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Pike Plaza Interpritive Markers
Wet/Dry Routes Markers

With their indepth research of the Santa Fe Trail, the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter felt some sites and trails needed more information. With this in mind the Chapter has placed in prominent locations along the Santa Fe Trail, "Interpretive Markers" to do just that. On these pages you will find a photo of the markers and the text placed on them.

Pike Plaza - Pawnee Fork Crossing
The Wet Route
The Topographical Engineers Marker Number Four       Pike Plaza Pawnee Fork Crossing Wet Route The Topographical Engineers Text


Today we commenced crossing our camp and before 11 (o'clock) everything was safe on the south side of the river. Although our raft had lost much of its buoyancy by its becoming waterlogged, it had been built of the driest timber that we could find, for the elm and box elder, the only wood here, has when green a specific gravity but little less than that of water. Our wagon body was used as a deck to distribute the weight more equably. A rope was stretched across on which a noose could slide; this noose, being attached raft, prevented our craft being swept away in case the stretched cable should break. This precaution proved most wise, as the rope did break, but the knots upon it prevented the bridle from sliding off and our craft swung round into an eddy comparatively calm.

Lt. James W. Abert
July 16, 1846


On the evening of the 9th we encamped on a stream known as Pawnee Fork, the crossing of which was very difficult and occupied some time. Each wagon had to be let down the bank with ropes, while on the opposite bank from twenty to thirty men with ropes aided the teams in pulling the wagons up. The water was muddy, very much like that of the Missouri River.

Sgt. Daniel Tyler
September 9, 1846

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