TRAILS AND TEARS WEST – GUERNSEY, WY

Guernsey, Wyoming, is a small town of about 1,229.  Located on Hwy 26, the town sits alongside the banks of the North Platte River.  Guernsey was founded in the 1880s and is directly on the Oregon Trail.  We are here for the USAF, but more on that in my next post.

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Guernsey is home to the Oregon Trail Ruts site.  The depth of the ruts is up to 6′ in some areas, and made by the wagon wheels carving through the sandstone rock.  What hardships the travelers must have faced along the trail.

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The sandstone was deeply gouged and worn down by wagon wheels.

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There is just enough room along this rocky path for a wagon to fit through.

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The town of Guernsey sits just below the Oregon Trail Ruts site.

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Register Cliff is another interesting historic site.  Those traveling the Oregon Trail would carve their names and dates into the sandstone cliff as they passed through this area.

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Riding out to Register Cliff is just a short trip away from Guernsey.

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Unfortunately it wasn’t until 1970 that Register Cliff was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  So there are more current dates etched alongside the actual Oregon Trail traveler markings.

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Oregon Trail Ruts and Register Cliff,  Copy and paste URLs:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregon_Trail_Ruts_(Guernsey,_Wyoming)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Register_Cliff

 

 

THE COWBOY STATE – WYOMING

We made it to Wyoming!  First impression … Wyoming is big!  Wide open land with rolling hills.  Mountains in the distance.

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I’ve always heard about the wind and blowing snow problems on Wyoming interstates and highways.  Wyoming DOT implemented solutions … intermittently spaced wooden snow fences or the same of planted pine trees.  And they are everywhere!

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If roads become too dangerous, barriers drop across highways and interstates like train crossings.  Closed!

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(One more comment about roads … cattle guards.  Cattle guards are everywhere.  At on and off ramps to the interstates, highways and roads through towns.  And of course lots of cattle dot the land as well.)

In Chugwater, Wyoming, interesting rock bluffs dominate the landscape.  They are called Chugwater Formations.  The base is sandstone, with siltstone and shale mixed in.  This type of rocky bluff can be found in Wyoming, Montana and Colorado.

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The town of Chugwater is also known for their awesome chili!  We didn’t get to stop for that but plan to if we make a trip down to Cheyenne.

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Wyoming.  Copy and paste URL:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wyoming

 

BE STILL MY HEART – IT’S COLORADO!

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Driving down off the Raton Pass we could see snow covered Rockies in the distance!  We have both had a love of Colorado for as long as we can remember.

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Just north of Trinidad, Colorado, is The Ludlow Massacre memorial.  Ludlow was once a coal mining community.  In 1913 the miners launched a strike against the working conditions.  In 1914, company guards and the Colorado National Guard attacked the mining camps, killing over 24 miners, their wives and children.  Ludlow is now a ghost town but this memorial stands in memory of the tragedy.

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Large bird soaring against the backdrop of the beautiful Colorado mountains and pines.  It was really pretty.

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More snow covered mountains beyond the grasslands.

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We rolled through Colorado quickly driving north, but will be staying a few days on our return trip.

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United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

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Mile High Stadium in Denver.  We’ve been to a game here before to see the Broncos play Kansas City.  It was cold but great!

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More on Colorado in May!

 

 

 

 

 

 

A TOWN CALLED MOUSE – RATON, NEW MEXICO

The town called Mouse is actually Raton, New Mexico.  In Spanish “Raton” means mouse or small rat, but we didn’t see either thankfully.  Raton is on the border of New Mexico and Colorado and sits at the base of the 7,834′ Raton Pass.

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Extinct volcano.

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Right before Raton we stopped at the Sierra Grande rest area to stretch our legs a bit and let Gracie run.  The Sierra Grande is an extinct volcano and part of the Raton-Clayton volcanic field.

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The Raton Pass rises in front of us.

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The Raton KOA was very welcoming after a 540 miles drive today.  We hooked up utilities, put the slides out and made big turkey sandwiches for dinner.  Whew!  Gracie did some exploring before bed and also had some turkey.

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Leaving New Mexico the next morning ….. I think someone forgot to add “Baby” to the end.  Hasta la Vista … baby!

AMARILLO, TEXAS

Driving through Amarillo seems to be a necessary evil to get to other places.  Right?  I have always heard that so I decided it’s time to find out more about Amarillo or The Yellow Rose of Texas!

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Silo city…

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There are 14 million acres of agricultural land surrounding Amarillo!  The crops are wheat, corn, cotton, hay, sorghum and soybeans.  I finally had to stop counting silos.

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More visible than the silos are the thousands of GIANT 300′ tall wind turbines that dot the landscape for MILES!  100′ blades supporting the generation of wind-powered electricity.

Amarillo is home to The American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum.  And I love horses!

QUARTER HORSE

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These are two very special Quarter horses … the very first registered Quarter Horse “Wimpy P-1” (1937) and one of the 2017 inductees, Strawfly Special.

Cadillac Ranch…..

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Amarillo has a very unusual ranch, the Cadillac Ranch.  I see someone else from Louisiana made the trip.  LOL.  You just walk up and paint whatever you choose on the Caddys.

………..a few other interesting things …. Amarillo has been called  “Bomb City” because it is home to the Pantex Plant, a nuclear weapons assembly and disassembly facility.

Amarillo once had the largest and most productive Helium field in the world.  Amarillo holds massive helium reserves in giant natural underground caverns called “Cliffside Field.”  Over a billion cubic meters!

Amarillo is home to one of the largest meat-packing areas in the U.S. and also has several state of the art dairies for milk production.

So Amarillo may not be the prettiest town around, but it isn’t just a drive to get to someplace else either.  It is a robust community, alive and well.

TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

We love camping each year in April and November for the Texas NASCAR races in Fort Worth!  It is always good fun, food and fellowship with our racing family. Boondocking in the cow pasture and perfect 🙂

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Sandy and Steve are our friendly racing rivals!  They travel with four legged family also so Gracie always has someone to play with!

 

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I have to admit … I like to drive fast.  So I was surprised by my nervousness when George gave me a chance to take 4 very fast laps around the speedway!  My driver’s name was Dennis.  He is an instructor at the NASCAR driving school.

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It was an absolute blast and fast of course.  I LOVED IT!  Thank you to my honey!

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Fun time together at the races!

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Evening fireworks.  Always a perfect way to end an evening.  Now it’s time to get everything packed up for an early AM departure as we head to Wyoming!