Wussing out – grabbing a ride: Kemmerer to Manilla
Tuesday June 25, 2013
The wind howled late into the night last night. It ruffled the curtains and could be felt through the air conditioning unit. But by early morning today, it has diminished.
I wake and get ready to ride – the plan being that I ride down to Ft Bridger and meet my mom there. Then, she will give me a lift to Manilla. But upon waking, I’m tired and my stomach says 10 days of a different diet and eating schedule have not made it happy. So I wimp out and spend the whole day in the car with Mom. I am sad not to ride through this landscape – it’s my kinda place with little human occupation, and gentle rolling, sagebrush hills – but I’m always happy to have more time with my mom.
We stop at the Fort Bridger Historic Site. There is an enormous amount of history to explore here, so it’s well worth the stop if you’re into that kind of thing. It was established as a trading post and blacksmith shop in 1843 by Jim Bridger and Louis Vasquez. It was the site of Wyoming’s first newspaper published in 1863 and the first schoolhouse in 1866. It became a hub of westward expansion and was used by the mountain men, Native Americans, and emigrants along the Morman, California and Oregon Trails. It also served as a Pony Express Station. The Union Pacific Railroad was routed through here in 1869. The Mormons ‘purchased’ the fort in the 1850s, but were kicked out by the U.S. Military in the Utah War in 1858. The U.S. used this as a military outpost until 1890. There are just so many aspects of history that this one site influenced in just under 50 years. There is definitely a lot for the brain to process.
My mom and I spend a few hours here exploring the buildings, going through the museum and having a picnic lunch. It is hard to take yourself back to that time and imagine the comings and goings and how busy it would have been – but we enjoy trying to do so. We both think it was worth the time and effort to stop here, before Mom drives us down to Manila, Utah.