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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Gering in Scotts Bluff County, Nebraska — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Traces of the Trail

The Oregon Trail passed here in the 1850ís

 
 
Traces of the Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 3, 2015
1. Traces of the Trail Marker
Inscription.
Out on the prairie, wagons following the Oregon Trail spread out to avoid the dust stirred up by wagons in front. But here at Mitchell Pass the emigrants encountered a difficult bottleneck where wagons had to squeeze through narrow ravines in single file.

The clomping, scraping, and grinding of thousands of hooves and wagon wheels over the same places gradually wore deep ruts in the soft sandstone. Today, more than a century later, traces of the ruts remain.

Beginning here, the trail to your right follows the historic route of the Oregon Trail for half a mile (0.8km). A short walk will help you rediscover a bygone era.

Scotts Bluff
August 13, 1860
The sharp, sudden torrents which pour from the heights on both sides, and the draughty winds – Scottís Bluffs are the permanent headquarters of hurricanes – have cut up the ground into a labyrinth of jagged gulches steeply walled in. We dashed down the drains and pitch-holes with a violence which shook the navebands from our sturdy wheels.”
- Richard F. Burton
British traveler and author

As they passed, a few emigrants carved their names on the base of the bluffs here. Erosion has worn away most of the signatures but this example [seen in photo on the marker] is preserved in the park museum.
 
Erected by
Traces of the Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 3, 2015
2. Traces of the Trail Marker
National Park Service.
 
Location. 41° 49.769′ N, 103° 42.651′ W. Marker is in Gering, Nebraska, in Scotts Bluff County. Marker can be reached from Old Oregon Trail, on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is located in Scotts Bluff National Monument, along the Mitchell Pass Trail. Marker is in this post office area: Gering NE 69341, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Oregon Trail (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Oregon Trail (approx. 0.2 miles away); Scott's Bluff Pony Express Station (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Bullwhackers (approx. 0.2 miles away); Scotts Bluff (approx. 0.7 miles away); Pony Express (approx. 0.7 miles away); The Overland Experience (approx. 0.7 miles away); Remnant Highlands (approx. 0.7 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Gering.
 
More about this marker. In addition to the photo of emigrantís signatures carved in the bluff, a picture of covered wagons passing through Mitchell Pass appears on the marker.
 
Categories. Roads & VehiclesSettlements & Settlers
 
Marker on the Oregon Trail image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 3, 2015
3. Marker on the Oregon Trail
Traces of the Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 3, 2015
4. Traces of the Trail Marker
Along the Oregon Trail image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 3, 2015
5. Along the Oregon Trail
William Webber, May 23, 1852 - Michigan image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 3, 2015
6. William Webber, May 23, 1852 - Michigan
Although many travelers on the Oregon Trail carved their names in the bluff, most have been lost over time to erosion. This example has survived and can be viewed in the Visitor Center.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 165 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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