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

Tatanka (Buffalo Gal)

Tatanka, the Lakota tribe word meaning 'big beast'. For the American Northern Plains people, Tatanka meant life. The bison/buffalo, ruled the plains, clothed and fed many American Indian tribes and were revered by all, especially in sacred ceremonies.

 

Herds of buffalo existed from Alaska all the way down through the Gulf of Mexico.

 

During the 1800's they were hunted and killed mostly for the fur trade almost totally decimating the herds to extinction. By the 1860's it is said that less than 1000 buffalo were left and it was men such as Buffalo Bill, Pawnee Bill, Charles Goodnight and another 6 men (I had not heard of) that realised what lay ahead and purchased them for their own ranches.

 

At various points in time, cattle were introduced into herds of buffalo upsetting the DNA of true bison. Today there are some that have been bred from true stock with very little to no common cattle variety in them.

Today, over 400,000 buffalo roam freely in reserves and managed properties such as Yellowstone National Park, parts of Wyoming and Texas. Still a far cry from the once 30million plus!

So how come Buffalo Gal?

Now my Texas women friends pride themselves on all things Texan, and are very patriotic. The costumes I've been pushing to get finished lately from a few Texas ladies are in the B-Western styling keeping me very busy at the embroidery machine.

Lil McGill's latest is a recreation of a 1940's B-Western dress featuring flowers, scrolls and bison.

With a few pictures at hand of the original and paint chips of colours to match boots, I set out to pay homage to this spectacular gown. The buffalo proved a little difficult with not being able to find a design of a running buffalo closer matched to that of the original.

 

We don't want a football version of a running buffalo now do we! Lol! So the choice of a rather majestic looking bison standing in grass seemed appropriate.

After altering designs and reconfiguring flower sequences, I eventually had 17 different sections to this embroidery work, with 12 needing to be mirrored for left or right.

Some careful planning and lining up got it looking pretty darn close to the original.

 

The only thing I couldn't see in the pictures we had was something on the sleeve side. It looked like same colours so I could only surmise nothing new was added outside the theme. I eventually came up with the inclusion of bison tracks through the same floral detail.

 

With the buffalo complete around the bottom edge the dress is ready for the final larger one on the back. This had to be outsourced as my frames aren't big enough. Threads all numbered and bagged, 'Buffalo Gal' is headed for her final stage of embroidery. Only thing left to do from there is bling!!

 

Can't wait to see it worn, boots and all!

Photos to come later when it is blinged up!!!

Kat xo

😉 see, still alive, head down bum up, love y'all!

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_bison

https://www.storyofthebison.com/faq.html

 

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

 

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

 

Parker’s Crossroads

We left Tullahoma, TN this morning and it has been raining overnight. Not long into the trip and it's raining on and off.

Not far from Jackson and not our intended tourist stop for the day, we pulled into Parker's Crossroads for a quick look. Part of the Tennessee Civil War Trails, this where Union Troops led by Col. Cyrus L. Dunham fought Confederate Gen. Nathan B. Forrest's cavalry on December 31, 1862. This is where Forrest gave his famous order to

“Charge them both ways!”


 

Forrest had been dispatched with his 1800 men to sever U.S. Grant's rail communications in West Tennessee. After a successful two-week mission across the region, Forrest then headed east toward the Tennessee River.

 

Five miles northwest of Parker's Crossroads they stopped for a couple of days. Union Gen. Jeremiah C. Sullivan saw a chance to capture Forrest. He sent two brigades to trap the Confederates.

The morning of the 31st, after learning that Forrest's troops were at Flake's Store, Col. Dunham's brigade of 1500 men left Clarksburg and marched South toward Parker's Crossroads.

Dunham's men got to the crossroads first and formed a line of battle at Hick's Field, a mile northwest. Forrest's artillery and dismounted cavalry went into action on the northwest perimeter of Hick's Field, causing Dunham to retreat back towards John Parker's house at the crossroads, where they reformed a line, paralleling the Lexington-Huntingdon Road.

When Forrest flanked this position, Dunham changed his front northward,M suffering severe casualties from Forrest's artillery. Pushed south by the constant bombardment, the Union line took refuge behind a split-rail fence.

While unrelenting artillery fire held Dunham in place, Forrest ordered an attack on the Union rear. Dunham about-faced most of his brigade and charged southward but his forces were surrounded. With the battle seemingly over, Forrest parlayed with Dunham for surrender. Suddenly, Col. Fuller's entire Ohio Brigade arrived from the north behind the Parker house, where it captured 300 Confederate horse-holders.

Forrest was now caught between the two Union brigades. He thundered, “Charge them both ways!”, gathering 75 men and charging into the left flank of the Ohio Brigade. The swift counterattack disrupted the Union attack and Forrest escaped, heading to the Tennessee River Ferry crossing at Clifton.

(The above has been written from the Parker's Crossroads brochure)

All in all, here were 3000 Union soldiers (237 casualties) 1800 Confederate soldiers (500 casualties).

Forrest led a number of brigades through several battles during a a four year period from1861-1865. He later became a member of the Ku Klux Klan in 1867, just two years after it was formed and was elected its first Grand Wizard.

He remains today as a highly controversial individual. Ya think!?! A very interesting story behind this Civil War General indeed.

So there's a little piece of history in brief for today's trip.

Kat xo

Parker's Crossroads

Gen. Nathan B. Forrest

Civil War Battlefields

 

Greeley Stampede

Monday afternoon we headed off with Wild Horse John and Saginaw Sue to the Greeley Stampede in Colorado. The grounds were jumping with carnival rides, vendors and bars. John had organised great seats with a good view to the arena, the chutes and the bull riding when they made the arena shorter.

 

It was a well organised smaller rodeo with some great action throughout the course of the evening with events like Bareback Riding, Saddle Bronc Riding! Steer Wrestling, Tie Down Roping, Team Roping, Barrel Racing, Bull Riding and I think the highlight was the little kids doing the Mutton Bustin'. Hilarious! They would bring in a sheep, bucking and carrying on, grab a kid (rodeo riders in the making), get the kid situated on the sheets back and have hem hold on for dear life for as log as they could. One little cowboy in his lime green chaps rode the sheep just about the full length of the arena and of course won.

 

The rodeo announcer interviewed him after and as they say, kids have no filter when they are little and just tell it like it is.

Announcer: 'where did you get those chaps from?' Mini 5yr old cowboy in the sweetest voice: 'online'. The announcer was a little lost for words and then 'would you like to win a new pair of boots?' Mini cowboy: 'yes'. Announcer: 'would you give Miss Rodeo Colorado a kiss for a new pair of boots?' Mini cowboy: 'no!'

Haa haa haa, priceless, needless to say the boots were his prize for winning so he still got them and I think Miss Rodeo Colorado was just a little heartbroken lol!

 

The 5th generation of Beutler's (3rd, 4th and 5th generations to be precise) Bennie, Rhett and 11 yr old Jake rode the arena and Jake helped out rounding up stray steer's throughout the steer roping and the finale with the bronc's. The family from Elk City, OK are stock contractors and provide the horses and bulls for rodeos across the nation.

 

Had a blast, thanks very much John!

Kat xo

 

End of Trail 2018

It's that time of year where cowboys and cowgirls come together for one of the biggest weeks of shooting.

 

The World Championship of cowboy action shooting is the agenda at Founders Ranch, New Mexico. Five countries – Australia, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand and United States of America competed for the top honor's in both Wild Bunch and Cowboy matches.

This year, as previously reported, we decided to forego Wild Bunch and headed to Cortez prior to this week.

Monday: picked up packs, caught up with friends and readied ourselves for the week ahead. A pleasant surprise was my picture on The Independent for Cowboy Days in Edgewood/Moriarty. Thanks to Cat Ballou the photo BT Blade took of me during Wild Bunch last year was used for their front cover!

 

Tuesday: we did 6 stages of warm up and attempted to get acclimatised to the altitude whilst running uphill or across some of the stages.

Tuesday evening we had a great trip up Sandia Tramway with dinner beforehand at Sandiago's grill with the Range Riders (from Australia) – Pearl Starr, Charlie Wagon, Judge Ruger, Tumbleweed Wagon, Sarah, Stan Wellback and Dallas Roarke.

 

Wednesday: Doily Gang Clinic was on, instructing with Honey B Quick, Shamrock Sadie, Lefty Jo, Two Sons. We had 18 ladies attend the transitions clinic, some returning for the 2nd or 3rd time and others their very first.

Plainsman, shotgun clinics and side matches were on. Cowboy swap meet, vendors are open and the crowds are starting to increase.

The evening kicked off with the opening ceremonies, Tumbleweed Wagon carried the flag for Australia.

 

The Wooly Awards were announced with Texas Jack Daniels receiving one as 2017 Governor of the year and The Territorial Marshal's with match directors Missouri Mae and Flat Top Okie took 2017 Match of the Year for Red Dirt Rampage.

 

The class of 2018 Regulators were announced! Congratulations to each and every one!

 

Thursday: first day of main match and we had the late wave start. It's hot, dusty but ready for action! Stages 1-4.

 

Friday: second day of main match, mid wave, stages 5-8, shopping with vendors and we're still having fun!

 

Saturday: it's the final 4! With the cooler very early start we were soon done and all up to the total scores to see where we all finished. We had a great posse – Posse 25 with posse marshal Chickamauga Charlie, Polly Penny Bright, Coffee, Shotgun Boogie, Hell Hound, Rephil, TinTin, Slow Hand Don, Dutch Bear, Justice Ann, Coal Train, Buck Garrett, Chantilly Shooter, Hot Rock, Hud, Hawkeye Kid, Pearl Starr, Charlie Wagon, Jack and myself.

With the posse shoot done, it was lunch, ice cream and head back to get ready for the banquet.

 

I attended the costume contest and was 2nd place in the new Steampunk category. Congratulations to EZGZ in 1st place. Congratulations to all other category winners and placings! There were some fabulous costumes!

 

The beer flowed, the music played and some showed off their dance skills.

The top 8 Wild Bunch men's and ladies were announced, as was the top 16 cowboys and cowgirls. Clancy and I were the only two Australians to make the shootout this year for cowboy match and RC Shot for the Wild Bunch shootout as an alternate.

 

Sunday: the shootout gets under way. Congratulations to Idaho Sixgun Sam and Last Chance Morales for winning not only the shootout but overall top lady and man for 2018 Wild Bunch.

The cowboy shootout is run and final finish was Holy Terror for the ladies and C.S. Brady for the men.

Jack finished 10th in his category with 1st place going to Long Swede, 2nd Hell's Comin, 3rd Silver City Rebel, 4th Angry Tom, 5th Lucky Thirteen, 6th Texas Mean Gene, 7th Fast Eddie, 8th Kansan and 9th El Lazo. Congratulations Silver Senior's on your placings!

 

In Lady Wrangler category, 10th Wild Cattle Kate, 9th Ms. Laurie Darlin, 8th Ex Sighted, 7th Young Lady, 6th Ruby Jewel, 5th Idaho Sixgun Sam, 4th Legally Loaded, 3rd Clancy, 2nd Echo Meadows who cheekily offered to hold my World Championship trophy again. Lol! Congratulations ladies!

 

Out of 22 Aussie's 14 placed, 2 received Spirit of the Game awards, 2 placed in costume and if I remember correctly, 6 or 7 got clean matches.

Overall winners this year were Matt Black and Holy Terror. Congratulations to two fine young shooters!

 

For everyone who attended End of Trail 2018, may it have been with goals achieved. Whether your first ever or multiple entry, I sincerely hope you enjoyed the experience.

Kat xo