Mile 636: Courthouse Rock and Jail Rock

“Late in the afternoon, when the evening sky was lemon-colored and placid, we distinguished the dark bulk of Courthouse Rock outlined against the sunset and knew that this day’s journey was ending, as hundreds had ended in years past, within sight of the first great monument of the Oregon Trail. Tomorrow we would imitate the thousands of encamped travelers who took time out for a jaunt to ‘the courthouse’ intending to see for them selves how far away in the deceptive prairie distance it might be. No well conducted tour of the Emigrant Trail, either now or one hundred years ago, would be complete without the inclusion of a pleasure excursion on the side to Courthouse Rock.”