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

Siege of San Juan

Day 1 of the Siege/Colorado State Championships kicked off this morning with the pledge, prayer and the firing of a bowling ball out of a canon. You can’t even see the ball when its in the air if you don’t pay close attention to the trajectory of it!

The skies are blue, the wind is light and we are ready for 6 stages. You need to aim! These targets are smaller and a little further out there.

Suffice to say it wasn’t exactly the greatest of days but I had some really awesome rifle runs! (Always take away the positive!)

We have a great posse with Babe Ruthless and Union Jack (our gracious hosts for the weekend), Burgundy Ballou and Ric-A-D-Split, Bijou Blade and Tolinka, Sixgun Louie, Sam Balin, Section Hand, Rufus Thornton, Lucy Trigger, Gateway Kid and of course Jackaroo and myself rounding out Posse 7.

There is lots of movement on these stages and a few you really need to think about but all in all they are good. Everyone is in the same boat!

Sixth stage done and its time to pack up, have lunch and socialize with others hearing their triumphs and woes of the day.

Bring it on tomorrow for the final 6 stages!!

Kat xo

San Juan Range

Montrose, Colorado – San Juan Shooting Range this year host the Colorado State Championships 2019.

The stages are set and were written by Cobra Cat.

Range is looking great with some touch ups to props and new building improvements.

Bit of perspective on the cowboy and Indian targets with Jack in the thick of things!

The newest edition to the range is the gorgeous mission that we will shoot out of the inside of it. Just spectacular!

And of course, what better backdrop than the snow covered mountain range beyond.

Registration and side match day today!

Kat xo

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Jack and I would like to wish all our family, extended families, cowboys and cowgirls near and far, a very Merry Christmas!

Cracker interjected and would also like to wish everyone a happy season of fun, drinks, love and family. It’s his last night for a while!

For those not near your loved ones, for those in hospital, our heartfelt wishes to each and every one of you.

Merry Christmas everyone! 🎄🎅🏻🥂

Love and hugs 😘

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