Sunday, July 9, 2023

Wyoming Overland Adventure

I was overflowing with excitement as I headed out on my inaugural Wyoming adventure in my trusty Jeep. Destination: A stretch of the Oregon Trail nestled in the heart of Central Wyoming. I was meeting up with a group of other overland enthusiasts for a DB Overland Adventure.

The Oregon trail is a 2,170 mile East–West trek from Independence, Missouri to the coast of Oregon. Our journey was only a small section of the trail along the Sweetwater River in Wyoming. 

Check out my Oregon Trail videos on YouTube for more in-depth history of the trail.  

Muddy Madness Conquering the Oregon Trail: Jeep Overland Adventure

Jeep Adventures on the Oregon Trail: Pioneers vs. Modern Challenges

Trailblazing Through History: Jeep Momma Shares Fascinating Oregon Trail Facts

In the 1800's the pioneers traversed the vast prairie grasslands in Kansas and Nebraska following along the Platte River into Wyoming where it met up with the Sweetwater River. That’s where we began our overland adventure. The banks of the river were high and the trail was muddy which made for a sketchy trek close to the river's edge. 

Along the saturated riverbank, there were sections where a single misjudged turn of our wheels could have unleashed a torrent onto the trail. I recall moments of apprehension when I feared my Jeep might swerve in the wrong direction on the slippery, mucky terrain, potentially sending me adrift along the river's current.  

Venturing further into the trail, the rolling hills of Central Wyoming unfolded before me like a painting. With the abundant rainfall this season, the landscape exploded with vivid colors while the wildflowers flourished in full bloom.

Along the trail we came upon trail markers. The stone markers
etched with the words Oregon Trail and Mormon Trail, some were marked Pony Express. Seeing, in person, the Oregon Trail markers felt surreal. I learned about the subject in school and the realization of standing in the very place where history unfolded left me awestruck.

The pioneers on the Oregon Trail faced the wrath of Mother Nature, enduring the unforgiving elements that exacted a heavy toll on their journey. We were in our 4x4 rig so the trail wasn't nearly as difficult. 

However, as the rain showers arrived in the mid afternoon, the dusty roads transformed into a treacherous quagmire, posing significant challenges for certain vehicles on our overland expedition. At times the pace slowed, as many rigs struggled in the thick clay-like mud. 

The Oregon Trail's river's course, serving as a direct route to South Pass on the Continental Divide, which was renowned as the most convenient passage across the divide. The path starts to climb in elevation once it departs from the low-lying areas surrounding the Sweetwater River. This detour is necessary to avoid the steep canyon walls that run alongside the river. 

We were headed to Rocky Ridge, which marked one of the most challenging sections of the pioneers' entire expedition. However, our Jeeps effortlessly conquered this rugged rocky terrain without any difficulty. Rocky Ridge is where many perished during a bitter, cold blizzard in 1856. We stopped the memorial to pay homage to those fierce, brave pioneers, 

Read more about their story here: 

The Willies/Mormon Handcart Tragedy 

Our three day adventure included stops at the Carissa Gold Mine and the Historic South Path City. The gold mine still to this day has operational machinery. The tours were a nice break after miles and miles of mud. 

I am finding I enjoy overlanding. It ties all of my interests into one fun package - off-roading, camping and sightseeing without the stress of extreme rock crawling. The best part is hanging with friends, new and old, at the campfire each night reminiscing about the days events.  

Portable Gas Campfire - - $109.99

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