Sand Hill Ruts
Sand Hill Ruts - Sutherland, NebraskaThe great sand bluffs that plunge to the river's edge near Southerland, Nebraska created a formidable barrier for pioneer wagon trains, forcing emigrants to leave the north side of the North Platte River and go across the hills. Loose sand created a hard pull for the wagon teams.
William Clayton recorded the detour on May 14,1847: "We passed among and around the high bluffs, our course lying nearly in a north direction for some time, then turning south and on approaching the river, nearly southwest. When within about three-quarters of a mile of the river, we stopped to feed at twenty minutes to two, having traveled six and a quarter miles. We have got on the level bottom again and are probably not more than three miles in a direct line from where we started this morning."The excellent swales, still visible in the sand hills, mark the passage of hundreds of overland wagons.
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Did You Know?
To keep their wagons from rolling over their oxen teams, Mormon Pioneers found it necessary to lock the rear wheels of their wagons as they descended this steep, rocky road known as Mexican Hill near Guernsey, Wyoming. Image is courtesy of the Wagner Perspective. More...