In honor of Independence Day, I wanted to highlight a wonderful monument that doesn’t get that much attention, but stood for the strength and persistence of our true pioneers. That would be Independence Rock. I always reflect about what the pioneers must have had to go through and how they felt when they reached the rock. You see, the rock lies directly along the Oregon Trail. It stood for the point in which the immigrant wagon parties, bound for Oregon and California, must reach before Independence Day (July 4), in order to reach their destinations before the first mountain snowfalls.
Independence Rock is now a rest area attraction 60 miles south of Casper on State Highway 220. Driving up to it, the rock doesn’t seem that big (compared to the surrounding mountains), but once you are next to it, it seems to become mammoth in size. The rock measures 1,900 feet long, 700 feet wide, and 128 feet high. The few times I have been there, a few brave souls have had the courage to climb to the top, much like the settlers before us. I am told there are names inscribed on the top of the rock, as well as around the base. I have not witnessed the carvings on the top myself because I am not one of those brave souls. There are more than 5,000 names of early emigrants carved on this granite boulder. During this visit, I thought I would muster enough courage to venture to the top, but the rock was wet and slippery due to an earlier rain shower. So, I lost my courage. Maybe next time. It’s one of those kind of places that you can never grow tired of seeing.
Here is a slide show from the day I visited. Happy Independence Day to everyone.
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