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The two RV Gypsies
at Independence Rock in Wyoming
August 13, 2013

USA map showing location of Wyomingmap of Wyoming showing location of Independence rock
The two RV Gypsies get their first look at Independence Rock

Independence Rock is a large rounded monolith of Archean granite typical of the surrounding region and is an isolated peak at the southeast end of the Granite Mountains. It stands 6,028 feet above sea level and is approximately 136 feet high, 1,900 feet long and 850 feet wide. The two RV Gypsies walked around Independence Rock and the distance covered was more than a mile, or 5,900 feet. The mass of Independence Rock is equal to an area of 24.81 acres. It is located in southwestern Natrona County, Wyoming, along Wyoming Highway 220.

history bookDuring the middle of the 19th century, the rock was a prominent and well-known landmark on the Oregon, Mormon and California emigrant trails. Many of these emigrants carved their names on the rock. The two RV Gypsies watched for these names as they walked around Independence Rock, and took some photos of some of the names and they are posted below.

Independence Rock was designated a National Historic Landmark on January 20, 1961. It is now part of Independence Rock State Historic Site, owned and operated by the state of Wyoming.

The rock derives its name from the fact that it lies directly along the route of the Emigrant Trail and that emigrant wagon parties bound for Oregon or California, which usually left the Missouri River in the early spring, attempted to reach the rock by July 4 (Independence Day in the United States), in order to reach their destinations before the first mountain snowfalls.

Everywhere within six or eight feet of the ground, where the surface was sufficiently smooth, and in some places sixty or eighty feet above, the rock is inscribed with the names of travelers. Many names are famous in the history of this country, and some well-known to science are to be found among those of traders and travelers. Names were placed on the rock through engraving or by painting them with wagon grease, tar or a combination of buffalo grease and glue. Over time, many of these names have flaked off or been obscured by lichens. Despite this, thousands of names remain.
WATCH FOR THESE NAMES AS YOU SCROLL DOWN TO VIEW THE PHOTOS BELOW.

Welcome to Independence Rock sign
path and bridge to Independence Rock

The two RV Gypsies tried to take a picture of themselves with Independence Rock in the background, but this is what they got the first time. The second try was successful. They do not use a cell phone. They use a real camera so they do can not reverse the camera angle to see themselves as they take selfies. There was not a single other person around the entire time that the two RV Gypsies were here.

The two RV Gypsies with Independence Rock  in the background
The two RV Gypsies with Independence Rock in the background

The path to Independence Rock

The path to Independence Rock
Independence Rock
Independence Rock

At the end of the pathway to Independence Rock, there was a closed gate that was not locked. Upon entering the gate, the two RV Gypsies photographed the sign shown below.

sign about Independence Rock

Upon reaching the bottom of Independence Rock and the path that goes completely around it, the two RV Gypsies chose to go to the left first. That proved to be the best way because it was a level path until almost reaching the beginning again, and then there was a downhill section. If they had gone to the right first, they would have had an uphill path to struggle with. The first thing the two RV Gypsies did was to take some close-up photos to see the writings on the rock. They are hard to see in these photos though.

signatures at Independence Rock
signatures at Independence Rock

Just before the two RV Gypsies rounded the first corner of Independence Rock, they saw a rabbit hopping quickly away.

a rabbit at Independence Rock

Shortly, the two RV Gypsies came upon a part of Independence Rock that was gated off, so they took a few pictures through the gate.

Oregon Trail sign
signatures at Independence Rock
engravings at Independence Rock
sign about the preservation of Independence Rock

The the two RV Gypsies continued their walk around Independence Rock, taking photos now and then. The shape and colorations of Independence Rock changed at every angle.

Lee Duquette photographing Independence Rock
Independence Rock

As the two RV Gypsies walked around Independence Rock they noticed how it looked different from each angle.

Independence Rock
Independence Rock
Independence Rock
The two RV Gypsies at Independence Rock
Independence Rock
Independence Rock
Independence Rock
signatures at Independence Rock
Independence Rock
Lee Duquette at Independence Rock
Karen Duquette at Independence Rock
Karen Duquette at Independence Rock
Independence Rock
Independence Rock
writings at Independence Rock
writings at Independence Rock
writings at Independence Rock
writings at Independence Rock
Lee Duquette checking for more names in the rock
Karen Duquette at Independence Rock

Looking away from Independence Rock, there was open fields, a few more rabbits, and mountains in the far distance. The two RV Gypsies felt very fortunate to be able to travel and see such beautiful, calm, amazing sights such as this, especially on a lovely day when nobody else was around.

Looking away from Independence Rock
Looking away from Independence Rock

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