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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Scott's Bluff Stopover

One last lonely post from our trip out west!  On our way from Estes Park to South Dakota we stopped a night at Scott's Bluff, Nebraska.  We stayed at the Riverside Campground run by the city for a very reasonable $25 and had a site that was easily 5 times as big as our one in Estes Park for half the price!

It was a short walk from the campground down to the river with a view of Scott's Bluff on the other side.  Or you could walk to the zoo like Cory and I did in the morning before we packed up the RV.

It was quite something to hear the tiger roaring while hanging out at our campsite, but when we got to the zoo it was nowhere to be found.  Quite a few of the main attraction animals weren't "let out" yet by zoo staff for the day but it was still a pleasant stroll before hitting the road.

Just after dawn I snuck out of the campground and headed over to the National Monument for a peek by myself.

The history of the Oregon Trail is not as big a thrill for Canadian born Wayne and early in the day the road up to the top of the bluff is closed to vehicle traffic.  But I enjoyed walking around the grounds looking for good shots and getting my exercise before the heat of the plains really got going.

Scotts Bluff rises 800 feet above the North Platte River and has served as a landmark for peoples from Native Americans to emigrants on the Oregon, California and Mormon Trails.

Over 250,000 people made their way through the area between 1843 and 1869, and many of them referred to the landmark in the journals.

taken with my iPhone!

From the National Oregon/California Trail website:
To survive the long jouney, a family of four would need 600 lbs. of flour, 120 lbs. of biscuits, 400 lbs. of bacon, 60 lbs. of coffee, 4 lbs. of tea, 100 lbs. of sugar, and 200 lbs. of lard. These would just be the basic staples. Other food stuffs could include sacks of rice and beans, plus dried peaches and apples. Bacon was often hauled in large barrels packed in bran so the hot sun would not melt the fat. Each man took a rifle or shotgun and some added a pistol. A good hunting knife was essential. 

In the early days of the trail when game was more abundant near the trail, pioneers could often kill buffalo and antelope.  However, a more dependable supply of fresh meat was to bring along a small herd of cattle and trail them behind the wagon.   Many also brought along a cow for milking purposes.  Milk could also be churned into butter by simply hanging it in pails beneath the bumpy wagon.  By the end of  the day fresh butter would be ready.

Want to know what a day on the trail was like?  Check out this link.  Think Indians were the biggest threat on the trail?  Think again, getting run over by wagon wheels was the leading cause of death!  I know that will me think of my car a little more fondly next time I load up supplies for a trip.


  1. I can see why the place is a National Monument, it looks a wonderful place to visit. The link was very interesting, we were lead to believe Indians were a big problem but no we were. People certainly faced hardships back then going in to the unknown, we don't know how easy we have it now.

  2. I'm fascinated with the Oregon Trail. This is a landmark I need to someday visit.