Book Review With Kat: The Son

New York Times Bestseller, The Son by author Philipp Meyer.

Based on the McCullough family and it’s heirs in the mid 1800’s to the mid 20th century, The Son ended up being a book I was very taken with.

Recommended and loaned to me by Wild Horse John, I began the intriguing journey Philipp Meyer took me on as I poured through the pages.

It is a story of Indians, frontier survival, early Texas under Spanish rule, Civil Wars, oil magnates, cattle and disjointed families.

The chapters change with family member and time, so during the first quarter of the book I had to keep going back to the family tree to see where I was.

The more I got into it the more I knew and could easily flip between centuries, characters and visual scenery in my head.

I loved the tangled tale of intrigue, misfortune and fortune that went with Eli McCullough and the generations after him.

Thanks John for the recommendation and I would certainly recommend it to any other avid reader or like me, who hasn’t picked up an ‘actual’ book in a long time.

A television series has been made of it starring Pierce Brosnan and although I did catch one episode have not seen others as yet.

Give it a go if you come across it!

Yours in paperback

Kat xo

P.S. just might have to find another good read now. Got any western history, fictional or otherwise, recommendations??

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First Leg

Well I never want to hear the name Stella again, please don’t call your child that I heard that name enough in 2hrs past! 😂😂 poor baby, couldn’t keep still in a fit.

Had a pleasant fly over the West rim of the Grand Canyon. A diversion due to weather we were skirting around it was an exceptional view!

Lake Havass coming into Las Vegas was also a spectacular sight but didn’t get pictures of it.

Here’s to the next leg, hope the dog behind me doesn’t start bouncing off the seat like the previous precious little one. 🙄😬😂😂

Kat xo

Let’s Go Swimming!

Made from Ageless Patterns 1893 Swimming Costume pattern these cute swimsuits are sure to keep a certain cowgirl cool for Summer shoots.

When Dirty Nerdy gets these it will suit her personality down to the ground.

I’m sure in 1893 the suggested fabrics were blue flannel! A far cry from these whimsical patterns that Dirty Nerdy acquired.

My favourite?! The pin up girls of course followed by the Liberty fabric.

They were fun to do, probably make a couple changes next time I do this pattern but I love them.

Kat xo

West to East

Well that does sound like we are travelling a lot further across the country but no, just a few states.

Wyoming, on through Nebraska, dropping down into Kansas and further down into Oklahoma.

As we came into Kansas yesterday we found the historical marker indicating the geographical centre of the country.

 

We stopped in Belleville, KS for the night and walked from the motel to the BelVilla family dining. A little home style restaurant, licensed, nothing flash about the decor but great food and awesome service. I asked the girl if I could keep the menu, a newspaper style print with a beautiful old courthouse and water tower on the front.

 

If you know me then of course I wanted to find this building. Jack and I headed into the downtown district after breakfast. Belleville was established in 1869, some old buildings came into view but alas no old courthouse just the white Art Deco version in the town square. We drove in and around a few streets, asked two old guys (one at a workshop and one driving the USPS truck) and both have only been in the area for a couple of years and couldn't help.

As Jack filled the car with gas, I did a search on the phone and when he returned all I could work out was that it had been burned down and replaced with the current one and also that Belleville was known for the 'world's fastest half mile high bank dirt track!'

A race track for midgets and sprint cars. As we got back on the road there on the left was the Highbanks Hall of Fame and Museum so we stopped in for a quick look.

 

The gentleman was just opening up the doors as we were looking at the display out front. We went in for a short visit.

 

This picture shows a photo of the track at the top and below it a painting of the track. The Belleville High Banks dirt track is 23 ft high on the bank and 80ft wide, you can't walk up it but can certainly run at 140mph in these little cars!

 

There are some great displays, cars and memorabilia for the car enthusiast to stop and have a look. Donation for entry.

Back on the road and we are heading for Marysville and the Pony Express station. This is, as a sign said in a paddock, Pony Express country. From Washington this section of the highway is known as the Pony Express Highway.

 

A quick stop in Hanover, the visitor centre is closed but we saw the Pony Express Station on the Hollenberg Ranch just east of town. It is said to be the only one still on its original site. (Seems contradictory now when you get to the next stop! lol)

 

Next stop Marysville. The Marysville Pony Express Station is the only original station still on its original site. Home Station No.1 has been many other businesses over the course of history but has been lovingly restored and stripped of modern fabrications back to its original limestone walls.

 

The 18″ thick limestone walls, original openings for light and ventilation with a replacement roof – 12 years after the pony express ran through – the original roof had been burnt in a fire.

This station allowed riders to stay in bunks within the barn, often up to 10 days until the next mail came in, or they could stay at the nearby Barrett Hotel.

 

During the 19 months the Pony Express ran for, over 35,000 pieces of mail were delivered via 200 relay stations. The number of rides/mileage made is enough to circumnavigate the world 3 times over.

 

Mary set us up for a short video when we entered and Shirley gave us the rest of the tour through many wonderous antiques, machinery, vehicles, reproduction stagecoach, popcorn machine, dioramas and much more!

 

What a sensational stop, she suggested the Wagon Wheel for lunch near the statue and glass panels. We headed there next and had a great lunch with a quick visit to the statue in the 99F heat. The glass picture panels are great, the picture changes with your movement.

 

We continued our journey south through the great Kansas plains and farming land. Corn……..corn………..and more corn. I'm sure there is more to the crops than that, just seems like that is all you see. 🙂

We made it! We are back in Oklahoma.

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

 

Pawnee Station

In the small town of Nunn, Colorado is the Great Guns Shooting Club where the Pawnee Station Annual shootout was held this past weekend.

 

Friday we headed down from Cheyenne for side matches and check out the ranges for the match. We had did a couple warm up stages, ran the speed shotgun, rifle and pistols 3 times and helped out where we could.

 

I spent some time with Agarita Annie discussing transitions and suggested runs on a few stages before it was soon time for Jack to do the Posse Marshal walk through.

 

Saturday morning and we are up bright and sparky early to go join the rest for Day 1 of the main match. Posse 1 headed by Jack, with myself, Wild Horse John, Wildcat Cliff, Lil Chicadee, Buzzard Wawkin, Duelly, Kid Canyon, Semi Colon, Home Range, Prairie Wind, Prairie Lightning, Prairie Sheriff, Blazen Vaquero, Sonora Blaze and Rooster Rick.

 

The sky was blue and cloudless, the sun bright and scorching as we set down into the 'bowl' for stages 1-5. A slight relieving breeze came through around stage 3.

Jack didn't start off crash hot but finished out the first 5 strong and I was clean.

 

Beer and relaxation was looking good for the end of day 1.

It's like dejavu as we head out Sunday morning for stages 6-10. Water was being consumed at a fast rate by all competitors and we were finished when the breeze started around 11.30am.

Clean match for me and just 1 miss the previous day for Jack. We had a great posse and even with 3 little Buckaroo's we got through our stages with everyone working efficiently.

 

Lunch was again provided by the barbecue place in Wellington. Saturday was pulled brisket and succulent turkey on buns and for Sunday lunch it was superb, fall off the bone, rubbed ribs. Sensational!

Awards started soon after and got done by about 2pm. Congratulations to the Pawnee Station Vindicators for another great match.

Jack was 1st in Silver Senior, 2nd Neuces Slim, 3rd John Mosby.

 

Congratulations to my fellow Lady Wrangler in 2nd place Pauline Mosby.

 

Jack had won Speed Pistol in the side matches and the Cowboy Challenge.

I took 1st overall with Avery Wade 1st cowboy overall in 2nd place! Congrats cowboy!

 

Thank you to all involved wih putting the match on. I know your number were down with other shoots on and it not being a state titles this year but your range beautification efforts, target placement and stages were great.

Kat xo

 

Laramie, WY Part 2

As we left the Ivinson Mansion we headed towards the railroad and found the historic Old Buckhorn Bar.

Established in 1900, it is Laramie's oldest standing and most historic bar. It has the gorgeous, heavy timber carved, mirrored bar back. There are a number of taxidermy heads placed around the walls with antique firearms and signs.

A bullet hole features on one of the glass panels, enquiring minds had to know the story behind this. Alas not from an outlaw's gunfight but a disgruntled ex decided he would take a 30/06 and fire it towards his ex girlfriend in the 70's after they broke up. She survived, the original mirror panel still remains and now it's on a tshirt! A bullet hole glass break pic with 'I survived the Buckhorn Bar'. A beer and we head off to find one with food.

Around the corner is the Crowbar Grill. A neat little place, great food and a nice Belgian White Passionfruit beer. The place was packed on this 4th July considering the rest of the town was very quite.

Next, the Wyoming Territorial Prison, built in 1872 it was restored in 1989.

 

Before entering the Prison building itself we viewed the Warden's house built in 1875 by inmates it was constructed with 4 bedrooms, a kitchen, dining room and basement.

 

This is a self guided tour into the prison and features furnished cells, guards quarters, dining area, laundry room, an infirmary and the women's quarters.

 

The first room in is the processing room where prisoners were fitted with their black and white stripe uniform. Rules and regulations were cited to each prisoner regarding bathing, airing bedding, hygiene etc.

The walls are hung with pictures of prisoners who were here, information regarding the prison conditions, the locking mechanisms for cells, etc.

 

The Wardens office had also been restored back to 1890's glory. Faded patterns on walls were found and subsequent reproduction of exacting color's and patterns for wallpaper were used in the restoration.

 

Before the erection of the stockade and the calling of the mountains to the west 25% of the prisoners in 1875 escaped. The stockade prevented some but there is record of at least a few scaling the stockade wall and escaping.

 

As you move through the additions of the prison there are preserved excavation sections, an exhibit on Butch Cassidy. A very well presented display on the man, the myth, the legend, the Pinkerton Detective Agency, an 1888 blown up safe, and more.

 

In 1882 the first wing on the broom factory was built and later further additions plus steam pipes heating instead of wood and coal were implemented.

The broom factory building and equipment are still original except the flooring was replaced. Brooms are still made here during exhibit displays and are sold within the gift store.

 

Now in Part 1 I had referred to John Hjorth, the Swedish architect/wood carver. Two of his furniture pieces are on display here – a table and a bench. Other pieces made by prisoners such as horsehair woven hatbands, halter's and a very intricate model ship.

 

A great site which has another small town section that we didn't go into. Definitely worth a visit!

What a great way to spend Independence Day in Laramie, finished with dinner, cupcakes and fireworks looking like glitter against a burnt orange sunset.

Thanks to my darling man and a spectacular Wyoming backdrop!

Kat xo