This is the scene pioneers would have faced as they headed west from Fort Laramie toward Laramie Peak, the mountain in the background.
At first glance, it may not look as if this is challenging terrain, but consider some of the hazards along the way.
Although most pioneers began the journey with sturdy boots, when they wore out, some had no replacements. The Historic Trails
Interpretive Center in Casper shows women and children walking barefoot
across the prairie. Even with boots, I wouldn't want to step on a prickly pear cactus. Those spiky yucca leaves were even worse. They have sharp serrated edges that can cut a skirt or unprotected skin. Can you imagine how painful that would have been?
And, although the terrain in the first picture may have looked level, the reality is that the prairie consists of rolling ground. Of course this road wasn't built in the middle of the nineteenth century, but it shows you just how many hills the pioneers had to travel. I suspect that after a day of walking, even a slight incline would have been tiring.
Yet, despite all the challenges, hundreds of thousands of people made the journey west, their wagons leaving indelible marks in the limestone. What courageous, strong people they were!
Welcome! I hope you'll join me for my Wednesday in Wyoming posts -- a chance to learn a little bit about the state I now call home -- and occasional posts about my books.
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