Fort Laramie served as a military post in the western Indian wars, and was the place where important treaties were signed between the US government and the Cheyenne, Sioux, Arapaho, Crow, Assiniboine, Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nations.
The aerial footage in this video shows the landscape in a way that is not easily seen from the ground. It reveals the expansive landscape of the American West, which is very impressive and ruggedly beautiful.
This is a huge granite boulder where travelers left their names – about 5,000 of them – painted in axle grease and chiseled into the stone. 170 years later a few names, especially the chiseled names, remain readable.
Traveling over South Pass is the main route to the west through the Rockies for most of the emigrants, and at its summit is the Continental Divide. The wheel markings from the travelers’ wagons remain visible yet today in the hard packed soil.
A dangerous challenge was crossing the Green River, a north-south barrier to the east-west route of the California-Oregon Trail and a formidable obstacle. Every emigrant had to cross it in some manner.
After leaving the Sublette Cutoff, and before starting on the Hudspeth Cutoff at Soda Springs, Idaho, John and Jake, passed many places with interesting names like Thomas Fork, Big Hill, and Pegleg Smith’s Trading Post.
The Raft River is usually dry for much of the year since it exists only for runoff from snow-melt. They are traveling across very difficult terrain between the eastern edge of the Great Basin and to the west of the Great Salt Lake.
John and Jake are in the area of the American West called the Great Basin. It is an area generally bounded on the east by the Wasatch Mountains in Utah, and on the west by the Sierra Nevada and the Cascade Mountains.