Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Travel Journal, first day

Flying is not my favorite thing. I still feel that if God wanted us to fly, we would have feathers. Be that as it may, this morning I stepped on a small jet and headed off to Salt Lake City, Utah, also known as the genealogist's Mecca. Myself and two friends are spending four days in the Family History Library, trying to pry a hole or two in some genealogical brick walls.

Odd thing about this trip. I enjoyed the flight. No churning stomach, no desire to squeeze my eyes shut until the plane leveled, no claw marks in the arm rests. Either I'm getting better at this flying thing or I've reached that point in my life when I've accepted that if it's your time to go, it's your time and there's nothing you can do about it, so why not enjoy yourself in the moment.

The sky was bright and clear and I thoroughly enjoyed watching the patchwork quilt down below. I found myself comparing my mode of travel in 2005 with that of my ancestors. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, they moved slowly by horseback or wagon, perhaps occasionally by train. What would they have thought if they could see the land from 20,000 feet above? While I made a 1,000 mile trip in less than 3 hours, how long must it have taken for the Mobleys to travel to Texas from Georgia? I know they came to Galveston by boat and at least one group of them walked the rest of the way to Bastrop County. Can you imagine?

This is my third time to fly to Salt Lake City. I always look forward to crossing the Rocky Mountains and drinking in the beauty of their craggy peaks, covered with virgin snow. It's been a long time since I've driven through the mountains, which is my favorite way of viewing them, but seeing them from above is special too. There is still a lot of snow covering the mountains and the view today was spectacular.

Tomorrow I immerse myself in the past. It may not be most folks' idea of a vacation, but I love pulling new details of my family's past out of the bank of microfilm that is available here. I know I will leave here Sunday with a sore arm from cranking microfilm, but I also know that somewhere along the way I will discover something about my family's history that I didn't know. Another piece of the puzzle will fall into place and I will leave here satisfied and actually glad that I got on that plane.


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