They Came West
As appearing in The Gold Nugget, February 2008
by Keith R. Hawley (Photo by Keith R. Hawley)


[ They Came West, photo by Keith R. Hawley ] They came West seeking a new life, land and gold, but what lied ahead was un-expecting to them.

By wagon, on horse; some on foot they traveled for a very long time. The hope of finding gold and hitting it rich brought them, but life has its dues with its re-wards. Having no road to travel just a trail perhaps to follow, they continued their journey through the heat of summer and the cold of winter. Life and death all occurred along their way. Those who made it here had another challenge -- the height of the mountains. A harsher climb then expected. Nothing came easy except maybe for a toss of a hat up in the air to land back on the ground so to decide where to start digging for gold. Day after day they dug. Some hit the jackpot and made the riches they sought, but for many left panning the streams their dreams faded in an empty pan.

There were those, who still live today by name in the books of history for us all to read, but for many whom did not dig in the right spot; their stories remain silent and empty as did their pan.

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