"The Desolation Express"

12" x 24" Oil on Panel

Stage travel could be, and generally was, boring, uncomfortable,  and tedious.  The average stage run between stops to let passengers eat or just stretch their legs and to change, feed, and water horses was around twenty to forty miles, more or less depending on the location.  Horses were very seldom run full out if unnecessary so the idea that time was important diminished in value.  In those days, people did not have a reference of rapid transit for comparison so there was little of the urgency associated with travel that we feel today.  In fact, before general rail use, a few days spent bumping along at a rate little faster than a brisk walk to cover a hundred miles was considered as fast as it got - and we were gratified and felt damn lucky to have that luxury.  Yes Sir, it showed how far we'd come in modern life.  Nowadays, if we get delayed for an hour or two, it can cause a real calamity at both ends of the journey.  Still, simple ways are not always the best ways.  At least in the case of travel.

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