Oregon Trail

Since Route 20 ends in Oregon, I figured I would cross the Oregon Trail at some point. I did; in fact, several times!

Oregon Trail Map

The first time was in Glenrock, Wyoming.

Rock in the Glen Sign

The Rock in the Glen

Travelers on the Oregon Trail carved their names in the rock.

Names carved in the Rock in the Glen

Some had years next to their names.

Close up on some carvings - 1879

I added my name.

Nick 2011

Near Glenrock, in Casper, Wyoming, there is a museum about the Oregon Trail, so I stopped there.

National Historic Trails Interpretive Center, Casper

Four different trails converged near Casper, as it was a good place to cross the North Platte River.

North Platte River, from the NHTIC parking lot

I watched a multimedia presentation about the four trails: the Oregon Trail, the California gold rush trail, the Mormon Trail, and the Pony Express Trail. It had video, voice actors reading from diaries, and it lit up sections of the large diorama.

Covered wagon and Oregon settlers

I sat in a covered wagon that moved up and down and back and forth while a video played, the whole experience meant to simulate fording a river (including its dangers — like drowning, losing supplies, losing oxen). This reminded me of the Oregon Trail computer game that we often used to play in elementary school computer class. [Click the pictures to go play the game yourself for free online!]

Oregon Trail Game

Hunting on the Oregon Trail

Further along on my drive, a few days later, Route 20 followed the same path as a piece of the Oregon Trail. Not the main trail, which passed to the south of where I was, but a piece called Goodale’s Cutoff which was taken by some settlers hoping to avoid confrontations with American Indians on the main trail.

Route 20 in Idaho - Goodale's Cutoff

Route 20 traced the path of Goodale’s Cutoff more than 100 miles in Idaho, roughly from Arco to Boise. More info on Goodale’s cutoff can be found here and here.

Goodale's Cutoff Historical Sign

The next day, I (and Route 20) crossed the Snake River from Idaho into Oregon near where settlers traveling the Oregon Trail crossed.

The Snake River

Route 20 - Oregon Trail

It was fun to follow along (some pieces of) the Oregon Trail!

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7 responses to “Oregon Trail

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