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.
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!ReplyDelete