Wind River Mountains in the distance
This morning we left Laramie and headed north to the Tetons traveling along the Chief Washakie trail. Washakie was the head of the Eastern Shoshones from 1851 until his death in 1900. We entered the Wind River Reservation, just outside Lander, Wyoming. The snowy Wind River Mountains framed the sky over the reservation, and cattle grazed in the rocky, sage brush filled fields.
Chief Washakie’s son was killed by a white man in 1885. His struggle against hating all white people ended when an Episcopal priest, John Roberts, offered his life in exchange for Washakie’s son. Humbled by this act, Washakie and Roberts became friends. The Episcopal Church had assigned Roberts to minister to the Shoshone and Arapahos on the Wind River Reservation. Roberts learned Shoshone customs, beliefs and language and translated the Bible into Shoshone. Together Washakie and Roberts established a boarding school for Shoshone girls in 1879 on a 160 acre tract of land near Trout Creek. The land was secured by Washakie. In 1897 Washakie was baptized and became an Episcopalian. His burial office was presided over by his friend John Roberts. Because of Washakie’s emphasis on education, there is a beautiful sculpture of him on his horse at the University of Wyoming in Laramie.
Also buried on the Wind River Reservation is Sacajawea (1788 – 1812), who guided the Lewis and Clark Expedition explore the Louisiana Territory. She traveled thousands of miles from North Dakota to the Pacific Ocean. One of her greatest contributions was to establish contact with Native American populations and assured them that the Expedition wished them no harm.
Describing the land we have seen today would be hard. Observing storm clouds in front of us we could see the rain streaking to the ground in places. Finally we were under the clouds and washed in the rain as the outside temp dropped from 84 to 58 in about 10 minutes. We cut the a/c on the car off and breathed in the newly cooled air. What a treat! As we traveled to our destination for the night, we followed the Wind River, a beautiful stream flowing alongside the buttes and mesas that frame the grassy pastures.
We all resonated with Pat’s comment that we live in such a tiny piece of this beautiful world. The world as we are seeing it makes us newly aware of how much beauty lies outside our daily lives. As we rolled into Dubois this evening we decided to have an early dinner at the Nostalgia Bistro on west Ramshorn. The tomato bisque was awesome with the taste of fresh tomatoes and the turkey and cheese on ciabatta with sprouts was equally wonderful. We give it 5 stars for sure! After eating we walked over to St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church and looked inside their beautiful church. It appears that they have a vital outreach ministry to the community.