I have history envy. I doubt that it’s a very widespread malady, though possibly infectious. Therefore, in the public interest I have compiled a list of symptoms to watch for:
I often wonder what it would be like to go to work in a historic building situated on a narrow cobblestone street just steps from the first capitol of the state of Missouri (in St. Charles), as a colleague of mine does. We’re talking late 18th-early 19th century here. The Missouri River flows right behind these incredibly charming buildings, as it did when Lewis & Clark stopped by in 1804 on their way West. If those walls could talk!
Or, wouldn’t it be divine to be a researcher in the National Archives, with access to row upon row of historic documents and artifacts, to touch them (wearing archival white gloves, of course) and to ponder the motivations of the authors of these precious links to the past?
I also envy people who live in beautifully restored historic homes, or locations where history happened – which, if loosely defined, could be nearly anywhere.
Okay, so I’ve been known to obsess about strange things on occasion.
In a sense, we create such experiences for our clients. At the beginning of the Lewis & Clark Trail, for instance, we take our sojourners behind the scenes at the Missouri History Museum in St. Louis (or more accurately, the museum’s annex). Because of its admirable location, the Museum houses many incredible artifacts from the 1803-1806 adventure that epitomizes America’s thirst to know. These are items that the explorers actually touched, and used on their adventure – including original diaries and field notes!
On the Oregon Trail we walk in actual wagon ruts of the pioneers who braved physical danger, wild weather and hardships to find a better life in the West. We can gaze on windswept prairies which are little changed from the time the first explorers saw them. There are – surprisingly – many such places. These experiences are not available to the general public, which is one of the reasons that Shebby Lee Tours exists: to bring these one-of-a-kind experiences to lifelong learners.
If you experience any of these symptoms, you may be suffering from history envy. But the good news is that there is a cure. Travel actually has the power to satisfy it. The only drawback is that travel itself has been known to be addictive.
You can try to fight it, or take my advice and give in to it. There are still lots of adventures left on our roster for 2017, including the one-of-a-kind Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup, and we will start rolling out 2018 departure dates in the July newsletter.
I invite you to bring your history envy and join us on the trail soon!