The eighteenth century brought competition among Spain, France, England and the fledgling Unites States for control of North America. Domain over the continent's rivers, seaports, forests, rich soils, and wildlife resources was key to the growth of the nation as a strong, stable empire. Settlements and governance of the land to exclude other nations from the trans-Mississippi West became the American agenda.
A network of trails leading west from the Mississippi River was created by trappers, explorers, Oregon settlers, Mormon Pioneers, and California gold seekers during the first half of the nineteenth century. By 1860, the Pony Express utilized existing stagecoach routes and stations between Missouri and California to maintain rapid overland communications between west and east.
In roughly fifty years, the frontier had moved fro the Mississippi River valley to the Pacific Ocean. The trail on which you stand now was the conduit for Westward Expansion.
Today we can visit sites across Wyoming and imagine the creaking wooden wheels, the bell on the milk cow, and the dust, sweat and exhaustion felt by emigrants as they passed this way on foot. Their strength came from dreams as the were bound for the West and a place to help shape the future of their continental nation.