Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Continuing west to Scotts Bluff

We left the Lincoln Highway and continued west on US Hwy 26 towards Scotts Bluff. NE publishes a wonderful guide that locates hi-lights of the Auto Tour Route.

Frequently, when we're traveling through small towns, we'll turn off to drive down their main street just to see what's there or perhaps find a community park where we can stretch our legs. Most often, the main street through town, is simply signed as Main Street. On Main Street in Oshkosh, we spotted this very interesting looking bakery. Inside was a women, the owner,cook,  baker, etc., and one very talkative customer having breakfast. He told me about his dog that was sitting in the back of his truck, how good breakfast was, asked where I was from, etc.  For $4.50, I got Carol four huge chocolate chip cookies and two sticky buns for us to share.  At Panera Bread, the other day, they charged $1.75 for a much smaller, and not as good, cookie.

The sign tells the story of the violence during this era. Attack, revenge, attack, more revenge, on and on.

Broadwater, NE has seen some better days. The old store selling barbed wire, coal, etc., was especially interesting.

The next picture tells of the challenges caused by the steep slopes of some of the hills the pioneers had to traverse.

The speck in the distance is us.

There are very few examples of actual wagon ruts remaining. It's been over 125 years and the rain and wind has taken its toll. The ravine, or trace, is the result of erosion of countless wagon ruts over time.

A marker noting a verified point on the trail.

Chimney Rock was the most recognizable landmark on this part of the Western Trails. Pioneers would scale the rock to etch their names. The piece above, fell off the "chimney" years ago and was found by a hiker.

When the pioneers bought provisions before "jumping off" they brought an assortment of trade items with them. Mens shirts, fabric, knives, etc., to use to trade with the Indians, mostly for food but sometimes for labor or guide services. Moccasins were among the most popular trade items because the pioneers shoes wore out from walking and because moccasins, once their feet toughened up, were comfortable. This is a pair of moccasins worn by one of the pioneers.

The North Platte River. Frequently, quicksand was encountered on the river crossing sending the oxen, wagon and passengers to a slow death. After a heavy rain, the level of the river could rise by three feet or more.


Russ Krecklow said...

We are going to learn a lot, following along with you on this journey! Thanks for sharing.

Donna K said...

We rarely traverse a mountain pass or a dry desert without talking about those who have gone before and wondering how they did it. Just looking at the hills beyond our current campsite here in Pendleton makes me wonder how the early settlers brought wagons over those steep, rolling hills. Amazing. Thanks for sharing.