John does not have a diary entry for this day, but there are some interesting things for him to see between Ft. Laramie (Wyoming) and his next stop at Independence Rock (Wyoming).
Just west of the trail ruts at present day Guernsey, Wyoming is a place known as “Register Cliffs. Following a day’s journey from Fort Laramie, emigrants spent the night at Register Cliff and inscribed their names into the rock face (it is soft, sandstone rock). The earliest signatures date to the late 1820s when trappers and fur traders passed through the area, but most of the names visible today were carved during the 1840s and 1850s when the Oregon Trail was at its height. Today, you can walk along the cliff base to view the signatures up close. Beware, however, that there are some forgeries from the present day among the carvings. Luckily, some of the original carvings are protected behind locked steel bar structures.
The emigrants inscribed their names on a variety of “register rocks” all along the trails. These signatures served a number of purposes. Many emigrants inscribed their names for the simple purpose of declaring, to one and all, that they had made the trek. Others hoped their signatures would signal to family and friends behind them on the trail the date at which they had reached this point.