Mile 1119: Simpson’s Hollow and Simpson’s Gulch

“One other landmark caught our attention on the trek toward Green River—the graves in the stretch of river bank where the coulee of Simpson Hollow opens out to the Big Sandy. We were on the bridge over Simpson Hollow when we saw, coming up the gulch,  a flock of soft dun sheep that blanketed the rolling banks on either side like a spread cloth of nubbly wool. A herder followed . . . Yes, there were graves there—quite a lot, he told us, getting more and more indistinct as years passed until now he only remembered where to find one or two. As a boy he had considered it almost a trail cemetery.

And how did travelers know that it was ahead? Well, word of tomorrow’s travel and what it would bring seems to have sifted throughout the whole line of wagons, probably from those favored trains who had guides or from travelers who had crossed the continent before. So, because of the overwhelming need to leave their dear ones in some place which they might some day find again, they sometimes carried them many miles to be buries at tis accepted spot—where a stretch of hard-baked sage land at the end of a smudgy coulee still holds the now forgotten dead.”

[N.B. There is a marker for Simpson’s Hollow on Route 28 just past Mile 1119 on the Pony Express Bikepacking Route. Just past there is a dirt road that seems to lead to Simpson’s Gulch (about 3/4 of a mile to the Gulch)]