The town of Independence in Missouri was one starting point for pioneers, settlers and fortune seekers heading West on five different trails in the 19th century. That made sense, since provisions were needed, and having a start point like Independence made commerce easy to carry out. The National Frontier Trails Museum marks those days was exhibits featuring each of the trails, trying to encourage the visitor to put himself or herself in the position of those pioneers. One employee or volunteer was in period dress and role played a conversation in which she encouraged me to go prospect for gold, though with plenty of warnings. I decided I'd rather stay in the civilized world with my family, a choice she said was not uncommon then or now.