September 13, 2011: Grand Teton to Rawlins

In the morning, we packed up our things and headed down to have a nice breakfast and about 10 cups of coffee before our wagon left for Independence Rock.  The trip got off to a quick traffic jam as they were doing a lot of road work but we just shrugged our shoulders and settled into the ride through the blasting zone.  We came out the other side slightly dusted but with all the wheels still on the wagon and continued on our way.

We were planning on staying in Rawlins, Wyoming for the night so we decided to use Independence Rock as a barometer of whether we could make it to Rawlins before dark.  If we got to the rock before 3pm then we would know we could make it the rest of the way before dark. Not that it really mattered but we were just trying to get in the Oregon Trail spirit since they used the rock as a landmark to judge if they could get over the mountains before winter back in the wagon days.  We also stopped at a McDonalds for lunch since this was also a normal thing to do for travelers on the Oregon Trail.

Soon after Mcdonalds we saw a gigantic rock looming large in the distance and knew what the Oregon Trail travelers must have felt like as they too sped towards this very same rock in their 4 wheel drive wagons.  Just as we pulled into the parking lot, a bolt of lightening lit up the sky and I could feel myself traveling back in time.  I was jolted back to reality as the car door slammed signaling it was time to get out and pay respects to the rock by walking around it.  It was pretty cool seeing all the names carved in the rock from back in the 18th century when this was the hottest stop east of Vegas.

After rocking out at the rock, we hopped back in the car and headed to our camp for the night, the Ferris Mansion in Rawlins, Wyoming…. on the way passing some nice pronghorn.   I quickly embarrassed us on arrival as there were two deer galloping around the neighborhood and I thought for sure one of them was my pet deer from Grand Teton but it just ended up being one that looked very similar….an awkward moment for everyone I believe.

The Ferris Mansion is quite a place, its a bread and breakfast with each room being themed after some theme.  The hostess was nice enough to let me use the most powerful iron ever conceived and I got all  dressed up in my best jeans and a tee-shirt for our trip out on the town.  After dinner, we were all worn out from our adventures on the Oregon Trail and called it a night.