Chimney Rock is the most recognized landmark along the Oregon Trail. Travellers would rely on this rock to confirm their direction of travel is still correct.
What a relief it must have been for the travellers to know they were on the right course!!!
Just as the pioneers saw the gleaming pillar from the trail, we are able to see Chimney Rock from the road.
As we approach the visitors center, we begin to fill our intrigued minds with thoughts of how the settlers travelled during this time.
Immediately upon entering the gates, we are greeted with spectacular views of the rock formation in the distance.
It is said to have an optical illusion in regards to the distance you can see this formation. Early travellers claim to see this rock 30 miles away, while others feel it’s always “off in the distance”.
Lucky for us, we do not NEED this rock for directional purposes,!
We can just enjoy it at a distance!
This rock towers 325 ft from tip to base with an additional 120 ft for the spire.
Before being officially named Chimney Rock, it was referenced with many other names, such as: Wigwam, Nose Mountain, Chimney Tower, The Smokestack, The Teepee, and Elk Peak.
This nifty little rock formation is made out of a substance referred to as “marl”.
Marl basically Brule clay mixed with volcanic ash and Arikaree sandstone.
The foundation is made of a more sturdy sandstone that assists with its preservation. The top, not so much!
With wind, rain, and lightning strikes, the top has seen quite a bit of corrosion over the years.
If you have any plans of visiting this historical marker, you might want to sooner than later.
It’s said to have a split that may cause it to collapse, leaving only a pile of what once was.
Inside The Visitor’s Center
It’s time to check out this small, but informative visitors center/museum.
Inside we see a child size interactive wagon packing simulator, loadable with essentials for the long haul across the Oregon Trail.
Being the only guests here, we get plenty of time to play!
We can even draw our own version of Chimney Rock, then post it on their artistic wall with diverse representations of the distant tower.
Inside the museum leads us to a wall of windows providing us a temperature controlled view of the monument.
While we look, there appears be some movement on top. What could it be??? If only we had….
Oh, yes…. a scope!!!!!!
Look at that!!!!
A hawk just happens to be sitting on the top of Chimney Rock!!!
Looking even closer…… Not one, but two!!!!!!
Not only do we get to travel through time and learn the history of this important landmark, but we also get a beautiful view of how the site looks today.
Giddy as a child provided chocolate cake after being told there is no more dessert, we hit the highways of Nebraska.
As you would expect, it is pretty flat…..
… and there are farms of cows lining the road….
… Who would have guessed????
Can’t have cows without the multitude of round hay bales!!!