Thursday, June 23, 2011

Scotts Bluff, Nebraska

The Mitchell Pass on the Oregon Trail. For the more than 300,000 emigrants who headed west, this was the 1/3 of-the-way mark. Most thought the prairie they just crossed was the worse part of their 2000 mile journey. Few knew the most challenging part of the migration was still ahead of them; The Rocky Mountains. The next stop from here was Fort Laramie, Wyoming, where much needed supplies could be purchased, and they could enjoy the relative safety the fort afforded them.

An exact replica of a Conestoga Wagon complete with life-like oxen, sitting right on The Oregon Trail. There were other replicas too. It is a misconception to think of the trail as a one lane roadway. At times, when space allowed, the wagons spread out 10 wagons wide or more so as to avoid the dust created by the leading wagons. It was in fact only one lane in the narrow passes and canyons.

Also on the trail in period clothes, this volunteer is preparing sourdough biscuits in a cast iron dutch oven, on a fire of dried dung just as the settlers did on their journey. We were fortunate to arrive when the biscuits were done and got to try them; yummy! The Park Service has done a wonderful job at this National Monument and it has become one of our favorites.

From atop Scotts Bluff we could see windy road we came up on and one of the three tunnels here; the only tunnels in all of Nebraska.

Wi-fi is is also available at one of the most unusual welcome centers we've seen.

1 comment:

  1. What an interesting stop! Some gorgeous scenery and fascinating history. Nina