May 17, Day 17: You can read the entire blog and view photos on our website. If you enjoy the account, Please . . . share it with your friends. Photos from the trip can be viewed at: http://astilesphotography.com/f390536220 Thanks! We checked out and left Jackson at 7:00 AM, driving back to Moran Junction in order to pick up highway 26 south. WE drove through beautiful farmland and ranch country as we wound our way up through Togwotee Pass in the Absaroaka Mountains, and the Shoshone National Forest. (Absaroka is a Native American word, pronounced ab-SOR-ka, meaning "Children of the big-beaked bird," or the Crow Indians.) The highway paralleled the Wind River, and offered some beautiful scenery. Encountered light snow and ice fog in a few different places but the road surface was clear and had been recently sanded in some spots. We dropped down out of the mountains near Dubois and saw many little farms and ranches along the river. We stopped in Fort Washakie to look for the monument to Sacajawea, and found it without too much trouble. While we were there, a gentleman came up in his pickup truck and told us with a smile that he had defaced the monument. He then explained that whoever had put up the monument had gotten something wrong. The monument states that Sacajawea’s tombstone is to the west of the monument. He had scratched out the word “west” and written in “east” which is correct. He then pointed it out to us, wished us a good day, and left.
I may have been my imagination; but as I stood on that windy hill overlooking Fort Washakie and watched a raven flying overhead looking down, it sounded like the wind was carrying whispers of the spirits, and I could not make out what they were saying. After taking photos, we left and continued south and east through Lander, Rawlins, where we got onto I-80, then on Cheyenne, and Pine Bluff, Nebraska. We got off the Interstate near Kimball, NE to visit Scotts Bluff. However, while there was a large sign indicating the direction to Scotts Bluff, we failed to find one directing us to the actual bluffs. We finally gave up and drove east on Highway 92 along the North Platte River. We found several old farmsteads, passed through Ogallala, and found Chimney Rock, Courthouse Rock, and Jailhouse Rock, all landmarks used by the pioneers traversing the Oregon Trail. We stopped in Sidney, Nebraska for the night and went to a nearby I-Hop that looked like it was just opening. As it turned out, they were holding their first run through after training the staff, and the manager invited us to become the first customers, even though it was supposed to only be friends and family of the new staff. 632 miles 18 MPG