Trip Start Jun 11, 2009
12Trip End Jun 25, 2009
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From there we headed to Wyoming. On the way we stopped to see some amazing wagon trail ruts in Gurnsey, WY. Yes folks, WE ARE NUTS FOR RUTS! They were pretty amazing really...check out the photo with Maria standing in them. All the wagons were forced into this one bottleneck area and created these ruts in the rock. We know you are amazed now
From the ruts we went to "Register Cliff". This was a massive sandstone monolith that the Overlanders would stop at and carve their names into the rock. Our goal was to find Alva Unthank's inscription from Wayne County, Indiana. Unfortunately for our buddy Alva, his grave stone was found only a short distance from Register Cliff. They speculate he died of Cholera, which killed many of the one in ten pioneers who died traveling the trail. We were not the only ones who found Alva's inscription in the cliff. As you can see in the photo, his great-grandson and nephew who traveled the trail several years later found their Alva's inscription and added their own below his.
We then headed to Casper, WY to meet up with Morris our guide for our overnight wagon trail experience. Morris was a living encyclopedia of the Oregon Trail. In 1993 he and his four daughters, aged 13-19 did the trail in covered wagons he had built. It took them 6 months, just like the pioneers and he had some great stories from that journey. Maria and Lauren rode horses and Tish, Tom and Ethan were in the bumpiest wagon you could ever imagine. This wagon made riding a horse feel like a ride in Bud's black Caddy. The country was beautiful and we camped the night next to the North Platte River.....in a Teepee. We got great history lesson about the Army of that era by Daniel, another guide who was dressed in the period as an infantry soldier. Ethan really like this....re picture with big gun!
After breakfast in the morning cooked over the open fire we climbed in the wagon and headed back to our "wagon" for the rest of our trip!