Day 28: Trail landmarks part two

Casper, WY to Green River, WY

Went to downtown Casper. It’s chock-full of great vernacular architecture like gas stations.

Gas station, Casper, WY

Went for breakfast at Sherrie’s Place in downtown Casper. Full of locals. Food and service were top notch. Overheard: Lots of houses in Rock Springs have abandoned coal mines in their basements.

The historic trails fascinate me because they are a mixture of history and geography, and are so important to the story of America. People uprooted their lives and risked everything to go to places they had never seen, and suffered great hardships on the way. Some died on the way.

Over to Independence Rock, a trail landmark just outside Casper. It’s wonderful to think that the emigrants saw (and scratched their names on) the same rock.

Panorama: Independence Rock
Independence Rock

I climbed up a little way and then came down — it’s a lot easier going up. I crawled down facing the rock. Didn’t see any genuine 19th century inscriptions.

Soon after leaving Independence Rock, I crossed the Sweetwater River. It had water in it, but it is much narrower than the North Platte.

Stopped at Devil’s Gate, a gorge cut by the Sweetwater.

Devil’s Gate

I took a detour dirt road through Atlantic City and South Pass City – once mining towns, now just barely populated.

The Carissa Mine, South Pass City, WY. A former gold mine, now a historic site

Got to the Continental Divide!

At the Continental Divide. (South Pass, but not the same location as the historic South Pass).

I am in the Pacific zone now. or as one of the emigrants said – “the other side of the world.”

The low point in the saddle is the South Pass of the historic trails.

Original South Pass, near South Pass City, WY

A couple of miles past South Pass is the spot called “Parting of the Ways.” It’s one of the places where the California and Oregon trails diverged. (Both trails had variations in their routes.)

To my motel in Green River, a pleasant town.

Rock formation, Green River, WY

Just when I got there – thunder and rain, which was over quickly. After that it was pleasant and cool.

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