We are heading down south to meet Ricky, Bobbie and family in Estes Park, CO for the last week of July. Don’t really have anything planned so just wandering. Found a cheap campground in Guernsey, WY only $150 for a week, so decided to head that way. We weren’t expecting much, but a little more than there was. We were only able to get two TV channels and their internet barely worked. I know it sounds slack, but a week with little to no TV or Internet is just unacceptable, especially in that particular location. Nothing to do for miles. We did have a nice afternoon and spent one night before moving on to Nebraska.
Guernsey is right in the path of the Oregon Trail, which follows the North Platte river for quite some ways. The big attractions in Guernsey are wagon wheel ruts and the registry cliff – both free. The Oregon trail was the path used by over 400,000 people heading west in wagon trains from the early 1800 thru at least 1869 when the first transcontinental railroad was completed. The North Platte River cut thru the soft sand stone in this area and left about 40-50 foot sandstone cliffs. Many emigrants on the trail as well as contemporaries have signed the registry by carving in the soft sandstone. Most of what we saw was more contemporary or graffiti looking.
The most interesting part of these cliffs to me was the barn swallow nests. They were really cool looking.
Next was the wagon wheel ruts. The sandstone is a rather soft stone and with the number of wagons passing thru here they left ruts in the rocks. This reminded us of Pompeii, Italy. Although in Pompeii it was not sandstone, it was just thousands of years of use. The ruts in Guernsey are impressive and much deeper than in Pompeii. I am glad we visited, but I was a little more impressed by the ones in Pompeii, judge for yourself.
From here we ventured a little further east to Fort Laramie. Over the years we have seen many forts in various stages of ruin, so I was not really expecting much. But we were pleasantly surprised. The fort was mainly used as a supply stop for fur traders in the early days and later as a frontier Army Post supporting emigrants, traveling on the Oregon trail. After the railroad came thru there was not as much need for the fort and was used by private citizens which is one of the reasons it is so well preserved. There are numerous buildings that have been fully restored and furnished in period furnishings. Check out the bubble in the old glass windows.
This building was used as officer housing and fort headquarters, and is believed to be the oldest existing building in the state of Wyoming built in 1849!! Coming from the east coast with its long history, this was an interesting fact.
Well that was about all there was to see in that area of WY and it took an afternoon, not to mention we were not too happy with the campground so we only stayed one night and moved on to Nebraska the next day. Wyoming is not all bad and we will be back after our visit with Rick, Bobbie and the kids.
Peace and Love