Journal of Western Travel
by John McTurk Gibson
edited by Weldon Hoppe
June 11th, 1859 -- We struck out this morning for Scott's Bluffs, a place much celebrated in western literature, and I must say they interested me more than any place I have yet seen. You come on approaching them into a regular amphitheater in shape of a semi- circle completely walled in with soft rock of all shapes and sizes. Here a sculptor might appropriately take lessons from Madam Nature, and be greatly profited. Here are pinnacles and peaks, turrets and towers, domes, citadels, and fortresses in every style of architecture. But the greatest curiosity in these latitudes is the remarkable purity of the atmosphere, as well as the extraordinary ease with which one is liable to be deceived in regard to distances. For instance, you see a bluff or mountain apparently not more than a mile at any rate, where in all probability you won't get to it short of four or five. Another thing observable is when an ox or any other animal dies, it is not subject to putrification as in most climates, but naturally dries and shrivels up till it gets too hard for a wolf to eat. We have seen several such carcasses today, and have come about 22 miles.
Travelled twenty-three miles. We passed Scott's Bluffs to day. They are fifty two miles from Laramie. They received their name from Scott, the hunter who was murdered there by the Indians. They are very large bluffs and quite rocky.
Copyright © 1997 Weldon Hoppe