Monday, February 10, 2014

The Oregon Trail and Guernsey State Park

201 years ago visitors showed up at my doorstep. Or, at least, they could have.

It was in the winter of 1812-13 that Robert Stuart led the seven returning Astorians on their journey from Astoria at the mouth of the Columbia River to St. Louis. After traversing South Pass they found the North Platte and followed it to the Missouri and on to St. Louis. To do this they must have passed very close to my home a quarter of a mile north of the North Platte and 13 miles upstream from Fort Laramie. It would take another 21 years before Fort Laramie (then Fort William) was founded as a trapper trading post.

With this passing of the Astorians Robert Stuart and his crew become the pathfinders of the route that later would become the Oregon Trail. Fort Laramie would go on to become one of the most looked forward to stops for travelers heading west.
Guernsey State Park encompasses several thousand acres, the famous Trail Ruts and Register Cliff, both south of Guernsey, are also part of the park. Probably no way Stuart and the Astorians passed through without being the first vacationers to stop at this terrific Wyoming park.
Hope they paid their overnight camping fee.         Fort Laramie             Guernsey State Park (in our town)