Jean’s hooded jacket had the logo of the Minnesota Deer Hunter Association, and we quickly learned that both Nick and Jean were avid outdoors people. They are traveling in their 5th wheel out West in search of the perfect place to re-settle. “We had enough of cold winters,” was their sentiment, and this is the second summer of their quest for a place where they could hunt and yet avoid frigid Grand Rapids, Minnesota winters. We all commented on how a person can’t help wondering while driving through the mountains how the first pioneers ever made it in their Conestoga wagons. I told Nick and Jean we were reading entries from the Journals of Lewis and Clark’s journal that matched the month and day of our own journey. We all agreed that driving in an air-conditioned car or truck and not having to worry how many fish or elk we caught that day just wasn’t the same.
However, if trekking out west in search of a homestead; if leaving everything that is familiar to you in search of something better; if taking that risk to get out of your comfort zone; if saying good-bye to family and friends, knowing the pain of leaving, but having hope in the joy of the newness of it all; if all of that isn’t being a pioneer, I don’t know what is. So never mind the comforts of traveling we have today, I say if you’re doing what Nick and Jean are doing, you’re a true modern-day pioneer.