Saturday, June 18, 2011

Communications and Road Miles

I had a fairly typical experience, and a bit of an odd experience, yesterday which calls to mind the topic of this blog.

Yesterday I went to my office, then to Sheridan Wyoming, then to Ranchester Wyoming, and back.

On the way to Ranchester, we passed two Rolls Royce touring cars. The Silver Ghost type of car, really old ones. They were, of course, premium touring cars in their day, which would have been basically the years on both sides of World War One. Huge automobiles.

The trip basically entailed about 170 miles of travel one way, or a grand trip, in one day of about 300 or so miles. We were home by dinner.

On the way back, I pulled over by the Midwest exit where there was cell reception to make a work call to an attorney in Gillette, WY. My son took this photograph while I was doing that.

What does this have to do with anything?

Well, in a century's time, communications and travel have been so revolutionized that they've radically impacted the way those in my field, in this location, do business. A century ago I would not have taken a day trip to Sheridan and Ranchester. For that matter, while I could easily have gone from Sheridan to Ranchester, most summers, a century ago, that would likely have pretty much been a day trip in and of itself. No, an attorney, if he ever had any cause to go to Sheridan from Casper, would have taken a train. Most likely, you'd take the train up one day, and back the next.

A very adventurous person, if they owned a car, might have driven up to Sheridan, but it would have taken all day. And you would have stayed upon arriving.

This year, I suspect, the travel by car of that type, on roads of that era, would have been impossible. Everything is flooding. I doubt a person could have driven in these conditions from Sheridan to Ranchester. You might have had to take the train to do that. The rail line does run though both towns, then up to Garryowen, and on to Billings. It did then as well.

Even in the mid 20th Century this would have been a long road trip, but you could have done it in a day.

But even the telephone aspect of this didn't exist when I first practiced law, some 20 years ago. That's entirely new. It effectively makes your car your office. As internet connections continue to improve, very often you have internet service darned near everywhere for that matter.

An improvement, or just the way things are?