Remember? I am a lover of history, especially American history and the settling of the American west, so you’ll understand why today’s (Saturday, May 21) history tour was a HUGELY happy day for me.
We allowed ourselves a little extra time this morning so we were on the interstate heading north by 10:30 a.m. First stop was a little town known as Guernsey, Wyoming. Why Guernsey? Well, just a couple of miles outside of the town, and down a dirt road, there is a historical area where you can see the actual wagon wheel ruts worn in to the sandstone.
Wagon Wheel Ruts
While many wagon trains traveled abreast of each other, (to avoid eating wagon dust) there were times on the trail when the wagons had to travel single file. Standing next to (and in the middle of) the ruts I stood there silently and tried to take in what it must have been like to travel hundreds of miles for four to six months in a covered wagon. I can’t even begin to imagine myself in their shoes and I have profound respect for all of those who made the journey. Those who came before us, definitely led the way for all!
A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words
Just about a mile further along the dirt road there is a cliff known as Register Cliff. As the emigrants made camp alongside the Platte River, they often carved their names in the sandstone.
The next stop on our history tour was Fort Laramie. First though, we decided to stop for lunch at the American Grill! We never got his name but the owner was extremely friendly and quite chatty. The food was good and the customer service was the best! Whenever possible we try to stay away from chain restaurants and eat with the locals as they know where the good food is.
If you know your American history you know that Fort Laramie played a vital role in the settling of the American West. Emigrants stopped at the fort to rest and regroup before moving on. The park service has worked wonders restoring the buildings. Visitors can roam freely and enter most of the buildings at the fort. I stood on the front porch of the barracks and looked out over the Platte River flowing right at the edge of the fort grounds and again had nothing but respect for those who came west.