Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Memorable Memorial Day

The newlyweds, Ed and Mary, pose on the balcony of Old Bedlam.

Who would have thought a month ago that I would be married and spending Memorial Day in Wyoming with my new husband and mother-in-law? Not me, that’s for sure!

Ed and Caryl chat with a park worker about the fort’s history.

Ed’s mom, Caryl, wanted to do something memorable for Dylan and me while we were in town, so she suggested that we all go see some historical sites about 2 hours north of Cheyenne.

Caryl, Ed, and Dylan check out the officers’ quarters, known as “Old Bedlam.”

Our first stop on Monday was Fort Laramie, a fort held by the army in the mid-1800s and now mostly restored. The park’s employees dressed in period costumes and were very knowledgeable about the site’s history.

Mary with a sign at the trailhead.

We spent quite a bit of time at Fort Laramie. Then we piled back into the car and drove an additional 30 minutes eastward, just beyond the town of Guernsey, WY.

Mary and Ed stand in the wagon ruts.

Here we found 2 sites that are part of the history of the Mormon Church: the Guernsey Ruts and Register Cliff.

Dylan leaves the beaten path to explore the wildlife and risk jumping over ravines.

This area is part of the trail followed by the Mormon pioneers, along with several other groups, as they traveled to the West. The sandstone over which their wagons passed was so soft that their wooden wheels carved deep ruts into the stone, which remain there to this day.

Ed and Dylan at another section of the ruts.

Finally, we drove 2 more miles to Register Cliff, where the same pioneers paused in their travels to carve their names into the sandstone cliff alongside the trail. The names and dates on these cliffs have been authenticated as far back as 1797.

Historic names and dates carved into the rock alongside those carved later, from the 1960s to 2000s.

By the time we returned to Cheyenne, it was about 5:00 p.m. and we had one final, important stop to make to commemorate Memorial Day. We stopped by the cemetery to visit the graveside of Ed’s dad, who passed away last November.

Ed with his mom, Caryl, at his father’s graveside.

We ended the evening by going to dinner at Outback before driving Caryl back to her home. Before we returned to Cheyenne, Dylan (a Boy Scout First Class) assisted Ed (Assistant Scoutmaster) in properly retreating the colors from the pole in front of Caryl’s house.

Ed and Dylan take down the flag at the end of Memorial Day.

It turned out to be a beautiful day and a great opportunity to grow closer as a new family!

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