I traveled this morning by airplane for an hour, and ended up over 600 miles from home. For the people who traveled using this stage coach, that same journey took a lifetime. This actual stage coach is on display at the Booth Western Museum (booth museum.org) in Cartersville, GA. As we walked around this ‘vehicle’ we talked about what it must have been like to ride it not only for a day but for a cross country adventure. It seats eight and I’m sure the leather seats were not ergonomically designed. The ‘trunk’ was no existent, so everyone had to pack light. There were no motels for a good night’s rest, they slept under the stars.
How did you travel today? Did you use air conditioning? Or listen to the radio? How about your seat, was it comfortable? Ok, you might have ended up in traffic and yet you got where you wanted to go within a single day. We complain about cars, traffic, car payments, commuting and all sorts of other forms of anguish when it comes to owning a car…and yet, will get you where you want to go faster than horse and coach.
When the people who used this stage coach to travel made the decision to go, they were making what could be a life or death choice. There was no guarantee they would arrive safely, let alone in the amount of time they allotted. They probably didn’t know the people on the coach with them, let alone if they would have a comfortable seat for the journey. Talk about courage and a spirit of adventure! Somehow those airline peanuts don’t look so measly after thinking about the adventures of the pioneers.
When you start your car or ride published transportation today, give thanks for how easy we have it. Long ago others paid a different price to get where they wanted to go. If you have a chance, visit the Booth Western Museum to see this amazing stage coach in person.