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

 

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Battle of Plum Creek Day 1

Battle of Plum Creek Bullets and Rails 2018 kicked off today with clear cool skies after the much rain Texas has had over the past month and a half.

Thankfully the grounds are not too boggy and suitable for carts today.

The resident Longhorns mayyyyy want to move their butts though before we start shooting!

 

This is a great range and would recommend it for anyone trying to get to a shoot in Texas. Comanche Country Ranch, Lockhart has brilliant buildings for you to shoot out of. I can't really call them facades because they are so much more than that.

 

Although Jack and I didn't shoot Wild Bunch we hung out with them for the 3 stages, picked brass, pulled targets etc.

Good fun had with Alamo Andy, Badlands Buddy, Dragon Hill Dave, Big Iron Patnode, I Reckon, You Bet, Shotgun Jim, Skinny, Skyhawk Hans, Wymore Wrangler, Yuma Jack. Artie Fly, Taos O, Joe Darter and Cowboy Small. Oh and Belle Kaye doing the scoring!

 

After Wild Bunch and some lunch it was time for side match speed events. We helped out some with Speed Pistol, shot it, speed rifle, shotgun and 'call your time'. Everything is running fine and ready for tomorrow.

We packed up and headed out to meet up with Artie Fly, Sadie and son Matt at the Caracara Brewing Company in Lockhart. Artie being a beer aficionado – a man after our own hearts! – suggested we try it with them. Great idea!

When we parked at the Caldwell County Courthouse the Day Of The Dead celebrations were about to get underway and I asked if I could take a photo. After the lady said I could, I got one and headed out of the way.

 

Off to Caracara and we had a beer flight to try out their four brews made in house right there. Lockertoberfest, Le Peche French Saison, On The Square IPA, and Plum Creek Porter. Very good indeed, oh and we tried 'Dingleberry' which was a mix of another local St Michael's Blackberry Mead with the Plum Creek Porter. Yum!

We had barbecue from Blacks Barbecue. The oldest major barbecue restaurant in Texas continuously owned by the same family. Oh my gosh, the brisket just fell apart and melted in your mouth. The sausage links were awesome and the beans, green beans and sauce were amazing.

 

Thank you Artie and Sadie (and Matt) for coming back from Austin to take in this experience with us. Good times!

 

Caracara also sell growlers unlike the glass one we bought in Amarillo it's a 32oz can, they fill it and seal it right there. Jack did a video of it and wanted to know if he could adapt his press! Lol! Brilliant!

Anyway, an early night as its Main Match tomorrow. Six stages ahead then banquet tomorrow evening. Followed by 4 more stages and awards on Sunday.

Have a great weekend no matter where you may be, shooting or not, just live!

Kat xo

 

Texas

A different kind of red, white and blue, we are headed for the great state of Texas today and will end up in Lockhart mid to late afternoon.

We left with drizzly skies, car accidents and wet roads from Oklahoma this morning but the weather soon cleared to sunshine and blue skies and great flowing freeways.

 

We stopped in Waco for lunch and a jaunt to the Harley shop – Adam Smith’s Harley Davidson of Waco. Not as catchy as say, Toad Suck Park or Fort Thunder but an impressive store just the same.

Oh, and Cabelas, Cavenders and Joann’s! Yeah, ripper! Picked up Joanna Gaines (Fixer Upper) new book, Home Body. That will come in handy later 😉 plus fabric at a ridiculous price for couch revamp.

Got a call in with Belle Vaquera and life is good. 🙂

On to Lockhart where we will spend the next few nights for Battle of Plum Creek at Comanche Valley Ranch, previously known as Agarita Ranch. Looking forward to many catch-ups and a great match.

‘Lockhart was the site of a victory of the Texans over the Comanche, at the Battle of Plum Creek in 1840. It was originally named “Plum Creek” but was later changed to Lockhart.’

‘It gained another claim to fame in 1999. The Texas Legislature proclaimed Lockhart the “Barbecue Capital of Texas” and has four major barbecue restaurants’

We visited one last time we were here and it was really good! Lockhart has also been used in various films and the Dr. Eugene Clark Library is one of the oldest operating public library’s in Texas.

Have a great weekend y’all , wherever you may be!! Giddy Up!

Kat xo

 

What’s In A Week

That really depends on how much you can fit in now doesn't it?!

It's been full on as we prepare for selling and shipping but you can always find time for dining with friends, sewing, playing pool, shooting and much more.

Last Friday we were at Bricktown Brewery with Missouri Mae, Flat Top and Roy's Creek Dan, picking up gear, lunching and trying the local brews. Neon Sunshine, a Witbeir style beer from Stonecloud Brewing and Anthem Arjuna, a Belgian style wheat ale from Anthem Brewing Company – both Oklahoma brewed, proud and strong.

Absolutely love the atmosphere of this place and the decor – good ideas for our brew place later on! 😉

 

Saturday morning rolls around and Jack is trying to fix the kitchen tap, I come up with a brilliant idea to help get the thing apart (it's calcified from the water and isn't budging). Taking one exercise band – yes with eyes rolling, was not the smartest idea after the fact but you can see where this is going – wrap around said tap and pull as Jack taps with the hammer. Now at this point a tiny voice in my head is saying 'ease off with the strength sunshine' but before the conscious mind kicks in, off comes the tap, whacks me in the hand and so we have a hole requiring a couple of stitches. Enough said.

 

Sewing takes place, culling and a couple house showings in between we arrive at Wednesday.

Jack and I head to the range for some practice, things are pretty interesting with a hand taped up but we had a good morning.

 

Another house showing that evening so we head up to the pool hall, it's quite, the beer is cheap, the pizza good and 7 games later I'm up 4-3. A good night and back for a tot of moonshine and talk to my Rori boy.

 

Finish the sewing but can't show you this one yet. A drive by the dog at the vet's – he gets dressed up in all sorts of gear depending on the holiday or season and this time he is a spider! Fall is rolling in with the gorgeous changing of the leaves.

 

That's how we roll in a full week. Should have been at Branson this weekend but the weather here is glorious and I'm hearing it hasn't been that kind for the shooters there! All the best to those who attended.

Hope you're having a great weekend wherever you may be!

Kat xo

P.S. We did get the tap fixed! Lol!

 

A Day to Play

Jack and I awoke to another spectacular day of sunshine, blue sky and gorgeous Spring weather.

We decided today should be a game of Putt Putt Golf and then in for lunch at Nobbys Beach Surf Club.

I can tell you that in our usual competitive form, when the guy at the centre asked who was going to win; we both had ideas of beating the other.

Off to the Fun Run with a number of mechanical obstacles as well as slots, interesting ridges and slopes.

It proved to be harder than the Waterways course we had done a couple of years earlier.

We ran close but at the end of the day Jack pipped me at the post by just 2 points!

Head then to the Club for our beachside lunch and then made our way back on a usual walking path.

Had a great day, hope yours has been just as spectacular.

Kat xo

Wild Horse Haven

Our time at Wild Horse Haven wrapped up this morning as we prepared to get back on the road towards Oklahoma.

It has been a wonderful, relaxing, entertaining week and a half with John and Anna. Jack and I cannot thank you enough for your hospitality.

I managed much sewing, a little reading and movie watching. More relaxation than I am normally doing. We enjoyed the balcony drinks, dinners and Cheyenne hill views under this great big sky.

Despite a very much cooler on the 4th July evening, the fireworks displays Anna and I watched as the stormy skies gave way to dark orange sunset's were, as always, spectacular!

Last nights pink sky setting couldn't have been a more perfect and fitting farewell.

 

Hugs and thank you again dear friends.

Kat xo

 

Places We Hadn’t Been

Amarillo, Texas – The Big Texan

Jack and I have been through Amarillo many a time before. Every time we do he makes the comment about how he has been to The Big Texan before………..but I haven't!!

Finally we stopped and I got to experience this fabulous venue on Route 66 with its colourful hotel, the big cowboy, the odd cowboy boot wearing excited dinosaur and the big bull outside the restaurant.

 

Inside is a gift shop, laser shooti arcade, their own craft brews and bar, a fabulous restaurant with stuffed animals, deer horn chandeliers, wait staff all wearing the mandatory cowboy boots and hat and of course it wouldn't be complete without the outdoor area and the big rocking chair!

 

What a unique experience! Oh and I forgot to mention this is the home of the 72oz steak that if you eat it in under an hour you get it for free! Holy cow! That's massive but one lady, Molly Schuyler, holds the current World Record for eating not 1 but 3 72oz steaks in under an hour – to be more precise, she did it in around 20 minutes!!

 

This restaurant has been running since 1960 and if you haven't had a chance to stop there then you need to! Even if only to brows the gift shop and check out the place.

Adrian, Texas – Midpoint

Midpoint on Route 66 in Adrian is the exact halfway point of the route! 1139 miles to Chicago and 1139 miles to Los Angeles.

 

Nothing much else in Adrian, the poor little Cafe was struggling with burst water pipes this day meaning no rest rooms and no food service. There were people from Leeds, England, Chicago and us.

Santa Rosa, New Mexico – Blue Hole

Again, every time we drive past the signs we say to each other, we should stop there one day, so came the time to take a side exit back onto Route 66 and visit the Blue Hole.

 

It's spectacular curiously crystal clear blue waters sit at a constant 61F/16C. It is 60ft wide, 81ft deep and has an outflow of 3000gal per minute. I'm curious about that and how large the outflow is, where does it go to, where does water come in? Divers can explore the hole but with lifeguards on duty it is for those wants to just jump into the refreshing waters from various rock points over and over again.

Moriarty, New Mexico – Sierra Blanca Brewery

How many times have we been to Moriarty now and not once have we managed to get to the brewery?! I hear you all gasp in disbelief knowing Jack and I enjoy beer tasting, okay well drinking, especially trying out new local craft brews and we hadn't been to this one just two minutes from the hotel!

 

It's been in its current location since 2006 and has around 14 varieties on tap for tasting, beer flight samples, or full glasses, your choice. Here we sampled the Outlaw Lager, Alien Wheat, Alien Vanilla Milk Stout and the Pancho Verde Green Chile Cerveza. Then Jack went for a straight up Alien Wheat and I had the Cherry Wheat – I like that one too. One case Alien Wheat $30 bucks!

Grants, New Mexico – Route 66 Drive Thru

Into Grants to drive thru their new neon sign for a photo opportunity. We will visit this again in February and see it of an evening lit up!

 

We stopped at the Mining Museum briefly and agin we will make time for this next trip as there is an underground tour of the uranium mine right below the building!

 

Milan, New Mexico – Transcontinental Air Transport Museum

A small little building of National Heritage, the restored 1953 Flight Service Station. The Federal facility operated until 1973. It tells the tale of Charles Lindbergh's involvement in TAT's historic plane and train cross country travel, mail routes and his gegraphical aerial photography taken in 1929.

The photos were recreated in 2008.

The Beacon 62 power shed sat in the Zuni Mountains when it was in operation. Each beacon tower with its accompanying power shed and concrete arrow made for a visual “light line” along the route.

These beacons were located 10-15 miles apart with every 50miles having a landing strip which would also consist of actual radio contact and a weather station.

 

Also on the grounds is the metal route arrow of 59B moved to the museum location from El Morro.

 

A 1955 “Delta Platform” UHF antenna.

 

The Transcontinental Airway was approved by congress in 1923 becoming the world's first civilian ground-based air navigation system. It was to improve airmail service from the then current daylight airmail service that took greater than 2 days.

 

The TAT passenger service cost $340 a ticket to get you from one side of the country to the other. Fred Harvey provided in Flint drinks and meals and after day 1 flight journey the Harvey Houses provided swift service to a waiting Pullman and the train ride and onto the next day's flight continuation.

 

This was a great little museum with some very interesting and unique exhibit pieces.

That's it for new and interesting places!

Kat xo