Tree in the Rock.

Tree in the Rock

Field review by the editors.

Buford, Wyoming

There aren't a lot of trees in southeastern Wyoming, and there were probably even less when the Union Pacific laid its tracks there in 1867. So when the railroad men saw a plucky little Limber Pine that seemed to be growing out of a granite boulder, they actually jogged the railroad sideways to preserve it. They called it "Tree in the Rock" and the name stuck, even though when you visit the tree it looks to be growing from a dirt-filled depression between several big rocks.

The railroad was eventually moved south, and the old road bed past Tree in the Rock was used as a wagon trail, then as the Lincoln Highway, and now as Interstate 80. The freeway splits around the tree, which has its own little parking area in the median and a spiky fence to protect it. It's called simply "Tree Rock" by its unromantic modern sign, which notes that "Limber Pines can live as long as 2000 years."

Tree in the Rock

Interstate 80, Buford, WY
Midway between Laramie and Cheyenne, in a wayside rest in the median of I-80 at mile marker 333.
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May 25, 2019

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