Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Wednesday in Wyoming - November 24, 2021


Devil's Gate - Oregon Trail
Another landmark on the Wyoming portion of the Oregon Trail is Devil's Gate. Although the name sounds ominous, this was a welcome stop along the trail, because the fissure in the rock was created by the Sweetwater River.

If you've traveled through central Wyoming, you know it's a mostly arid region, making the presence of a river and the fresh water it provided a reason for the pioneers to give thanks.

As for the origin of the name, here's a link with a possible explanation.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Wednesday in Wyoming - November 17, 2021


Register Cliff - Oregon Trail
The pioneers who crossed the Oregon Trail might not have known their wagons would leave the deep ruts I featured in last week's post, but they definitely knew they were leaving their mark on Register Cliff.

This nineteenth century form of graffiti is found a few miles outside of Fort Laramie. Other signatures were etched into Independence Rock closer to the center of the state. They all show that the urge to say "I was here" isn't unique to modern times.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Wednesday in Wyoming - November 10, 2021


wagon ruts - Oregon Trail
Do you suppose the pioneers who crossed the Oregon Trail realized they'd be leaving long-lasting evidence of their journey? These wagon ruts -- some cut as much as five feet into the native limestone -- are unmistakable proof that thousands of covered wagons passed this way.

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Wednesday in Wyoming - November 3, 2021


Laramie Peak
This month's posts will highlight sites along the Oregon Trail in Wyoming, starting with Laramie Peak.  This mountain, which is visible for many miles, was a major landmark along the Trail, signaling the end of the "easy" journey across the plains and the beginning of the more difficult and dangerous trek around mountains.

You'll notice that I put "easy" in quotes. That's because I don't consider any aspect of the journey west an easy one. Pioneers faced countless dangers as they left their homes in the East to forge new lives.

I salute their courage!