Scott’s Bluff

Another prominent feature along the emigrant trails is Scott’s Bluff.

covered wagons on Oregon Trail at Scotts Bluff

This was our third visit to Scott’s Bluff.  The last time we were here was a little trying.

“At Scottsbluff National Monument, where the interior of the van had gotten extremely hot while we we going through the museum, I started the engine to cool things off before everyone else made it back.  Then, not realizing that my wife’s purse was in the van, I locked the doors.  This was in the days before On-Star, so we waited for over an hour for a locksmith to arrive from town.”

Our kids refer to that vacation as the "trip from hell."

This time, the only problem we had was that one of our cameras got left on the shuttle bus that goes to the top of the bluff and back…, but we didn’t discover it until the driver had headed to town to refuel the bus, so, another wait.

“Fur traders, missionaries, and military expeditions began regular trips past Scotts Bluff during the 1830s. Beginning in 1841, multitudes of settlers passed by Scotts Bluff on their way west on the Emigrant Trail to Oregon, and later California and Utah. Wagon trains used the bluff as a major landmark for navigation. The trail itself passed through Mitchell Pass, a gap in the bluffs flanked by two large cliffs. Although the route through Mitchell Pass was tortuous and hazardous, many emigrants preferred this route to following the North Platte river bottom on the north side of the bluff. Passage through Mitchell Pass became a significant milestone for many wagon trains on their way westward. In one of its first engineering deployments, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built a smoother road through Mitchell Pass in the early 1850s. Use of the Emigrant Trail tapered off in 1869 when the trail was made obsolete by the completion of the transcontinental railroad.” ….wikipedia


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