Tales From The Camping House

Tales From The Camping House

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Oregon Trail Ruts & Register Cliff

We are staying right by where the Oregon Trail went through Wyoming.  I knew the Oregon Trail was used by settlers to travel westward, but that was about it, so before we went exploring I read a short book giving the history of it.

From the 1830's to 1869 when the railroad came through, approximately 400,000 settlers made the trip using the trail to reach Willamette Valley in Oregon and also, cutting south to California.  According to the book I read, you might think it was a desolate journey, but there were so many wagons going in the same direction, there was one wagon after another as far as you could see.

There is a historic site in Guernsey where the trail was worn down by wagon wheels, draft animals and people about 2 to 6 feet in the sandstone ridge during the heavy usage from 1841-1869.

We arrived at the

There was a nice view from the top.

The ruts were just a short walk away.

There's just something about walking in the same place where 150 years ago people were making a journey that would test everything within them in order to make a better place for themselves.

This is pretty much the same view they saw, except the buffalo are missing.  Some of the settlers wrote there were so many buffalo grazing, it was a sea of black as far as you could see.

More ruts.

 Next, we went to the

As settlers, came from Fort Laramie following the North Platte River, they passed by Register Cliff which was made of soft rock that could be carved on.  Settlers would sign their names as they passed through "registering" that they had made the journey this far.

There were signatures all over the rocks from all different times.

 It was an interesting history lesson today, we definitely learned more than we had known before about the Oregon Trail.  We are planning on going to Fort Laramie on Monday for another history lesson.

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