Thursday, June 23, 2016

Heading West

My wife and I recently took a two-week road trip through four states—Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Nebraska. I will be sharing some of my pictures from that trip over the next few weeks.

Prior to the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869, the Euro-Americans seeking to settle somewhere in Oregon or Washington joined one of the wagon trains that started in places like Independence, Missouri, St. Joseph, Missouri, or Leavenworth, Kansas and followed the Oregon Trail as it wound its way through Nebraska and Wyoming.  

Most wagon trains started in the spring and used certain landmarks along the way to signify their progress. By late June, many of the wagons had passed Chimney Rock, what was once known as Elk Penis by one of the local tribes, and Scottsbluff, which is near the border between Nebraska and Wyoming. 

It is now possible to drive to the top of Scottsbluff. The circular road pictured below moves through a series of tunnels before it reaches the top of the bluff. 

The wagon trains left ruts in the rock near Guernsey, Wyoming.