On August 12, Day #3 of our trip West, we drove from Lewellen, Nebraska to Dubois, Wyoming, where we would be staying five nights. We traveled this same route in 2013, so, again, some of these scenes may be familiar to you.
The first noteworthy sight along the way was Chimney Rock, a major landmark along the Oregon Trail, located on U. S. Highway 26 in Nebraska, between the cities of Ogallala and Scottsbluff. I've read that nearly all the diaries of travelers along that famous route describe Chimney Rock.
Next, we paid a quick visit to Scotts Bluff National Monument. I'm just including one picture of Scotts Bluff in this post. If you're interested in more pictures and a little more information, you might want to check out this 2013 post.
|Scotts Bluff National Monument|
After leaving Scotts Bluff, we entered Wyoming, continuing on U. S. Highway 26 to Interstate 25 to the town of Casper. From there, we dropped south a little on Wyoming Highway 220, so we could visit some more Oregon Trail landmarks.
First was Independence Rock, notable primarily for its location. It marked the halfway point between the Missouri River, from which most of the wagon trains started, and the Pacific coast.
|The Sweetwater River flows through the notch in the rock known as Devil's Gate.|
The Tom Sun Ranch National Historic Landmark, located on the Oregon Trail along the Sweetwater River near Devil's Gate and Independence Rock, is both historic and scenic. The historic ranch buildings are now home to the Martin's Cove Mormon Handcart Historic Site. The area is open to the public and allows a closer look at the Devil's Gate landmark.
|Devil's Gate and Sun Ranch corrals, from Martin's Cove|
The next photo is of Split Rock, another Oregon Trail landmark, about a day's travel from Devil's Gate by wagon train. This picture was actually taken in 2013, but it hasn't been posted on the blog before.
Although I hadn't used this Split Rock photo on the blog, it was on Flickr and visible to the public. I received an email from a representative of the Bureau of Land Management, asking my permission to use the photo in a technical publication. I was flattered, of course, and readily gave my permission. It subsequently appeared in the Bureau of Land Management's Technical Note 446, "The Use of Color for Camouflage Concealment of Facilities," published April, 2015. It's not a publication I'd likely ever have seen, but the man who initially contacted me graciously sent me two copies of it.
Now, I close with one last shot of some of the Wyoming scenery we drove through that evening as we continued on, through Lander, Wyoming, to our ultimate destination for that night and four more nights, Dubois, Wyoming.
The Wyoming landscape, although often barren and stark, has a unique beauty all its own. The first time I saw it, nearly fifty years ago now, it made me think of a moonscape; and I couldn't imagine what kind of people would choose to live there. But, through repeated visits, I've learned to see its beauty, even in its starkness. And I'm beginning to understand what draws people to the lifestyle it offers.
More to come from Dubois soon.