July 1st. 2019
- Hike – 1.4 miles.
- Mosquitos – Thousands.
- One hour away from home.
- Should have started earlier in the day.
..Today’s adventure is a place we have already been a few years ago when we visited from South Carolina.
..Last time the weather was fair and rabbits were all over the place.
..The plan today was to walk around it and then hike to the top. Well… that plan got seriously altered. First of all, a bit of mornings laziness crept into our plans causing to arrive late into the morning. The second was the fact that this time any spot that helps any measure of moisture produced clouds of Mosquito’s
What is Independence Rock?
..When the pioneers of the nineteenth century left the east in wagons. By 1870 hundreds of thousands of Men, Women, children, and livestock had passed by this spot. Some estimates put the number as high as 400,000 people. The Wyoming trails through this land divided into the Oregon, Mormon and California trails and the plan was to reach Independence Rock by the Fourth of July.
..Otherwise, you would be too late and get caught in possible heavy snows in the Rock Mountains. And no one wanted to end up like the Donner Party of 1847.
..Many people camped and celebrated around this old rock and carved their names all over it. A person once referred to this place as, “where the Declaration of Independence was written in stone.”
..Many names can be found all over this rock, some you will need to climb to find. But, unfortunately, time as not treated the writings well, weathering them to the point of becoming unreadable.
..I have included many photo images of the names that could be found. Enhanced, many of them I got a little clarity out.
Click on the images below to see more.
What about the hike?
..Well, I would love to report how wonderful and spectacular it was. But, the increasing heat and continual swatting of mosquitoes soon created a bit of tunnel vision of “JUST GET IT DONE.” Those darn little guys quickly sucked the fun of the morning away.
..About 50 percent of the trail is well maintained while the rest you need to cross through gates into cattle fields to finish the trek. Normally none of this would be a problem, but after swatting so many bugs…well like I said, the fun was gone.
..On the other side, however, the ground is far dyer with fewer bugs and the occasional light wind to drive them away. At this point, my wife stayed on the trail and I climbed to the top to make a video.
..The stone face was fairly easy to climb and there were writings on top, Just to weathered to read. So after a hundred and thirty years, the names of the past are now fading away.
..The whole westward push created a time of “crazy” mindsets as people faced disease and starvation at times for the hope of a better life. Some of the craziest was during the California gold rush of 1949
..Fort Laramie in Wyoming (about a hundred eighty miles away) eventually became known as “Camp Sacrifice” along the Oregon Trail. This was because of the reputation of Gold fever turning Fort Laramie into a dumping ground. Pioneers during this time reportedly abandoned as much as a whopping 20,000 pounds of bacon outside the fort walls. All in an effort to lighten the wagons to make it to the Gold Fields in time.