Chimney Rock, Fort Laramie, Natures Fireworks
Chimney Rock National Historic Site is about twenty miles east of Scotts Bluff. We took the car and drove to it early this morning. We found that although it is a National Historic Site, it is administered by the state historical society. They have different hours than the NPS. We got there over a half hour prior to the opening of the visitor center. We took pictures and studied information available outside and moved on.
Chimney Rock was a landmark that many of the trails west passed by. It marked completion of the first third of the pioneers journey.
Back to Scotts Bluff to hook up to the carbus and head west. About thirty miles from Scotts Bluff is Fort Laramie. The fort began as a trading center. As the westward movement grew the government needed a location to base their protectionary forces. They purchased the fort from the trading company and converted and expanded it to a military fort. The troops were placed there to enforce treaties, find and capture law breakers, and protect Native Americans and migrating pioneers. Many of the buildings have been restored and the foundations of most of the rest still exist. There are also interpretive signs with pictures of things as they were when the fort was still operational. The interiors of the buildings are furnished extensively with furniture, household items, books, papers, and clothing and other personal items, most of which are actual items from the days of the active fort. It gives a very good idea of what life was like when the fort was occupied. It was interesting to see the similarities in layout between this fort and the other historic forts we have visited. All of them are basically set up around a central parade ground which is usually quite large.
We moved on to a campground south of Cheyenne, WY. Interesting place. In addition to the RV park it has trail rides, train rides, pony rides for kids, small Farris wheel, two playgrounds, full stables and corrals, chuck wagon barbeques, llamas, miniature horses, camels, bison, exotic birds, fishing, and that was just on our first walk through.
Tonight we got a special treat. There is a huge bank of clouds to our south and we have been watching a nonstop electrical show for over an hour. Lightening of every kind. Cloud to cloud, cloud to ground, isolated, full sky, jumping through clouds and then to ground. Too much to describe. Sue took some video and I will try to get some stills from it.
Here they are.