Hays, Kansas – Edmond, Oklahoma

It’s been a casual start to today and seeing as I have no car projects, it’s time for another little history lesson.

Hays was established in 1867, however prior to this, was located near the territories of Arapaho, Kiowa and Pawnee. It was claimed by France as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 and became part of Kansas Territory in 1854.

Fort Fletcher was established by the US Army in 1865 (southeast of present day Hays) to protect stagecoaches traveling The Smoky Hills Trail.

In 1866, it’s name was changed in honor of the late Brig. Gen. Alexander Hays.

In 1867, with the construction of the Kansas Pacific Railroad, Fort Hays was moved northwest to better serve the railroad.

Then there is more history about a town called Rome, Hays City being formed, Rome was abandoned after cholera outbreaks and so became Hays!

A frontier town, it had its fair share of violence infamous in the American Old West. Some 79 outlaws are said to be buried in Boot Hill north of town by 1885. Wild Bill Hicock served as sheriff for a brief stint in 1869.

Germans settled in Hays around 1886, having a great influence on the culture of the town.

We continued south to Wichita, which began as a trading post on the Chisholm Trail in the 1860’s. It was a cowtown and frequent stop for cattle being driven from Texas to Kansas railroads.

The Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railways ran through her during its cowtown days and across the Arkansas River was the usual entertainment of brothels, saloons and lack of law enforcement. Wyatt Earp was one lawmen who at some point got Wichita back on the straight and narrow.

As early as the 1920’s and 30’s it also became known as ‘the air capital of the world’ becoming a US aircraft production hub.

So named after the Wichita people, the Keeper of the Plains monument is spectacular! We have been and visited this in person previously but here is a great sunset pic of it.

Check this out! The first ever Pizza Hut building!

Many fast food chains actually started in Wichita, Pizza Hut in 1958. The building is now located within University grounds.

We exited the I-35 to Wellington but we’re again disappointed the Chisholm Trail Museum is closed and with over an hour til opening time we had to continue on our way.

We continued to Edmond, formed during the April 22, 1889 Land Run. It was named after a Santa Fe railroad traveling freight agent. Well it was the name of the train depot was prior to the town being established but was adopted for the town name also.

The first public schoolhouse in the Oklahoma Territory was completed in August of 1889 and still stands as a historic monument on 2nd street.

The ‘Edmond Sun’ located down the street in the opposite corner is the states oldest continuing newspaper dating from July 18, 1889.

And so it is time for last catch ups, washing and packing before we head for Dallas and departure tomorrow.

Kat xo

Photo Credit:

Stagecoach Robbery by R A Davenport/Hip Postcard

Cowtown – Cowtowns Kansapedia – Kansas Historical Society

Pizza Hut building – Wikipedia

Edmond Schoolhouse – Edmond Historical Society

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North through Oklahoma

Through back fields heading North in Oklahoma, past oil fields and Ranches.

On through Kingfisher (where we visited the Chisholm Trail Museum last year) everything is lovely and green. A stark contrast against the red dirt and a somewhat grey looking sky today.

On to Woodward, established 1887, this little town has a tonne of history! Once home to Kiowa, Comanche, Apache, Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes it later became one of the most important depots in the Oklahoma Territory. The Great Western Cattle Trail met the railway at Woodward and so it became a big depot for shipping cattle East and North.

Like Dodge City, KS, Woodward had its own cattle town feel, full of saloons, gambling halls and brothels. Which brought famous ladies and the occasional bar brawl to town.

Temple Lea Houston (son of Sam Houston and former Texas state senator) arrived in Woodward with his family and law practice in 1894.

Houston himself, killed a man in the Cabinet Saloon after a personal disagreement but although charged and tried for murder, the jury acquitted him.

He won a reputation as a brilliant trial lawyer and was known for his courtroom dramatics.

He even argued on behalf of prostitutes making his “Soiled Dove Plea” where after just 10 minutes the jury acquitted her.

I had to look up what the “Soiled Dove Plea” was as it had sparked my interest when reading Wikipedia and Woodward history. More on that later!

From cattle town, to crops and cattle again, oil and gas or even iodine, Woodward still thrives today with a population of around 12,000.

From here we weave further West and head North to one of THE greatest cattle towns of all time, Dodge City, Kansas.

We will make Dodge City by lunchtime. Steak anyone?

Kat xo

Trippin’!

Yes folks it’s that time again where we get to go play on the other side of the world.

Only for a short stint now as this past crazy 6 months Jack and I have settled back into reality here.

Things have been quite on here but hectic nonetheless and will do some more blogs of costuming in the next day or so.

Today we head for Newcastle, bags packed and surprise surprise all under weight!!?? Yippee! More room to bring stuff back!

We fly out of Sydney tomorrow and head for the next adventure. Stay tuned!

Love and hugs to you all!

Kat xo

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!

 

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