The Oregon Trail was established in 1843 and for the next 25 years an estimated half a million pioneers traveled the route, settling the western half of the
The trail entered what is now
The settlers packed their belongings in 10’ x 4’ wagons called Prairie Schooners, generally pulled by oxen. Oxen were less expensive and heartier than horses. The more familiar bigger Conestoga Wagons were too large and cumbersome to make the rugged trip.
A good day’s travel was 15 – 16 miles and it took a month to cross
One can see and realize what the pioneers experienced by following the
Rock Creek Station, in
Further west, outside Lewellen, is found Ash Hollow. Ash Hollow must have been like heaven because it had fresh water and trees. The pioneers had been using muddy water from the
Continuing west outside
A few more miles west you see Chimney Rock, the most familiar landmark on the
Before the settlers left the
Scott’s Bluff was named after a trapper, Hiram Scott, who was hurt and couldn’t travel with his fellow trappers. They left him and he didn’t make it. His body was found the next year in the vicinity of the monument. Today, Scott’s Bluff is a National Monument and you can either drive or walk to the top. The visitor’s center houses a museum and a camp ground is available.
If you enjoy history you will enjoy