2018 - Trip Report - Emigrant Trails with Bob N Sue
Emigrant Trails with Bob n Sue
Like most of us, Sue and I enjoy ﬁnding and following old trails. There are many of them to explore and each emigrant trail across our beautiful nation has its own individual story. Their very names inspire a curiosity and wanderlust in us. Think about the Santa Fe or the Cimarron, the Pony Express,the Oregon, Mormon, Applegate, Platte or Old Spanish Trail. We can follow in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark, Hastings, Bozeman, Goodale, Kearny, Nobles or Carson. We can try and imagine the obstacles endured on the Donner Trail, or the Cherokee Trail, or the Trail of Tears. We can revisit the not so distant past on Old National Trails, Route 66 or the Lincoln Highway. We have such a great history to experience on our emigrant trails.
To celebrate our 50th Anniversary in July, Sue and I took a road trip. This time instead of traveling and sleeping in a 1959 Ford panel truck. We had our comfortable car and stayed in hotels. Our route went through parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Utah. We discovered that we were almost always crossing or following old emigrant trails. We visited Fort Union in New Mexico where the Santa Fe and Cimarron Trails merge. The California Trail, Mormon Trail, Oregon Trail and the Pony Express Trail follow the Platte River through Nebraska and Wyoming, as we did. The Bozeman Trail and Lewis & Clark followed the Yellowstone River through Montana. Traveling along the old trails we saw Chimney Rock and Devils Tower. We hiked to the very spot that William Clark stood when he carved his signature in Pompey’s Pillar in Montana. We drove the 1935 Civilian Conservation Corps road to the top of Scotts Bluff in Nebraska. We hiked to early inscriptions at Register Cliff and also at Independence Rock, both landmarks along the Emigrant Trail in Wyoming. We saw where Custer’s trail ended at the Little Big Horn.
Along our route, we enjoyed seeing old billboards on Route 66 in New Mexico, historic Fort Laramie in Wyoming and driving beautiful “Road to the Sun” at Glacier Park in Montana. In Yellowstone Park we visited historic lodges including Yellowstone Lodge, Lake Lodge, Jefferson Lodge and Old Faithful Lodge. At Mammoth Lodge, Nelson and Mary Miller met us early one morning and took us to the Lamar Valley in Yellowstone to see wildlife on animal trails. What a great day that was!
Our personal trail ﬁnally led us toward home, but one last glorious night was spent at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon overlooking John Wesley Powell’s “trail,” the Colorado River. ~ Bob