I Heart Oklahoma

On a car trip back from Texas on 2nd December I took a moment to reflect on Jack's and my time spent here. Hope you enjoy this reflection.

 

As our time here draws to a close and we head back to Australia with many great memories and friendships, sprinkled with the odd trophy or two from many many great shoots. I wondered how best to say 'thanks for having us'.

So as I sit in the passenger seat with no car projects, the following comes to mind and covers everyone we've ever met, everything we have been fortunate to experience and the thought of many great opportunities for the future.

Oklahoma, heart of America

Nothing could be finer

Than sitting here thinking

Of More than a one liner

 

For places we've travelled

You've been central to all

Our home away from home

Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall

 

It's certainly the case of

'I've been everywhere man'

Of this wonderful nation

We most truly are a great fan

 

History graces the pages

Of Jack and Kat's story

Civil Wars, cattle trails, railways with

Cowboys and cowgirls in all their glory

 

We can be so very thankful

For all the friendships made

The fun, good times, the laughter

Of which we'd never trade

 

It has been a momentous ride

Shooting with the best of the best

Enhancing our skills along the way

Being able to pass it on to the rest

 

You've given us an experience

We will never forget

We will be back for sure

On that your last dollar can bet

 

On behalf of Jack and Kat

Thanks for having us as your guest

We will see you along the trail

'Til then, we wish you all the very best.

 

We will miss this place and everyone we've met. Take care of each other, play hard, laugh much, live each and every moment you've been given because life is too short!! Maybe we will see some of you visit with us in Aus one day.

Love y'all!

Kat xo

P.S. I'll still be doing our blog and will probably be mixed with other stuff but hope it keeps you interested and entertained!

 

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Cleaning Done

Soooooo, all packed up, places to go, Cracker helped……or maybe hindered through the week.

Now he is luggage bound, shit up, hang on, and enjoy the ride! It’s lights out for you Cracker for a little while.

See you on the flip side.

Kat xo

Territorial Marshals Christmas Shoot

Baby it's cold outttttttsidddde! But hey!? We missed the great blizzard of 2018 that they were predicting which would have canceled the party. Haa haa, we got nothing, not even ice on roads that they downgraded it to.

So we headed out to the range where some brave souls came to play and shoot!

 

Plenty of selfies with some great folks today!

 

Cracker hung around in various locations.

 

Then we had a play with some different firearms which was a whole lot of fun before heading to the main club house for lunch.

The Club Championship buckle was presented to top shooter Roy's Creek Dan. In the next division, Men's – Gun A Doit, Ladies – Highland Scottie. For the Pistoleers it was a dead heat between Stoney Cahill and Hurricane Deck and the Sharpshooter Concho went to Gun A Doit after 3 previous draws of which the recipients were not present to win! Jack's and my Top Hand picks were Highland Scottie and Gun A Doit, your concho's are on their way. Congratulations to all!

 

Dirty Santa followed. It took a while for folks to start stealing gifts from others although Slim was picked on about 6 times but ended up with a great bottle of whiskey.

Jack and I have plenty of drinking to do next couple of days!! Nah, maybe we will already have supplies for June next year!

Anyway we had a sensational time and will miss everyone here. We look forward to seeing you somewhere soon!

Kat xo

 

What A Great Week!

Although kind of hectic, we had a good week of visiting.

Tuesday evening Wild Horse John and Saginaw Sue came down, spending Wednesday with us and leaving Thursday morning.

We headed out Wednesday morning to Stockyard City, perusing the wares of a few stores, picking up Jack's boots and what else do you at the stockyards but dine at Cattlemen's.

Cattlemen's has been around since 1926, being one of the only Cafes that stayed open after sundown. They served many working at the stockyards and the meat packing facilities. Christmas Eve 1945, saw Hank Frey (then owner of Cattlemen's) and Gene Wade have a game of craps. When Hank ran out of money he put up Cattlemen's against Gene's life savings if Gene could roll a 'Hard Six' – two 3's!

Of course he did and the 3 3 brand is prominent on the wall in the Hereford Dining room in recognition of Gene's good luck that night. This story of Cattlemen's (my bits are just a shortened version of their history) is featured on the menu.

What can I say, THE best steaks, great sides and fresh rolls. It is always filled with people and often a wait line to get in. Tables are waited on by staff in black and white, while linen napkins adorn the tables with silverware and glasses. Cattlemen's Double Deuce beer is exceptional, with its Weissbier flavour.

 

As we rolled out the door and headed for the car it was decided that we should take our Wyoming friends to the Land Run monument. They hadn't seen it on previous visits to OKC and I knew there was at least 1 new installation to this great monument.

 

I will have to look back at previous photos to see just how many are new but I'm guessing there is at least 2 or 3 that I felt we had not seen before.

 

Further culling, more sewing and frustration ensued the next couple of days with some successes and not but Saturday we are headed for Leonard, Texas to play with the Texas Ten Horns.

Six great stages, themed around The Christmas Story, where little Ralphie wants a Red Ryder lever action BB gun. Good fun, great lines from the movie and a couple chances to win a BB gun and free shoot at the Great Spaghetti Western next year. Well done Ten Horns and well played!

Mary-Lou July caught up with her cousin Bubba November and suffice to say they had a blast. If nothing else they amused their own posse and themselves. Haa haa haa. Jingle your own dang bells! 🙂

 

After the stages we went in to Lea's for the Christmas party and Dirty Santa, heaps of fun had by all. We have made many great friends down there and will miss them all – another day filled with great memories.

To our hosts for the evening, Hairtrigger Hayes and One Chance Fancy, thank you again for having us. We thoroughly enjoy your company.

Thanks again, to you and yours

Kat xo

 

Club Match with Territorial Marshals

The wind's been sweeping down the plains all night and brought with it a huge cold front.

That didn't stop us from heading to the range though for the club match yesterday. It started out at a reasonable 42F/ 5.5C which turned colder as we progressed through 6 stages to a wind chill factor of 26F/-3C.

Glad we were shooting everything out of the saloon!! Don't get too close to the open windows and you were right but we had the heater running and all was good.

 

A whole stack of fun with 15 of us – Jack and I, Roy's Creek Dan, Highland Scottie, Hondo Tweed, Jodi Coyote, Gordy Hattrick, Buff Driver, Shootin Fox, Gun A Do It, West Okie Wayne, Della, Elwood James, Bronco Red and Gunkiller.

 

Plenty of heckling and some good shooting we had 4 clean matches – Roy's Creek Dan, Highland Scottie, Buff Driver and Gun A Do It. Congratulations RCD for taking top honor's.

Kat xo

 

Thanksgiving And Chisholm Trail

When an invitation was issued for Thanksgiving in Texas (after a great weekend with Texan friends) and a pending trip lining up perfectly with Thanksgiving yesterday, there was no better way than to combine both.

The Kendrick family and friends were a great bunch! Somewhat rowdy, drinks flowing, plenty of food – sounds like our family gatherings in Australia. Feeling right at home, thank you Anne, Fred, Niki, Amy, Lorin, Misty, Colin, Chris, Kelly, Kimberley, Elaine, Debbie and Gene for making us feel right at home.

 

With appetisers, huge turkeys and side dishes galore it was time for snoozing on the floor or couch in front of the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins game. Dessert followed before we left for Anne's place and watched the highlights of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

After a hearty breakfast this morning we headed back to Oklahoma via Bowie, Texas. As we stopped to take pictures of the big Bowie knife, police are helping wrangle a wayward steer across the top end of the park, without too much success it seemed. Was a funny sight, watching them run across the park!

 

Our actual intent for going this way instead of the I35 home was to go through Duncan, OK and visit the Chisholm Trail

I'm sure many a hardworking cowboy spent Thanksgiving somewhere in the Chisholm Trail corridor during the cattle drive era. Enduring long rides, vast open spaces of grasslands as they drove the cattle forward through Texas, Oklahoma and on in to Kansas perhaps the chuckwagon cooked up the odd turkey or two as a treat for them.

Not quite there, we made a short stop at Comanche to look at their Centennial Plaza. April 1, 1866, 1,800 longhorn cattle were driven through to the railhead of Kansas on the trail mapped out by Jesse Chisholm the previous year.

 

Over the coming years some 4,000,000 head of cattle moved over the Chisholm Trail (US Highway 81 corridor).

We arrived at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan to a beautiful bronze statue of a cattle drive out front with a path laid out for 'The Beginning of Trail' following the trail through rivers, creeks, ranches from Brownsville, Texas through to Abilene, Kansas.

 

Into the Center we went into the Campfire Theatre, an animatronic introduction of Jesse Chisholm talking round a campfire with a cowhand named Tex.

 

Jesse Chisholm was a trader of furs, the first cattle drive followed his wagon wheel ruts to Abilene. From there it become a common route forged in history as cattle were driven from 1866 through 1875.

The Campfire was very well done but then we went into the main theatre for 'The Chisholm Trail Experience'.

An experience it was! Sight, sound, smell, feel! I kid you not, a great little short film – As the cottonwoods sway in the breeze, so too can you feel the breeze. As the rider comes through from behind, you can feel the hooves as he passes by. During the roundup, you can smell the dirt and whilst the cattle freak out and stampede during the storm, so too do you feel the thundering of hooves, the rain on your face and lightning effects!

The displays are exceptionally done and the two beautiful galleries house some significant pieces of artwork and sculptures. At present there is a special photograph exhibition 'American Farmer'. His works are gorgeous, he has definitely captured the character of each farmer.

 

Of course we visited the gift shop and then headed North to Kingfisher. Kingfisher is home to another Chisholm Trail Museum. There is one in Cleburne, Texas also.

CLOSED

Dang it! Trip out here another day during the next couple of weeks then.

Off the trail for now.

Kat xo

 

Coming Ready or Not!

Winter hit last week a little early with snow all day on the Monday! Was a pretty sight and okay because I didn't need to be going outside!

 

Wednesday was practice day and snow was still hanging around albeit a lot had turned to ice by now. Five of us braved it…..doing it tough……inside the saloon with the heater on! Haa haa haa!

 

The rest of the week was filled with sewing corsets, britches and painting as a few projects get finished up.

We had Hawkshaw Fred and Annie D Vine come visit Saturday and Sunday which was great. Dinner, pavlova, Rebecca Creek and breakfast out with the final pavlova for lunch before they left! Looks like we are heading to Texas for Thanksgiving.

 

It's sunny but cool and I see some more Christmas lights going up! Yay!

Back to finishing painting!

Kat xo