Independence Rock

Note: After not touching my material from our 2010 trip late last year, I am maintaining the continuity started yesterday with Pathfinder Dam and Fremont Canyon by promoting this post from it’s August 17, 2010 original date to September 27, 2016 as a “Blast from the Past” post.

One of the reasons we camped at Pathfinder Reservoir last month was its proximity to Independence Rock.

Independence Rock, Wyoming

Independence Rock is another landmark along the westward emigrant trails (Oregon Trail, California Trail, Mormon Trail.)

In 1841, Jesuit missionary Pierre Jean De Smet wrote, “The first rock we saw, and which truly deserves the name, was the famous Independence Rock.  It is of the same nature as the Rocky Mountains.  At first I was led to believe that it had received this pompous name from its isolated situation and the solidity of its base, but I was afterward told that it was called so because the first travelers who thought of giving it a name arrived at it on the very day when the people of the united States celebrate the anniversary of their emancipation from Great Britain… lest it might be said that we passed by this lofty monument of the desert with indifference, we cut our names on the south side of the rock under initials (I. H. S.) which we would wish to see engraved everywhere, and along with a great number of others, some of which perhaps ought not to be found anywhere.  On account of all these names, and of the dates that accompany them, as well as the hieroglyphics of Indian warriors, I called this rock on my first journey ‘The Great Record of the Desert.’”

When we climbed to the northern highest point on the rock, we didn’t know that the trails had actually passed on the south side – today’s modern highway and rest area  is to the north – so we didn’t really search for names on the south, though we did take the trail all the way around.

Independence Rock, Wyoming

We did find some old name carvings on the top and, unfortunately, some more modern engravings and markings, though it is now illegal as this is a national historic site.

Independence Rock, Wyoming

Independence Rock, Wyoming

hiking, history, landscape, parks, photography, plains, Wyoming
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Pathfinder Dam and Fremont Canyon

Note:  I left off editing images from our 2010 trip late last year – I was working full time and other interests distracted me – with the post Pathfinder. I am picking up where that one left off, promoting this post from it’s August 28, 2010 original date to September 26, 2016 as a “Blast from the Past” post.

On July 13, (2010) we were camped at a site on the shore of Pathfinder Reservoir, south of Casper.  We planned to take a short drive and then spend the rest of the day relaxing and reading.

Pathfinder Reservoir, Pathfinder Dam and Fremont Canyon all are all named for John Charles Frémont – the 19th century military officer, explorer and political candidate.  Frémont was known as “The Pathfinder.”

Pathfinder Dam and Fremont Canyon:

Pathfinder Canyon and Fremont Canyon, Wyoming

The flow during the summer is usually much lower than this due to drawdown for irrigation and power production.  Exceptional rainfall combined with good winter snowpack had resulted in almost all reservoirs along the having higher levels that had been seen for several years.  Some, in fact, had campgrounds that were closed due to flooding.

Pathfinder Canyon and Fremont Canyon, Wyoming

Looking downstream, the bridge below us is an old footbridge:

Fremont Canyon, Wyoming

A closer view of the footbridge and the canyon:

Fremont Canyon, Wyoming

A view from the bridge:

Fremont Canyon, Wyoming

We found a couple more locations downstream where we could view the canyon:

Fremont Canyon, Wyoming

Fremont Canyon, Wyoming

After our drive, we went back to the camper.  While we were gone the wind had picked up and, with the heat, it very uncomfortable sitting outside.  There was no power at the campground and we didn’t want to run the generator, so we decided to forfeit on day’s camp fee and move on down the road (see Wind Blown).


From Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office:

The Pathfinder Dam, is a masonry arch dam which completely blocks, from bedrock to canyon rim, the course of the North Platte River. Construction of the dam was completed in 1909. Fashioned from huge blocks of granite, quarried nearby from the same formation into which the river had trenched its canyon course, the dam stands 214 feet high, has a crest length which reaches to 432 feet, and tapers from a base 97 feet wide to a top which is no more than 11 feet in width. The building of Pathfinder Dam was a successful testing of the late nineteenth century concept of arid lands reclamation in the western United States. The reservoir basin had a shore line greater than 75 miles in extent and afforded opportunity for storage of more than one million acre feet of irrigation and industrial water to previously arid lands.

general, photography, river, stream, video, Wyoming
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Hippies: Use Back Door

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign #7

Sign: Hippies use backdoor; No Exception; Old sign informing Hippies to use the backdoor at a bar on Green Turtle Cay, Bahamas.

Old sign informing Hippies to use the backdoor at the Sundowner bar on Green Turtle Cay, Bahamas.

Used in video:


Haw Creek photo series: Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign (#7)

Image accessed on Pixabay, September 8, 2016; CC0 Public Domain; Free for commercial use; No attribution required

humor, photography, Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign
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North Rim Color

Random camping and travel images #59

Grand Canyon North Rim Campground - Fall Color; The North Rim Campground is open from mid-May to mid-October. Operated by the National Park Service.. . There are no hook-ups, however, there is a dump station within the campground.

Grand Canyon North Rim Campground – Fall Color;
National Park Service image

The North Rim Campground is open from mid-May to mid-October. Operated by the National Park Service.. . There are no hook-ups, however, there is a dump station within the campground.

Arizona, Random camping and travel images, tenting
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Wood Shop

Random camping and travel images #58

Woodworking shop, Bent's Old Fort, La Junta, Colorado

Woodworking shop, Bent’s Old Fort, La Junta, Colorado
September 7, 2011

Colorado, museum, parks, photography, Random camping and travel images
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