Covered Wagons or the Family Car sure has changed

I use the sepia filter in my photography for old vintage subjects to reinforce the historic look.  Today I am featuring two covered wagons I came across in Oregon when I was doing a photoshoot of covered bridges. They were on the grounds of a local museum and of course I couldn’t resist the opportunity to shoot them. Presenting them using sepia tone to duplicate the old chemical process in developing film seemed an obvious choice for the subject matter.

As I looked at these covered wagons, I couldn’t help but think how it would have been traveling cross-country in this type of transportation. To traverse across vast distances of landscape with your family and all your belongings for months, to start a new life blows my mind.

As a child, I can remember loading up the family station wagon, (mom, dad and four kids) traveling from the midwest to visit relatives in California. I can recall that we would always drive the desert stretch at night since this was before air conditioning was common in cars (ok…I’m old). We did eventually get a new station wagon during those years that had AC and us kids thought we were in heaven during those later trips.

I applaud our forefathers in the eastern parts of the United States and Canada that headed west in both countries with this mode of transportation. Some settled in the plains and others continued westward through the Rocky Mountains to settle in the far west of both countries.

(on a side note: for those of you that follow my blog…after two weeks as I write this, we just today finished unpacking all boxes from our move… it has been a grueling but wonderful two weeks. We have had the pleasure of “much” time with our granddaughter, our daughter and son-in-law!! After getting everything set up in the house, we now have a garage full of furniture and assorted storage boxes that will find their way into a storage unit. We downsized with the move, but have a number of “heirloom” furniture pieces from my wife’s family and mine that that we will use in our next move to Seattle in about three years. What I haven’t shared is that in May, my wife had knee replacement surgery and then during recovery found out a prior injury months before surgery was actually a bone fracture in same foot as knee surgery. Bottom line…she is now in a “boot”, but has she let that slow her down in unpacking, etc…nope!! Bless happy hour and wine…wine mostly me!!)


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23 thoughts on “Covered Wagons or the Family Car sure has changed

  1. Darlene

    Sepia is the best way to showcase these covered wagons. Aren’t you glad you didn’t have to move to California that way! Glad to hear the move went well, in spite of your wife’s poor foot/knee. Enjoy your new home.

    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      Thanks Darlene….crossing the plains…mountains and then the desert in those covered wagons…wow!!! I’m glad I live in this era where we can get around quicker!! Thanks for stopping by Darlene!!

  2. Sue Slaght

    Oh my Kirt what a lot has been going on! So sorry to hear about your wife’s fracture on top of her replacement. She sounds like one tough lady. Congrats on getting unpacked through it all. As to the photos the sepia works very well to give that historical feel. I have appreciated that in other posts of yours too. Thanking my lucky stars I wasn’t born in a time of riding in one of these wagons.

    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      Thanks Sue…I clearly wasn’t meant to have been born in that era…I drive too fast on freeways as it is…let’s get from point A to point B in the quickest amount of time possible😎

  3. Writing to Freedom

    Congrats on settling into your new home Kirt. It sounds like you both have the pioneering spirit and your wife has the grit to keep moving in the face of challenges. I can’t imagine moving and living in a wagon either!

    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      Thanks Brad!! Feels good to be settled. I still am in awe of all those people traveling in the covered wagon…and I get impatient when the freeway rush hour traffic gets slow…clearly I wasn’t meant to have been born in that era!! 😎

  4. Dan Antion

    The images of the wagons do bring them to life, Kirt. It’s so hard to imagine making that move. Whether they were desperate or just eager for a new life, it had to be an amazing test of will.

    Good luck on the unpacking, packing and storing and good luck to your wife as she recovers.

  5. lorriebowden

    The shots are Great, Kirt, and I’m with you…I can’t imagine traveling that way and have thought of it often (mostly while flying on I-95 a few [ok…maybe quite a few more than that] miles over the speed limit. 😉
    Sending healing light for your wife…those knees are tough…but a boot to boot!!!
    Glad you are settled and spending time with family.

  6. Diane Henders

    Congratulations on your finished move-in! Now it’s time to take a deep breath, relax, and enjoy that wine. 😉

    Your covered wagon photos are beautiful, but I don’t even want to think about what it would have been like crossing a country in them. Every time I see something like that I give thanks for my comfy seats and air conditioning (and heater in the winter)!

    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      LOL…I have been so slighted with the frickin’ heat in the desert this summer I could only focus on the lack of AC…can you imagine going through the Rockies with winter temps….plus if you can’t drive fast on a road…I bore too easily!!

  7. Teagan R. Geneviene

    I see that I’ve missed a lot, Kirt. I apologize. So you moved! (I already backtracked to find the post.) I”m sorry about your wife’s foot/knee. Ouch… and at such a time…
    I really like these wagons. I hope to finish the novel that I was working on when I was so taken with your images of the old mine (how long ago was that!?). Anyhow these wagons made me think of it. I hope to turn it into my next serial so I can finish it.
    Kudos for having such a thorough yet flexible plan and the courage and fortitude to stick with it. Hugs!

    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      Thanks Teagan!! Our family is very important to us and when we moved over to AZ, I had just retired….our girls were all out of college and living elsewhere and we weren’t sure where they would all land (we knew they would stay west). Our oldest and her husband at the time were talking about Denver (our first two were born there way back in the day)….our middle one was committed to LA as her husband and a partner own a production company doing reality TV….our youngest at the time wasn’t married and not sure if she wanted to stay up in Seattle after college. Phoenix seemed a good bet if they all three stayed in those locations….fast forward 5 years…all are married…youngest and oldest settled in Seattle with their respective husbands…planning on children in a few years. Our middle one and her husband have another one on the way and they really wanted us closer than the monthly 6 hour drive weekend visit…so here we are.

  8. gillmorris

    Fab photos Kirt, I bet you’re glad you have a car, although it would have been an experience to travel in a wagon, but it would take soooo long and I can’t imagine it would be all that comfy. Glad you’ve settled in and hope your wife recovers fully – but don’t let that you stop drinking the wine 😉 Have a great weekend

    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      Thanks Gill…could you imagine sitting in one of those and traveling across rough terrain for months on end? Give me a car and freeways😊 thanks for the well wishes for my wife. Have a great weekend!

  9. reocochran

    Great sepia color to show the era just perfectly the covered wagons were part of!
    I hope they padded the seats a bit and hope your move was completed smoothly, Kirt. Each time I have left somewhere I lived, it seemed a small part of my life was left behind (nostalgic memories.) 💞


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