This trip seems to have had a few themes. Generally my trips tend to revovle around the Earth Science of sorts, and
although this did happen during this trip, it was definitely not the major theme. Two themes really stick out: pioneer
life, and the Civil War. We went to Independence Rock, Devil's gate, and Martin's Cove and I was unable to load
any pictures nor write too much about it so I am going to try and backtrack a touch and fill in a little. Once we left
Wall, SD there wasn't a lot we wanted to stop and do since we had done some of it on the way to Michigan already
so we bypassed a lot of the things we'd done and found a few things to break up the day. I had no real idea what it
was I was going to see, all I was armed with was a map and my iphone. I saw a mark on the map called
Independence Rock. It ended up being a rest area pull of. We got out and ran to the bathrooms! Not a lot of places
to go on the backroads of Wyoming. I found a pamphlet about Independence Rock and picked it up. We decided
to go for a walk to the base of the rock and see what we could see. Besides, we all needed a good long stretch. We
hiked over to the rock and found a few cute bunnies hopping around.
Independence Rock was so named because one of the first pioneer companies that came through the are made it to
this interesting geologic feature on July 4, 1830. Thus it became, Independence Rock. It has an interesting geology as
well. This rock is actually granite that had intruded through the crust of the earth where the slow process of erosion
uncovered it. Being exposed to the weather, the rock expanded and began to shed layers of rock like peeling an
onion. Over time, wind, rain, snow, and sand have continued to erode the surface of the rock. The rock is so
distinct in the landscape that it became a marker for pioneers crossing the vastness of the land.
We also stopped at Martin's cove. The Martin company had come through the area later than they should have and
were running low on supplies. The members of the mormon handcart group began to get ill, starve, and die. Winter
was setting in and they had not made it to Independence Rock by the needed July 4th date. Wagon trains coming
through the area found them and continued to Utah where they gathered a rescue team to come help the mormon
handcart company make it to what they called Zion, Salt Lake City,Utah. The Mormon group stayed there for 5
days waiting out the winter storms. The rescuers finally came. There were approximately 500 members of the
company, by the time they arrived in Salt Lake City they were 145 less.
It was an interesting connection to the pioneering that the Laura Ingalls family had made into South Dakota. There
were so many reasons why people moved west. Religious persecution, gold rush, homesteading, and more. So my
pioneer theme continued.
Date: July 2, 2011
Time: 10:07 pm MST
Location: N. Salt Lake City
Weather: Clear Skies!
Temp: 91 F at 5 pm