Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Yellowstone Day 11

 Friday Sept. 17

Today I got to see two things that I’ve wanted to see ever since I was a kid and read about them in my history book when I was in fourth grade - Independence Rock and Register Cliff.  What a thrill to get to see both of them! The sun was just moving up over the horizon when I hit the road...

I came upon Independence Rock first and it’s located behind a rest area which was very convenient.  You have to walk a boardwalk behind the building to get close to the Rock.  This was an historic stop for the pioneers on the Oregon Trail.  It was named Independence Rock after William Sublette and 80 pioneers had an Independence Day celebration there.

I continued on and finally arrived at Register Cliff which was even more exciting to me.  This sandstone cliff was another important stop for the westward traveling emigrants.  It let them know they were on the correct trail and there are hundreds of names and dates carved into its surface.  What a thrill to be standing there in the footsteps of the pioneers.

Not far from Register Cliff was an historic spot with Oregon Trail wagon train ruts but it was about a mile down a gravel road in the middle of nowhere and I tend to shy away from that sort of thing when I’m by myself.  I was disappointed that I didn’t get to see that, but again, sometimes it’s better to listen to your inner voice.  

Another important stop on the Oregon Trail was Fort Laramie so I headed over to see that.   I was quite impressed by the large size of the Fort.   I had no idea that a fort from back then would have been so large.   This was another key stop on the Oregon Tail and tens of thousands of pioneers stopped there to re-supply.  This location marked the 1/3 point of their journey between the Missouri River starting location and Oregon.  I spent quite some time walking around and exploring the buildings which included soldiers’ quarters, stables, a bakery, and a guardhouse.  Many of the original foundations are still intact and there are several restored buildings.  I really could have spent hours there because there was so much to see.

This was also a stop along the Pony Express route....

They had a tipi set up there and you can go inside of it....

Leaving Ft. Laramie I headed over to my scheduled campsite and I immediately drove right past it and kept going east.  Holy Crap -  it was a horrible looking campground,  very run down with old dingy RVs in it and there was no way I was staying there.  Thankfully I hadn’t made a reservation for that place so I wasn’t going to be out any money.  I decided to keep on driving since it was early afternoon and see what I could find.  Upon arriving at Scotts Bluff I took a chance and pulled into Riverside Campground and talked to the camp host.  She told me which tent sites were taken and said I could go pick whatever empty site I wanted and come back later to pay for it.  I scored a beautiful tent site for $10.00, with electric!  I couldn’t believe that price.  I highly recommend this campground and the campground host, Laurie, could not have been nicer.  The best part is that towering behind the campground is Scotts Bluff which for some reason I missed on my itinerary.

This campground was another favorite on this trip, plus it has a nice park area and a dog park if you need one.  I went up to Lauries RV to pay for my site and got into a conversation with one of her young daughters who informed me that “you’re an old lady like my Grandma.”  Alrighty then!   I honestly laughed about that all night.

It was another nice evening of reading and relaxing.

1 comment:

  1. I had never even heard of some of these stops, how fun! It amuses me that a wall of what we would now consider graffiti has become an historical marker. What an interesting trip!


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