Above is a picture of how the crazy traveling WomenRV'er line up in the morning to take turns at the dump station. This is us getting ready to head out on the road Monday morning. Below is the circling of "wagons" in the lot across the street as we wait on those that needed to use the dump facilities across the road. Boring stuff of traveling the the mechanics of life on the road.
And the we were off up the highway watching the scenery go by. we saw the mountain on the left and a sign for a rest stop and thought that pulling over to take pictures might be safer that the "roll the window down and shoot" method.
So now you have a "class photo" of the line up at the rest area. A couple pulled in behind us before we left. They were from FL. They were pulling a 5th wheel and heading to Alaska but making their way to Yellowtone before heading north. Liz was betting that we would see then again before the month was out.
Below are some of the informational signs that you can't read without stopping.
And this does remind you of what the settlers saw as they moved west out of Nebraska. What they were think...I will let you imagine.
We traveled farther down the road and made a swing through the state park in Guernsey to check out availability for either Monday or Tuesday night. This is the group getting out for a discussion. Once the novelty wears off I will quit posting these group scenes but for those that have never traveled in a group I thought a few initials pictures might help either explain the process or at least entertain you! I was off walking around taking phone calls from the real estate agent that has my father's property. We were getting and offer and counter offers going back and forth. Thank goodness for cell phones and e-mail.
They don't look like a formidable group. Birdie is on the right making a call to the Passport America campground in Fort Laramie checking about spots. Best part was that they had a shower!
The decision was made to travel on down the road and do some touristy stuff and then land at the Passport America park. Below is the river that ran next to the area we hiked to in order to see the Oregon trail "ruts".
This is the "head" and "alligator" that Mitch found in the river.....
Did I mention that it was hot and dusty and a long walk.....When we finally got to the actual tail head we discovered that you can actually drive there. We at least acknowledges that when we went down with heat stroke that someone might be able to drive in and pick up our body. Besides the heat the change in altitude made hiking more tasking that usually. Carol has been in the area long enough to have adapted. Then again it could be that we are old and out of shape..... We are sticking with the altitude story.
In the end all of us made it around the hiking loop to see the ruts. There were several places where they were still evident. The cuts across the soft stone were the most remarkable. Skinny little wagons weren't they. Can you see the tired oxen moving through step by step.
And when the pioneers lifted their eyes they got to see this......
Walking the dogs while waiting for everyone to finish up their lunch break, Liz and I saw where some more recent "pioneers" were leaving their unneeded furniture behind, also.
We drove to the walls that the pioneers used to "register" their passing. The signs said that some of the earliest names and dates were from the early 1800's. There were also many many more recent individuals that wanted to to be remembered on something more durable than Facebook...and they have carved their names and dates here, too. Some of the wall is now fenced. I liked the swallows that had their nest up high on the walls. Birdie said that it was too early for little ones but that the pairs take turns either sitting on eggs or helping to build the nests. You could hear them chattering away and their beaks peaking out.
And the pictures below are a sign that the RV gods were looking out for one of us! And, no, she did not realize that she was that close to the post with her slide...... :=)
There were lots of other pictures taken of this moment. We stopped at the Fort Laramie National Park to see the park and.......I got my Senior Access card. Mitch was then bummed to think that she was the only one that would have to pay the entrance fee to get in the grounds till the nice ranger told her each of us could bring in three guests. Darned if someone wasn't nice enough to claim her.
Birdie was very happy to find the "stamps" for her National Parks Passbook and she was busy filling out her book from all the sight we had managed to see just today. Nan was getting a tutorial.
After all the photos regarding above card purchase we walked around until we were all done in with the heat. Here is where the soldiers sat down for their mess and right below that is a picture of their quarters that took up the second floor of the building. The old photographs of the grounds were amazing and some pictures of the early 1920's or so. When the fort was closed many of the buildings were not only auctioned off but then taken down so that the settlers could reuse the building materials. Out here trees and available lumber were at a premium. Regarding many of the adobe structures you can see where the restoration process has begun...right next to the other side of the building that is still in ruins.
What the soldiers could see from their front veranda.
The back of the quarters....
Remains of the hospital.
Non-commissioned officers were here. Evidence of the reconstruction efforts on the left. This was all one long building. Do you like the clear blue sky?
As we headed back to all climb in Liz's rig (the one with enough seats belts for all of us) this rig was parked next to hers. Count the bikes if you want to. Birdie noticed that some were mountain bikes and some road bikes so it was difficult to know how many folks were actually traveling in the rig. They may have just been serious bike folks.
We stopped at this iron bridge built to help the army and soldiers. With the aid of the bridge the army was able to move troops around more quickly much to the disadvantage of the Indians... It ended badly for the Indians...just to let you know.
And if you want to read about the bridge in more detail all you have to do is check out one of their blogs. They took the pictures. Our tour bus is sitting in the background. Some comment was made when back on the bus the future availability of ice water to be included in future tours but the driver seems to ignore us.
We have moved back to the Wyoming state campground and are all situated around the lake with lovely sites and as Mitch said...we are really camping. Which to Mitch means no electric. The dogs have been swimming but those pictures will have to wait for another post. Just know I now have three tired but happy dogs.