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It was very difficult to get from the East to California in those days.
This was decades before the completion of the transcontinental railroad. Therefore, any overland travel had to be done by foot, on horseback, or in wagons pulled by animals. This took a long time and was very difficult as the conditions on the trail were very harsh.
The other option was to go by sea. This was long before the Panama Canal so those going by sea had to either go around the tip of South America or get off in Nicaragua or Panama, cross by land, and get on another ship on the other side. Going this way had serious drawbacks as well, such as seasickness and tropical diseases that could be contracted in Central America.
Whichever way one went, it was difficult to get from the East to California for the 1849 gold rush.
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