Independence Rock: Wyoming’s First Pit Stop [PHOTOS]
Some pass through Wyoming like a tumbleweed being tossed across the state - Cheyenne to Rawlins to Casper to Buffalo. They go where the work takes them. They go where the wind goes. The truck drivers haul their payload down I-25. The tourists take selfies for Instagram and return home.
Occasionally, the seeds from the tumbleweeds take root, and some people call this state WyHome. Then there are those who branded their name on Wyoming like Buffalo Bill Cody, Jim Bridger, and Chris Ledoux.
There is a place where the names are literally carved into Wyoming. It is a place where most local 4th Graders go on field trips. Independence Rock was a pit stop for those traveling on the Oregon Trail. I decided to take a trip to see the landmark. It is astounding to think the ground where my feet tread is the same land where over 500,000 souls crossed the state. They came in search of wealth or religious freedom. I went there on a quest for photos.
On the rocks, there were many names from various times. The forces of wind and water have eroded some of the granite, so sometimes only a few letters are visible. They could be authentic markings from a homesteader traversing his family across the Organ Trail in the hope of fertile farmland. They might be the names of men seeking their fortune in gold. Some of which made it to their destination and some did not. Then again it could be some young hoodlums carving their name into a rock they went to on a 4th-grade field trip.