Whoa, what’s up there?
For folks that are in a hurry, we give a simple answer to briefly explain the journey “up there.” It’s 170 years of history that details the stories of the millions of travelers who journeyed along what we call the Great Platte River Road. But is what’s “up there” that simple?
The reality of what’s “up there” is very complicated and can’t adequately be conveyed in a few words. Why? Because the stories you experience aren’t from your average person. They’re the stories of pioneers who had the courage to start a journey down a path with little information but immense amounts of hope. A hope that helped so many overcome innumerable obstacles and improbable odds. All in hopes of finding a better life.
Leisure, commerce, religious freedom and new opportunities helped set the blistering pace of America’s westward expansion. New lands were opening up out west that promised new fortunes. Little was actually known about the new frontier, but hope overcame that. The dangers of settling lands that were new to them led to the demise of some and ended the dreams of many. But those who survived embodied the American spirit and made America what it is today.
Of course, as time passed, new technology made the journey easier and more comfortable. A months-long journey by wagon turned into a weeks-long trip by stagecoach. That turned into a days-long adventure by train and soon folks could travel all the way west in a few days by automobile.
From the Mormon, Oregon and California trails starting in the 1840s to the Transcontinental Railroad, the Lincoln Highway and Interstate 80, The Archway is at the heart of many of the most important routes in American history.