which then jumbled everything I wanted to write about today. All the ideas were stepping all over each other. Maybe I have kept it all together and have a coherent post. I won’t bet money on it though.

US 30 into Idaho continues on as a two-lane road.

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Rivers and streams cut through the pastures and mountains.

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Hills shrouded in low lying clouds made it look like they were on fire.

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Before I make this post into a tome I will leave you with the sight outside my hotel room window. Idaho Falls on the Snake River in – Idaho Falls, Idaho. We are staying in a 40 year old hotel with a fantastic view.

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Tomorrow we will continue through Idaho then enter Montana, switch back into Idaho before entering Washington.

Hope this has given you a spark for a summer vacation with your family. Or just entertained you for a few minutes.

Leslie

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About Message In A Fold

I am an over the road truck driver in Drive-Away Transport part of the year, and the sole bookkeeper of this operation the other part of the year. I do a lot of whining until I can get in my craft room and play with paper and glue. View all posts by Message In A Fold

26 responses to “In the footsteps of rugged pioneers – sort of.

  • mjc1520

    I was trying to remember some of areas you have in these pictures but couldn’t. Like the way yiu are loggjng your trip in pictures!

    • Message In A Fold

      This was the first time, for me, to have been north of Kemmerer, Wyoming. The few times I’ve been through Idaho has been on the interstate. Sounds like you are familiar with these roads.

      How long are you vacationing? I look forward to seeing where you get to. Keeping up a blog can be time consuming and I fear I give a condensed version of my driving and riding journeys. I mean, let’s face it, out here one rock formation or farmer’s field looks like all the rest 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Leslie

      • mjc1520

        Yes they do! Especially in Iowa!! I’m not sure how much longer I will be at home. I told my dispatch I will call them when I was ready, being an owner/operator and your truck is paid off, you can work when you want. I’m finding that blogging is kind of cool. I never really thought about it before but I’m liking it. Anxious to see how this going to work out on the road, though.

        Marilyn

      • Message In A Fold

        Blogging is a fun way to share your thoughts on life. Good and bad. It is very time consuming and demanding if you try to do it every day. Set yourself a goal of once a week to start.

        Good for you, girl! Getting your truck paid for. That is totally AWESOME! I’m sure you have seen, and probably know, people that can’t seem to handle their money properly and do crazy things. Lord knows I’ve met my share of them.

        When you get back out on the road stay safe and take care of yourself. I look forward to seeing your take on this crazy nomadic life.

        Leslie

      • mjc1520

        Thanks, when I do decide to hit the road, I will let you know which direction I am travelling. You and Joe stay safe out there!

        Marilyn

      • Message In A Fold

        Who do you work for/with? We have friends that drive for Power Source and Trailer Transit. One of them has tied himself to the Ringling Brothers Circus and is now the head driver moving the trailers and getting them properly lined up for loading and unloading. 2days a week is all he drives, the rest of the week is spent waiting for the circus to be performed then go to the next town. Can’t say that would flip my nickel but he enjoys it.

        Be safe – “Keep the dirty side down and the shiny side up”. 😀

        Leslie

      • mjc1520

        I work for Baker Enterprises, LLC out of Chesterfield VA and leased to New Bell Truck Lines. We mainly run the Midwest and back. Occasionally, I will run further into Texas and Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska. As I said before I am out about 2 weeks then I come home. Tired of it, tho! :/

        Marilyn

      • Message In A Fold

        What other job would you like to do? Joe and I go around and around on this. He is 72 and I’m 59. Being self employed for so long has ruined both of us for the normal workplace. I don’t suffer “office politic fools” well and would have my walking papers in 2 months :/

        Have you thought of going back to school? Nursing, dental, finance, accounting, or business?

        Hope you find your way my friend.

        Leslie

      • mjc1520

        I know what you mean on being spoiled. I don’t think that I could be in an office either. I’m so used to doing things my way that I don’t know if I can be supervised. Yeah, I thought about going back to school, but I don’t know what for! Right now, there’s nothing I would want to do, I don’t know maybe something in the transportation field, like Supply Chain Management, Dispatcher, Broker, etc. The thing is, I would have to have access to the outside all the time, I can’t be inside with NO windows! I’d nut-up!! 😦

        Marilyn

      • Message In A Fold

        Girlfriend, I don’t think I could be a Dispatcher. I’d be fired in the first week! I hear the whining about loads and driving times enough on the road. I’ve been in the offices of the companies we drive for and hear the excuses used to not take the load they had already committed themselves to. Then I meekly watch as the Dispatcher works his/her fingers to nubbins calling drivers to take that load just dumped. Nope, the monster in me would come out my mouth for all the world to see and hear 😦

        What are you good at? Besides driving, that is? Have you thought about being a consultant to help new owner operators or new lease drivers? Giving them financial advice to keep them on the straight and narrow? If you want to stay in the trucking industry you might have a ready made job a company might find useful to keep drivers loyal to them.

        Just throwing something out there at you.

        Leslie

      • mjc1520

        Well, I used to have pretty decent office skills but that was 18 years ago, things have certainly changed since then. That idea you have about being a consultant to new o/o sounds like a good idea. I’ll check it out. I woukd like to be an instructor at a driving school.

      • Message In A Fold

        I think you have a lot to offer someone trying to make a better life for themselves. You know, as well as I do, there are a passle of men that are sure they have all the answers. Let them crash and burn for their arrogance. You would be a really great asset to a company.

        Leslie

      • mjc1520

        Thanks for the encouragement. Actually, I am feeling this blogging thing. I just need to get more into it, I guess.

      • Message In A Fold

        You keep going the way you are and you will find followers. Write for your enjoyment. It is like anything else, if you want massive followers and try to write for them you will burn out and this won’t be fun any longer. One thing to keep in the back of your mind is that people, even family members, are fickle.

        I follow about 85 blogs. Some days I don’t have the time to read any of them nor leave comments. Some days I spend hours catching up on those I’ve missed. So just write for your enjoyment and take the accolades as they come 😉

        You are doing great. Think about the things in your daily life and consider how you can make an event into a blog post. Do you cook in your truck? We are never in the same truck so we don’t put any personal items in the plethora of cubby holes – out of sight, out of mind. I left so many things behind in trucks before and that gets expensive :/

        Do you exercise? Walk the truck stop parking area to get the kinks out? Have a routine of stretches you do to keep from getting all wadded up at the end of the day? I’m sure you have something you do you would like to share but thought it might not be appropriate or interesting.

        The general public have no clue what goes on in a truck driver’s life. They think it is “romantic” and “exciting” to be a nomad. We know that it is anything but romantic or exciting. I encourage you to reach out. You are doing well and will only get better and more comfortable with your writing.

        Leslie

  • tina

    oh such wonderful pictures…glad to see ur on your way again. hoping Joe is feeling much better. one of the reasons i so love your blogs and are so glad i found them…my childhood dream was always to be a truck driver…lol…didn’t even get my driver’s license till i was 34 lol…kind of hard to be a truck driver when you have a fear of driving…lol ..stay safe..wonderful lady…you and joe as always are in my prayers

    • Message In A Fold

      Tina, I’m happy to have you come along with me through my blog :D.

      Woo Hoo! And Kudos for you on getting your driver license at 34! Freedom baby :-). You have enough to deal with on a daily basis with your constant pain. Not having to depend on someone else to get you places and working around their schedules and moods is liberating – I would imagine.

      Thank you for asking after Joe. He is feeling a bit puny but so much better than he did.

      Love you my friend – Leslie

  • gardenpinks

    Oh wow what an amazing view from your hotel room Leslie and that room looks huge too!
    Some fantastic rock formations. I’d love to travel that train traversing through some wonderful landscapes and around hills and rocks.
    Hope Joe improves day by day
    Love and hugs
    Lynn xx

    • Message In A Fold

      Thank you for asking after Joe. He is getting better. Still a bit puny and slow but he is on the mend.

      I have to agree with you about a train trip through the winding and twisting landscape. I do like the traveling when we are off the Interstates. So much to see and appreciate about my little life.

      Love you my friend – Leslie

      • gardenpinks

        Not sure what WordPress is up to but had notification that you had put up a new post but all that comes up is an error message. It has happened several times to me now on your blog. Some gremlins at work somewhere 🙂 Perhaps it will show tomorrow.
        Love and hugs
        Lynn xx

      • Message In A Fold

        This crazy “smartphone” is not so smart sometimes. I also think it was the spotty Wi-Fi I had at one of the hotels. Thanks for letting me know that there was a problem so I could adjust 😉

        Love you my friend – Leslie

  • pati

    The view is awesome. Be careful on your journeys, n still enjoy all you can. Love seeung all the pictures. Finally back to my regular hours now i can have fun also doing other things wirh my extra time. love you sis n joe. 😀

    • Message In A Fold

      Glad to hear your working hours are back to normal. Those totes you made are really great. I look forward to seeing all your handiwork and your garden 🙂

      Love you Sis

      • pati

        Lol thanks sis, yep, will be sending u pics of plants and totes as i go along. the gal i sent the blue tote i made got it today said she liked it. That makes me feel good, hows the travelin going n hows joe coming along.

      • Message In A Fold

        It always feels good when you get confirmation of a job well done. Sis, I’m very happy for you. Finding something you enjoy and want to share it with others.

        Is it finally warming up in your part of the world? I know the farmers were dancing jigs when you got all that snow. Has it all disappeared yet?

        Looking forward to seeing your next creation AND your little sprouts in neat rows, thriving and bursting with their bounty 😀

        Love you Sis

  • brown bags

    Hello there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after reading through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
    Anyhow, I’m definitely delighted I found it and I’ll be book-marking
    and checking back frequently!

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