FORT LARAMIE – With the sun shining, melting the early morning frost, the dew collected on the leaves turning it into puddles on the ground. It would be a brisk but warming day for a Story Hike along the North Platte river on Saturday.
Story Hike started at the Iron Bridge, built by the Army in 1903. The trail continues southeast, to where the North Platte meets up with the Laramie River. The beauty of the river and the golden leaves falling from the trees made for a perfect morning to listen to a story as parents walked with their children.
At each stop they would hear a part of the story Minnow and Rose: An Oregon Trail Story written by Judy Young. The story is about pioneers traveling the Oregon Trail to the west when they meet an group of indigenous peoples.
The hike was a collaboration of the Fort Laramie Historical Association and the Goshen County Library. The idea came to Historical Association Business Manager Sheila Muhlenkamp when she heard of a similar event on the radio in Douglas.
“In Douglas they had a story walk along the Platt River. I thought why can’t we do that. Because we had opened this trail – it’s a Kids in Parks trail – the kids can come out with a brochure and hike the trail,” Muhlenkamp said. “Then I thought why not work with the library because they have readers, so we partnered with the library and with Joan Brinkley. She helped to get the readers.”
Families came to be adventurous and to enjoy the fall colors and brisk weather. Jennifer Schroeder with her son Kaden and friend Clay Lee come from Scottsbluff, Neb. to visit the Fort Laramie National Historic Site each year.
“I saw it on Facebook about the hike and I told Clay we needed to come over to see the Fort,” Schroeder said. “We come at least once a year. It is going to be fun to do the hike and Kaden likes to do this stuff.”
The trail is 1.6 miles long and at the end, the groups were treated to cups of hot cider and homemade cobbler. Then the hike back through the colors of fall to the trail head. Historical Association Business Manager Sheila Muhlenkamp said they are thinking of having more hikes throughout the year.