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Bladen Road (Road 800)

Bladen Road (Road 800)

This road leads to the Divide. This may have been the one Alexandra traveled in O Pioneers! As you travel this road, you will notice the slow, steady climb in elevation. The Divide marks the high middle ground between the Republican River and the Little Blue River, near where Cather’s family originally homesteaded.

“When the road began to climb the first long swells of the Divide, Alexandra hummed an old Swedish hymn, and Emil wondered why his sister looked so happy. Her face was so radiant that he felt shy about asking her. For the first time, perhaps, since that land emerged from the waters of geologic ages, a human face was set toward it with love and yearning. It seemed beautiful to her, rich and strong and glorious. Her eyes drank in the breadth of it, until her tears blinded her. Then the Genius of the Divide, the great, free spirit which breathes across it, must have bent lower than it ever bent to a human will before. The history of every great country begins in the heart of a man or a woman.”— O Pioneers!