The Beautiful Landscape and Amazing Animals of Wyoming

I got to experience the beauty of Wyoming during this leg of the Oregon Trail and also meet some new, furry friends along the way. Oh, and I got to have some fun, too!


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A Look Back at Wild, Windy Wyoming

We had a lot of fun in wild, windy Wyoming just like I’m sure the emigrants did!

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The Expansion of Fort Bridger

As Fort Bridger and it’s importance expanded, so did the government presence. In 1853, Jim Bridger sold his fort to the Mormons and it was subsequently burned during the Utah War of  1857. In 1858, the government turned it into a military outpost and emigrants continued to purchase supplies and receive protection from the forces at Fort Bridger. Emigrants continued to rely on Fort Bridger for supplies during their journey westward.

Watch our video to see how Fort Bridger evolved from a simple blacksmith shop and trading post to a government supported fort!


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Fort Bridger and the Danger of Cut-Offs

Deciding to take a cutoff or a conventional path was a gamble for the pioneers. While the cutoffs could reduce the number of days or weeks spent on the Trail, there were dangers to take into consideration.

The Pedaling Pioneer also visits the original Fort Bridger which included a bustling blacksmith shop that Jim Bridger ran and trading post which operated as a vital stop for pioneers to resupply as they neared the second half of their journey.


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The Critical South Pass

South Pass was critical to the success of the emigrants crossing the Continental Divide and their survival passing through the mountain ranges of the Rockies. Historians agree that without the discovery of South Pass by a fur trader, Robert Stuart, and his company headed back East in 1812, the story of western migration and the settlement of Oregon and California would have been much different. Although it does not have an iconic silhouette like Chimney Rock and Independence Rock, it is arguably the most important landmark of the Oregon Trail.

south pass image


Click on the following link to learn more from reputable historian, Will Bagley, why South Pass was the most important landmark of the Oregon Trail: http://www.wyohistory.org/essays/south-pass

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Iconic Independence Rock

Raging bulls, striking snakes, and the elements of Wyoming couldn’t keep the pioneers from reaching Independence Rock by their deadline of July 4th and they couldn’t keep they Pedaling Pioneer away either!

Watch the video to hear his tale and climb on top of Independence Rock like energetic pioneers of the past!

Follow this link for more information about this iconic landmark of the Oregon Trail



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One of Nature’s Miracles…The Ice Slough in Wyoming

For the early emigrants, the Ice Slough was a refreshing surprise along the Oregon Trail! After crossing the desert of Wyoming, they could dig 1 to 2 feet into the bog and find “wonderful, beautiful sheets of ice!” underneath the dirt. This natural treasure was not available for all emigrants, though. Unfortunately, because of the thousands of pioneers who had dug holes in the bog, there was little to no ice available for emigrants who passed through in the later stages of the mass migration.


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Powerful Pedaling Up Prospect Hill

One of the toughest climbs I’ve had to do! Picked up 1,500 feet on this one climb! Prospect Hill has some amazing views from the summit.

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Ayers Natural Bridge

One of the many natural wonders and beautiful sites that I and the pioneers got to see along their journey West as the landscape began to change.

Amazing what nature is capable of!

Amazing what nature is capable of!

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A.H. Unthank Signature and Grave

“You have died of cholera.” Those five dreaded words plagued those of us who played the Oregon Trail game in the 1980s and 1990s, but was also one of the diseases which could spread quickly and kill up to two-thirds of a wagon train along the real Oregon Trail.

The story of A.H. Unthank demonstrates just how quickly and unexpectedly cholera could come and kill. Click here to learn about the five most common diseases which affected the emigrants on the Trail.

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