Sunday, September 12, 2010

Windlass Hill

After cleaning up from our mishap on California Hill, we proceeded to try and find a way across the Plateau over into the North Platte River Valley.
Just like the pioneers, this was not meant to be easy. The road that would take us where we needed to go (the only one for many miles) had a big orange sign that it was closed 9 miles ahead - local traffic only.
Not to be deterred - for we were westward bound - I estimated that I only needed 8 miles to get where I needed to go. Sure enough - we made it! Right after our turn off, the road was closed.

The photos here are of Windlass Hill. This hill was the first real geographical challenge that the Pioneers faced since leaving Missouri. This was the only place to let the wagons down into the N Platte River Valley but it still was so steep that the wagons had to have their wheels locked in place and let down the hill with ropes.

In the center of this photo - the reddish grass - is the swale (depression) left in the ground at the top of the 
hill from thousands of wagons just before they began their perilous journey down to the bottom to Ash Hollow  wherclean water and rest awaited them.

You can see the reddish colored swales where they came down the hill.

Many Pioneers had their lives shorted courtesy of Windlass Hill but many others found renewal in Ash Hollow

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