It Was A Miracle Mule Team
How long does it take to travel 900 miles?
Could you answer that question? Maybe you’d say a day? A couple hours? Three months?
The answer depends on your mode of transportation, of course, but it also depends on your time frame. Last weekend, I made the trip from Pleasant Grove, UT to Maple Valley, WA. To save you getting a map, I’ll tell you I started about 40 miles Sourth of Salt Lake City and ended about 25 miles East of Seattle. The trip is about 900 miles one way.
My lovely wife had a death in the family and the funeral was in Lacey, WA. We packed the van full of kids and set out at 6:23AM on Friday morning. (Yes, we DID want to get started at 6:00AM. No, our children were not ready to go when we told them to be.) We drove straight through, just making stops for gas and bathroom breaks. We arrived at about 6:30PM, thirteen hours later. That’s an average speed of 70 MPH. Big stretches of Utah and Idaho have a posted speed limit of 80 MPH.
Yesterday, we came back along the same route and made about the same time.
It was a miracle.
You probably don’t see it that way. We have a very nice Chevey Express 3500 van. The weather was perfect. The drive was in all ways uneventful.
And it was still a miracle.
Portions of our trip follow the old Oregon Trail. You’ll see the historical markers posted on the side of the freeway; a reminder that not only have many people gone before, but people have been following this route for centuries. And that’s where the miracle comes in.
During a 13 hour drive, you have lots of time to think. The kids were watching movies, but I couldn’t really hear them that well in the front seat. I thought about those early pioneers. A covered wagon made between 10-15 miles per day. At times crossing the plains in inclement weather, a wagon train might camp within sight of the previous days camp.
Suppose you could travel in time rather than in space? Suppose you were riding along the front seat of a wagon drawn by a team of oxen, or mules and you tried to explain to the farmer whose wagon you are sharing, just what the future will hold.
You know, some day, this whole route is going to be a nice paved road.
And the people will travel in vehicles without horses, or mules, or oxen pulling them.
And they will travel farther in an hour than you will travel in a week.
Get off my wagon!
It sounds crazy. Or it would, to someone who was familiar with the speed and capabilities of beasts of burden. If they believed you at all, they might think it was a miracle. Tell a man who can get his family 15 miles on a good day that people just like him will be moving their families 1000 miles in a day? They would think it was divine intervention.
Yeah, we sure are more advanced than those poor people sitting on that wagon seat under the hot sun plodding along at ten miles per day.
And then, for just a brief moment, I travelled the other direction in time. I imagined a future messenger sitting in the passenger seat of my van as we sped down the road at 80 MPH.
You know eventually, this entire route is going to be dramatically different.
People will travel without the need of a vehicle.
And they will travel further in five minutes than you’ll travel all day.
Get out of my van!
It would be a miracle.
Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.
(c) 2017 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved