D. Tickner Was Here…

… and apparently so was A. Freeman.

We didn’t actually plan a route on this trip. We had a general idea that we wanted to stay as far north as possible without hitting cold weather, and we wanted to spend time in places that are new to us. We like agenda-less travel, even to the extent that on one trip we didn’t decide if we were going to the southeast, southern, or southwest US until we were hours from home and twenty minutes from the I-35/I-80 interchange. We rarely plan more than a day ahead. The weather map is our compass.

On this trip we accidentally hit a couple of parts of the path the settlers (or invaders, from the point of view of the original inhabitants) took when they headed west. After traveling through Fort Bridger we spent a night in the Pruess Mountains near Soda Springs, a night at Massacre Rock (where we showed up unannounced at 2pm on a Saturday and got the last site 😎 ), and a couple nights near City of Rocks, all of which are on the Oregon and/or California Trails.

City of Rocks

The Snake River valley is where the two trails split, with the California-bound invaders settlers forking southwest from Massacre Rock on the Snake River, heading through the City of Rocks to the Humboldt River in what we now call Nevada.

This region was once the domain of the Shoshone tribes. As invaders settlers move through the area, the standard settler/native conflict resolution playbook was executed. Settlers bulldozed their way through native territory, natives reacted to the invasion, settlers complained, army showed up and native americans got forced into reservations. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Today, the City of Rocks Reserve is invaded not by settlers, but rather by rock climbers and tourists. The Reserve has a few dozen primitive campsites, miles of trails, interesting rock formations…

… and a bunch of rock climbers.

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