The National Historic Trails Interpretive Center in Casper is celebrating its tenth anniversary with some special summer activities:
July 11, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Guided Hike: A Day at the Rock
Independence Rock was the beacon in the desert for adventurers, explorers, fur traders and emigrants. This granite monolith is one of the most famous landmarks along the historic pioneer trails.
BLM interpreter Jason Vlcan will present a program that includes the sharing of pioneer diary and journal entries. He will discuss the experiences of the pioneers when they passed this landmark over 150 years ago. Vlcan will also lead a guided hike as the group searches for names of emigrants who carved their names and dates into rock.
This family-friendly hike is part of the BLM’s “Take it Outside” initiative, which encourages families and youth to explore the great outdoors.
Participants will leave the Trails Center in their own personal vehicles at 9 a.m. and return back to Casper by 2 p.m. The program is free, but space is limited. To make reservations, contact Vlcan at 307-261-7783 or 307-261-7780.
July 11, 3 p.m., NHTIC program: Taking the Path Less Traveled: A Modern Day Pioneer on our Historic Trails
April Whitten can relate to the experiences of emigrants on our historic trails like few others. In 1999, she joined a wagon train and traveled from Nebraska to California, walking most of the way.
Her responsibilities included gathering terrain, location, weather and environmental data, and documenting her journey through journals and photographs. Her journey was funded by the National Park Service.
During her travels, she maintained detailed journals and took thousands of photographs. Whitten will present a one-hour program about her journey. She will also discuss the importance of protecting and preserving the remaining traces of our historic trails. Following a break, participants will be encouraged to ask a modern-day pioneer questions about her adventure.
Whitten, of Applegate, Ore., is a geoarcheologist, and her research focuses on migratory routes and historic trails. She is author of, “Are We There? And Lessons Learned Along the Way."
FMI: Lesley A. Collins, 307-261-7603