While we were enjoying an Xscapers event in Casa Grande, Arizona, we escaped for a day with a couple friends to visit Casa Grande National Monument in nearby Coolidge, Arizona. Translated, Great House, these ruins were once, a cultural gathering place rich in ancestral and ecological history. Today, visitors like us come to gather for a different reason.
Between 1840 and 1869, visions of wealth and opportunity lured over 500,000 pioneers west to fulfill their dreams and a nation’s destiny. These emigrants started their journeys in Kansas and Missouri, walking more than 2,200 miles for months in pursuit of a better life. Since there were no road signs back then, they used natural landmarks to point the way. Along the Oregon Trail, they named a few of those Chimney Rock, Courthouse and Jail Rocks. Today, you can visit Chimney Rock National Historic Site to learn about them.
While in Western Nebraska, we re-visited the Agate Fossil Beds National Monument. We’ve been there before on a motorcycle adventure a couple years prior but wanted to return to hike a little and get our National Park Passport Stamps.