In Wyoming, What My Dad’s Dad Stopped To See

Posted in Where To by



It took a magnifying glass, but together at the kitchen counter in the house where I grew up, my Dad and I were able to find out just exactly where he was (he is perched on the rock with his younger brother, seated above his father in the dapper white suit and his mother with the stylish hat; gentleman in the double-breasted suit, a family friend) on this day in 1941.

The top of the wooden cross bars reads “Wyoming.”

The wooden sign hanging down states “Tree in Solid Rock,” and the plaque attached to the fence says “The Old Pine Tree.”

My Dad has small memory of this roadside attraction that is described as one of the “Wonders of Wyoming.” The website of the same name details its location and history:

Tree Rock is located on Interstate 80, in the median, smack-dab in the middle of the Interstate. It lies on a stretch of I-80 between Cheyenne and Laramie, in southeast Wyoming. Imagine the number of travelers that pass by Tree Rock each day. There’s a very unusual median turnout that allows for motorists to stop and take pictures or just marvel at the tree that grows out of a boulder of pre-historic rock.
Tree Rock has fascinated passers-by since the 1860’s when the first Union Pacific train rolled by. It is said that the tracks were once diverted to pass by Tree Rock. In 1901, the railroad line moved south, but a wagon road remained. Then in 1913, the old Lincoln Highway came by Tree Rock, and by the 1920’s, the Lincoln Highway gave way to U.S. Highway 30. Finally, in the 1960’s, Interstate 80 was built, and Tree Rock was guaranteed a large audience for years to come.
Tree Rock is a small, twisted, limber pine tree. There are many others around the Cowboy State that look very much like it. But this one grows out of a crack in a pre-Cambrian Era pink Sherman granite boulder. No one knows exactly how old the little defiant pine tree is, but we do know that the species can live as long as 2,000 years. As for the rock, it is known that the boulder was formed anywhere from 1-4 billion years ago.  –

I think it would be grand to make the same trip as my Dad’s Dad did with my kids and pose for the same photograph. What do you say Mom friends, is this bucket list worthy? Leave me your thoughts in the comments.

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  • Reply Tara Ramirez

    You absolutely should make the same trip!! What better way to make memories while honoring old ones!

    August 31, 2016 at 10:55 pm
    • Reply Katrina Sherk

      That is such a wonderful way of looking at it, love it! I think you are right, 100%. I’ll be needing to get a road trip check for my Toyota Sequoia (which I adore, ’03 and running strong 🙂 Right Toyota) and some extra credits on Audible so we can download some new stories because it is a long drive. But I think we have to drive, not fly, in the spirit of recreating the journey.

      August 31, 2016 at 11:10 pm
    • Reply LaVonne Retay

      Of course you should! I think it would be so neat, and definitely take a picture at the same place if it’s still there 🙂

      September 14, 2016 at 8:39 pm
  • Reply Melissa

    How cool would it be to see what he saw so many years ago and re-create this picture!

    August 31, 2016 at 10:56 pm
    • Reply Katrina Sherk

      You are so sweet to say. I’m thinking more and more that this is a must do. What about attire? Do you think we need to be formally dressed like they were? Can you imagine traveling hundreds of miles, no a/c, all dressed up like that? I admire their spirit. And their style. My Dad still has his. 🙂

      August 31, 2016 at 11:13 pm
  • Reply Michelle oswald


    August 31, 2016 at 11:02 pm
    • Reply Katrina Sherk

      Yes seems to be the consensus – I’m getting excited!

      August 31, 2016 at 11:28 pm
  • Reply Brie G.

    This would be such an awesome idea

    August 31, 2016 at 11:05 pm
    • Reply Katrina Sherk

      Thank you so much. I agree, it would be awesome. I’m hoping maybe my Dad can come with us. Wouldn’t that be the best?

      August 31, 2016 at 11:26 pm
  • Reply Rosa McCants

    I would that sounds awesome and what a treat for you and your family!

    August 31, 2016 at 11:06 pm
    • Reply Katrina Sherk

      You are so kind. I think it would be a treat too. A long drive for sure, but a treat nonetheless.

      August 31, 2016 at 11:25 pm
  • Reply Jodee

    Absolutely! What an amazing picture! I’m so sentimental, I think you should do it if only for the picture. It would be a great road trip and a great picture of the generations.

    August 31, 2016 at 11:07 pm
    • Reply Katrina Sherk

      You are so thoughtful. Thank you for this reply. I am so sentimental too. This photo makes me so happy and so grateful for my family. My Grandpa passed away when I was 9. My Grandma lived until she was 101 and travelled the world well into her 80s. New Zealand, Japan, South America and more. I think in the spirit of family, we should make the trip and get a great, crystal clear black and white photo taken just like this one.

      August 31, 2016 at 11:24 pm
  • Reply Jenny Gault

    I think that is an amazing idea!

    August 31, 2016 at 11:10 pm
    • Reply Katrina Sherk

      Thank you! It is a really long drive but I’m hoping maybe my Dad will come with us and tell us stories about when he went and about his other travels with his family. He is 84 and in better shape that me. We hike South Mountain at least twice a month. I am very fortunate that he lives close by and enjoys great health at 84.

      August 31, 2016 at 11:21 pm
  • Reply Megan

    We love taking our kids to sentimental family destinations!

    August 31, 2016 at 11:19 pm
    • Reply Katrina Sherk

      We do too. We went back to Legoland this summer after not having been for 5+ years and the kids were recalling everything they did when they were little. So sweet and fun. I’m hoping maybe my Dad can come with us on the Wyoming trip. Wouldn’t that be something?

      August 31, 2016 at 11:34 pm
  • Reply Autumn Kennedy

    You totally should. Just go before the snow sets in.

    August 31, 2016 at 11:24 pm
    • Reply Katrina Sherk

      Thank you for your wise advice. I’m from here so would never think of that. I’m hoping my Dad can come with us – wouldn’t that be so amazing?

      August 31, 2016 at 11:32 pm
  • Reply Mary Ronan

    Do it!!

    August 31, 2016 at 11:51 pm
  • Reply Amy king


    August 31, 2016 at 11:53 pm
  • Reply Andrian McGhee

    That would be so amazing to share with your father and kids! It could create a really fun tradition for your family.

    August 31, 2016 at 11:56 pm
  • Reply Bobbi D.

    Do it!!

    September 1, 2016 at 12:26 am

    What a great idea! Such wonderful memories to treasure.

    September 1, 2016 at 12:26 am
  • Reply Tiffany B


    September 1, 2016 at 12:29 am
  • Reply Viviana reyes

    Of course! Always hold onto those traditions

    September 1, 2016 at 12:29 am
  • Reply Viviana reyes

    Of course! Continue the family tradition

    September 1, 2016 at 12:30 am
  • Reply Alexa

    What a great idea! My husband and I love traveling and want to make it a point to recreate memories that our families have experienced and hope that one day our two boys will do the same!

    September 1, 2016 at 12:51 am
  • Reply Meghan D Angelo

    Yes! Any memories you can make with your children on vacations are awesome they will remember these things always! My husbands best memories are traveling across country with his grandparents as a kid. And it’s even better visiting something that a family member once did. See how things have changed over the years.

    September 1, 2016 at 12:54 am
  • Reply Juanita Mendenhall

    I think you should take the trip with your family & even if you can’t get the exact location down but to see it even from a far. Take a family photo with it in the distance possibly? Blow it up and make it black and white to put on your wall for memories to come. Thank you for sharing that memory and story!

    September 1, 2016 at 12:57 am
  • Reply Lauren

    Yes I would definitely take the same trip and then compare now and then pictures!!

    September 1, 2016 at 1:02 am
  • Reply Tori fortney

    Absolutely!! I’m a history major but every kid should see where their family came from/has been! One day they’ll really appreciate it!!

    September 1, 2016 at 1:07 am
  • Reply Ashley Juntini

    I would love for my son to take the same trips as my father did. To recreate the photos and experience would be amazing.

    September 1, 2016 at 1:17 am
  • Reply Randee Beimer

    Sounds like a fun idea!

    September 1, 2016 at 1:20 am
  • Reply Briseida Alvarez

    You definitely should go and find this exact spot and replicate the photo and recreate memories 🙂

    September 1, 2016 at 1:43 am
  • Reply Serapia Montanez

    yes you should. I visited a ranch in Mexico my grandparents visited and took a picture and I brought my children with me and i shared stories with them about my grandparents. It was a beautiful moment.

    September 1, 2016 at 1:56 am
  • Reply Leslie Vall

    My grandparents came to Arizona from Texas and I would love for my kids to see where I was born and where my grandparents lived!

    September 1, 2016 at 2:47 am
  • Reply Megan

    I love ideas like this and I think you should absolutely should do it! So many memories and could be a fun tradition to do and make some new places to stop on the way!

    September 1, 2016 at 3:13 am
  • Reply Patricia Oliver

    Yes! Make a trip, see what he saw and make memories!!

    September 1, 2016 at 3:31 am
  • Reply Krystal Booher

    I think you should because it’s the whole family memories thing… you’re teaching your kids to value your past!

    September 1, 2016 at 3:47 am
  • Reply Rashell

    Absolutely! I think your kids would love knowing that they got to visit a place that their great grandpa took their grandpa when he was little. My kids enjoy looking at my old photo albums.

    September 1, 2016 at 4:25 am
  • Reply Lisa N.

    That would be so great for your kids to actually see the place in person! If it’s somewhere you can get to without much hassle, go for it! Plus, you could try to learn some more family history along the way. Maybe plan stops at unique, touristy stops along the way.

    September 1, 2016 at 4:41 am
  • Reply Randi

    It would be like reliving history🙂

    September 1, 2016 at 5:53 am
  • Reply Hannah S.

    Yes, a wonderful idea!

    September 1, 2016 at 1:34 pm
  • Reply Anne K

    Absolutely! Make the trip. Create memories and honor your family’s history. There are so many other places you could see along the trip there, whether you drive or fly, depending on how much time you have. Such as, Denver and Rocky Mountain National Park, Fort Laramie and Fort Bridger, Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, Devil’s Tower, the pioneer trail sites, or in NW Wyoming – Yellowstone, the Tetons and Jackson Hole. Or just have an old-fashioned, spontaneous cruise on the Interstates to the tree and do what caches your family’s desires.

    September 1, 2016 at 9:32 pm
    • Reply Katrina Sherk

      Thank you SO much for your awesome comments – I can’t tell you how much I appreciate them! All these recommendations I will research – so excited! I’ve received such an outpouring of support for this – it is beyond inspiring. I love both your options – perhaps a unique combination of both?

      September 1, 2016 at 10:13 pm
  • Reply Becky S

    Sounds like a super fun idea to go on the same vacation and find some of the same things!

    September 1, 2016 at 10:36 pm
  • Reply Lianner

    I love when people do this! Great Pic!

    September 2, 2016 at 2:18 am
  • Reply Julie A

    yes, I think it would be an amazing photo!

    September 2, 2016 at 6:38 am
  • Reply Vanessa H

    sounds like a really cool idea.

    September 2, 2016 at 4:09 pm
  • Reply Amanda Tingle

    I would Love to visit some of the places my parents did when my Dad was on tour with the Military. So if you have the chance to go and revisit the places your Father/Family did, then by all means take the chance to make your own memories.

    September 2, 2016 at 4:24 pm
    • Reply Katrina Sherk

      Yes! That would be so wonderful to visit the places your parents did when your Dad was on tour with the Military! Where was he stationed? Overseas? My Dad is a Veteran and spent time in Korea. My brother’s wife is from Korea so maybe we can all go? That would be so special. I would love to visit there and the places my Dad went with his family when he was little.

      September 2, 2016 at 4:48 pm
  • Reply Katrina D

    For sure make the trip! What a wonderful idea. I might have to do this myself. Thank you!

    September 2, 2016 at 5:34 pm
  • Reply Jenna B

    Yes, definitely!!

    September 2, 2016 at 7:12 pm
  • Reply Felicia Hasse

    Not only would it be a fun adventure, but it would be fun to get the same picture. I would love to do this

    September 2, 2016 at 11:45 pm
  • Reply Beth Wilson

    What a wonderful idea, do it!!

    September 3, 2016 at 1:53 am
  • Reply Mary n

    Yes, go! I love the photos that people take merging the old and a new photo in the same place. Go find your roots!

    September 3, 2016 at 5:38 am
  • Reply Jessica Lewis

    What a fun adventure and way to feel connected. Do it!

    September 3, 2016 at 2:26 pm
  • Reply Nichole

    If you have the ability to do so, heck yeah! How cool to do something like that, especially if you can recreate the photo! I try to bring my kids to places I went to as a kid. It gives a great glimpse into the past for them.

    September 4, 2016 at 5:42 pm
  • Reply Cindy


    September 5, 2016 at 6:11 am
  • Reply Sarena


    September 5, 2016 at 12:33 pm
  • Reply Heather S.

    Yes!!I love this idea!

    September 5, 2016 at 1:46 pm
  • Reply Kelly R

    Why wouldn’t you go? I think you already knew your answer!

    September 5, 2016 at 4:27 pm
  • Reply Shanda Reeb

    Absolutely! So cool!

    September 8, 2016 at 5:52 pm
  • Reply Patty Diamond

    Do it!

    September 8, 2016 at 7:09 pm
  • Reply T Diamond

    Road trips are the best vacations.

    September 8, 2016 at 7:21 pm
  • Reply chickie brewer

    Yes, i agree with everyone.. Take the trip!

    September 8, 2016 at 7:41 pm
  • Reply D Mitich

    How fun! It would be neat to see how much it has changed – the size of the tree, the road, the car in the background. Then hang them next to each other on the wall in your house. 🙂

    September 8, 2016 at 8:08 pm
  • Reply Krista Z

    I’m not sure if I would recreate the exact trip but I think it’s awesome to want to go to some of the same places that your parents and/or grandparents did. If they are alive they may even appreciate seeing the same recreated pics or going with!

    September 8, 2016 at 8:30 pm
  • Reply Felicia

    Traditions can create the best memories, I say if it is meaningful to you then it’s definitely worth doing.

    September 9, 2016 at 5:31 am
  • Reply Keisha

    Yes! What a great way to recreate a memory.

    September 11, 2016 at 7:08 pm
  • Reply Pam Morris

    What a beautiful way to honor your history.

    September 12, 2016 at 7:42 pm
    • Reply Katrina Sherk

      Thank you, really appreciate your sentiment.

      September 12, 2016 at 8:45 pm
  • Reply Urijah

    Yes take the trip and make new memories

    September 18, 2016 at 6:09 am
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