EMMIGRANTS WHO TRAVELED WEST following the Platte River crossed over harsh country and needed shelter, supplies, rest, and protection against the native Indians. Fort Bridger was a trading post established for that purpose, to aid travelers on their westward journey. The first "fort" was just a few log houses and a blacksmith shop, later fortified when soldiers occupied it to protect stage routes, telegraph lines, the Pony Express, emigrant trails, and workers building the Union Pacific Railroad.
Jim Bridger was legendary as a fur trapper, pathfinder and experienced mountain man who knew the country, advising other explorers the likes of Kit Carson, George Custer, John Fremont, and John Sutter. He traveled extensively from Canada to Colorado, exploring the Rockies and was the first white man to see Yellowstone geysers and the Great Salt Lake. In 1850, while exploring for an alternative overland route, he found a pass that shortened the Oregon Trail by 61 miles, and later it became the route for the Transcontinental Railroad, and the Lincoln Highway (I-80) that I'm traveling. Quite a legacy!
Week 13, Miles 885