“We are camped at a little place called Rock Creek Station….I’m told our last few stops were only recently established and so we should be grateful for the additional provisions we have been able to obtain, as previous travelers did not have that privilege. As if there were anything to ever be grateful for out here in the wilds. This area has the creepiest little white spiders I have ever seen. Not to mention the insane amount of bugs flying into me or trying to bite me at any given moment. Sometimes I believe I am the only one who notices the insects on the trail, other than Susannah, who thinks them fascinating. Still, at least I will be able to mail this letter immediately rather than waiting until Fort Kearney.” – A Picture of the Past
I am finally at a place in my book where I can “name drop”, so to speak. I’m actually looking back on previous blog posts and pictures from last year to implement descriptions properly, and there is something so satisfying and delightfully thrilling about knowing I have been to these places. The same places my characters are going. And while I certainly don’t have the same experiences as them, I feel like more and more pieces of me can connect, even with the spoiled rich girl who is my main character (don’t worry, she becomes more redeeming later). It really is surprising how many of these stops were established in between 1857 and 1859, just barely in time for my book – but that is one of the reasons I placed my book so late – I would rather concentrate on character development than some of the more serious issues earlier emigrants faced. Not that 1859 emigrants didn’t also face serious issues, but the trail was very well broken in by that point and we are only a year away from the Pony Express coming into being, meaning a lot more stations are steadily being established along the way, which helps with provisions (assuming you can pay).
If you want to look back at my Rock Creek experience, here is the related blog post and pictures: Reaching the Platte River
Editing is still going far more slowly than I would like, but I think I might just have to accept the fact that as quickly as I can write a first draft when I put my mind to it, it takes three to four times as long to edit. But that just means I care, right?