Register Cliff and the Continuum of HistoryI've never understood why people feel the need to carve their names into cliffs, to tell you the truth, but after visiting Register Cliff, I'm glad the pioneers did. There's something incredibly poignant about gazing upon someone's signature, knowing it has survived wind and weather, not to mention the ravages of modern graffiti, for a century or more. Call me fanciful, but it seems that the past and present merge in a continuum to connect me to that moment in history. It leaves me breathless.
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|The perpendicular bluff at Register Cliff seems like a natural wall. Image by Chris Light (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons|
Other signatures of note include that of A.H. Unthank. Alvin Hunt Unthank, a youth of 19, cut his name into the stone here on June 23, 1850. He was headed to the California goldfields, but he never made it. Cholera took him to an early grave a week later on July 2, 1850. His grave is located near Glenrock, Wyoming. In 1869, Alvah's cousin, Oliver Nixon Unthank, left his name below Alvah's. In 1939, Oliver Nixon's son, Oliver Brandon Unthank added his name to the family record.
Another engraving proclaims the passing of a wagon train led by one Tex Serpa and bound for Oregon in 1889.
Fences protect three Oregon Trail graves with unknown occupants and many of the more-vulnerable signatures to protect them.
|Register Cliff Signatures image by Chris Light (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons|
I would call upon my experience of this and other locations on the trip while writing Montana Gold, a western historical romance series with the Oregon Trail always in the background. Hills of Nevermore, the first installment, is now available for Kindle preorder. Order Hills of Nevermore before the May 1st launch date for the best price.
About Janalyn Voigt
My father instilled a love of literature in me at an early age by reading chapters from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Robinson Crusoe and other classics. When I grew older, and he stopped reading bedtime stories, I put myself to sleep with tales I 'wrote' in my head. My sixth-grade teacher noticed my interest in storytelling and influenced me to become a writer.
I'm what is known as a multi-genre author, but I like to think of myself as a storyteller. The same elements appear in all my novels in proportions dictated by their genre: romance, mystery, adventure, history, and whimsy.
Epic Fantasy: DawnSinger and Wayfarer are the first two novels in the epic fantasy series, Tales of Faeraven. The final books in the series, Sojourner and DawnKing, are under contract with my publisher.
Historical Fiction: Hills of Nevermore, first installment in Montana Gold, set during Montana's gold rush in the days of vigilante justice, will release May 1, 2017.
Romantic Suspense/Mystery: Deceptive Tide (Islands of Intrigue-San Juans) is set to launch in 2017. This title is romantic suspense, but I am also moving into writing mystery novels written in the classic style of Mary Stewart and Victoria Holt.
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