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

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

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

 

Gunfight In Dixie XVI

Wednesday we lit out in the wee hours of the morning (did you like that description Ruby?) and headed for the state of Tennessee again. This time to Lakeland just outside of Memphis.

The Memphis Gunslingers are again hosting the South East Regional and Gunfight In Dixie. This is a great range, great facades with 11 permanent cowboy bays.

As with most of the middle states at present it has been raining and we are in for another boggy, damp and very cold match. They have done their best to ensure most stages are covered and have flooring or matting for decent footing. It's just the guncart areas – the rest of the range – that is very muddy and boggy, with no amount of hay seeming to soak up the water. We certainly thank them for their efforts!!

 

Thursday, Doily Gang ladies clinic, T-Bone Dooley's men's shooting clinic, with all proceeds as usual going to the SASS Scholarship Foundation raised another $344, putting the current total raised from clinics held around $10,000. A great effort and all the instructors sure do enjoy giving back by passing on tips to others.

Wild Bunch, Warm Up and speed events were held throughout the rest of the day.

Friday's opening ceremony commenced with their usual and outstanding recognition of veterans over this Armistice weekend. We thank you all for your service and to those currently serving in United States and Australia especially.

 

Jack and I were with a great posse and glad to be a part of Posse 3 with some amazing people. Cooncan, Bertie Winchester, Randy Saint Eagle (Posse leader), Tomstone John, Papa Dave, Whiskey Hays (Deputy Posse leader), Blackfish Kid, Riverview Rattler, Chica, Ginderella, Jailbreak Jake, Doc Hurd, Ethan Callahan, Doc Who, English Tom and Steelshot Scott.

My shotgun having worked the previous weekends match, warm up and side matches, decided to play up across the first two stages resulting in 2 unpleasant times. Jack had a few fumbles but why wouldn't you when the weather is barely above 32F/0C!

 

It was cold, toes are frozen, no amount of hand warmers in gloves, boxer shorts and socks seemed to keep anyone warm. Jackets, ear muffs, scarves, were all a requirement across the weekend.

 

There is no accounting for fun though. So it doesn't matter what was happening we had a blast. Not the best result but great match, great folks, great fun.

The shootout was held after the final 5 stages on Saturday. They drew our pairings and Shamrock Sadie and I were paired up for first run. We had fun, Shamrock ran out of shotgun shells, I thought she was giving up and coming for a hug when she pinched a shell and finished out our run! Great sportsmanship, great friend and good fun!

 

Oklahoma Dee took out the men's shootout and so we went head to head. No backing off, he had a slight hitch with rifle and I left one plate up to be reengaged. Down to the wire we were both on pistols same time and with only one shotgun shell left myself, I carefully loaded and he just got me! Lol! Was a great run, a gentleman I respect greatly.

 

The banquet Saturday night for awards was well put together. Tumbleweed was the MC under the guide of Match Director, Hot Lead Lefty assisted by Josie Grace Underfire with all the plaques, buckles etc. A fabulous job done by all. Thanks for asking me to help with costume contest!

There were 26 clean matches out of approx 190 shooters. A white longhorn pin and a towel were given for that. Congratulations to all winners, Regional Champions and placers in category!

Elderstatesman category – 1st and Regional Champion Purly, 2nd Max Payne, 3rd Jackaroo, 4th Knot Hardly Dunn

Lady Wrangler category – 1st Kathouse Kelli

Congratulations to SE Regional Champions, Sidekick and Dodge City Dixie. The overall champions for the match, Slick McClade and Dodge City Dixie!! Well done!

It was great to catch up with so many more wonderful cowboys and cowgirls we have come to know over the years.

 

To put a dampener on the evening, some idiots decided to break into a couple of vehicles in the car park. Taking leather rigs, saddle bags, ripping out a dash for a radio. Just wrong!! Grrrrr!

Thanks to all the hardworking folks of the Memphis Gunslingers, their assistants etc. Another fabulous match, Jack and I thank you.

Kat xo

 

It’s What You Do In Valley View

As Jack and I left Lockhart yesterday and headed back to Oklahoma, we made a quick stop in a little place called Valley View, Texas – not far before you get to Gainesville.

I had seen a billboard advertising Rustic Ranch – home decor, furniture etc and has a cowboy bronc on it. So of course it has to be cowboy/western furniture and other goodies I think.

We headed off the exit to take a quick peek inside only to find the store was shut on a Monday. Dang it. They missed out on a sale as I spied their wares through the store window.

Across the tiny square (most old townships have a square where the original settlement was made and the centre usually holds the courthouse or park) we do however find ‘Whiskey Hollow‘ a small distillery!

Well you know Jack and I, who can resist happening across a tiny place like this and not going in to check out their distillery and a quick sample of their moonshine.

Generations have carried on this practice and currently four Beasley gents run it. It has been its current location, I thought he said, 4 years – maybe its 40. They have won gold medals for their Best Texas Bourbon!

We tried 4 shots for $5 (shared) – Firehouse – a cinnamon moonshine and mighty fine!, Texas Gold – one of their bourbon’s, Apple Pie – self explanatory, good moonshine, and last but not least Pirates Brew – an odd blackberry, aniseed moonshine – only way to describe it. Tasty and it was the winner to come back with us in a quart jar.

Valley View was also home to Captain Lee. And here we thought it was just our Okie friend’s alias here. Captain L. W. Lee and his wife Mary came from Missouri and settled in this area thus becoming Valley View from the grass prairie atop an outlook to a valley below.

Onwards from here and Jack looked for a stop in Gainesville. We have been through and stopped for coffee many a time here but have never taken in the Medal of Honor Park. A thoughtful well looked after memorial to vets from many campaigns.

Back on the road and we head into Purcell, Oklahoma to check out Butler Antiques which are housed in the old 1895 Love Hotel. Wow, what a collection of things they have! the ground floor and first floor refurbished original hotel rooms house so many antiques often coordinated in their rooms. Your eyes just don’t know where to look.

Picked up an old pair of spurs and a vintage postcard. Could have bought heaps more!

We spent a couple hours in Moore with Bois d’Arc and Tacky Jackie before finally arriving back to unpack and get ready to do it all again tomorrow!

Thats how we roll!

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!

 

The Regulators Reckoning

The 2018 TN State Championship, hosted by the Wartrace Regulators went off with a bang!

We were blessed with perfect sunshine Friday first day of main match and an overcast pleasant Saturday for the second.

Ten stages with a good mix of movement, choice and action. We commend them again, on another great match!

The range of course was perfectly decorated with its potted 'Mum's', window treatments and little extras on the stage props. I could tell Dodge City Dixie had her hand in this with her sewing and embroidery skills making an appearance here and there.

We had a great posse, with our Posse Marshal's Reno Mustang and Dodge City Dixie, we filled it out with Bama Cowboy, Suttie, Pickpocket Kate, Buford Tanner, Marshal Rico, Scrub Oak Willie, Garnet Gal, Dirty Nerdy, Brada Tat Tat, Boben Weev, Miss Weev, Lacy V. Wildfire, Yellowstone, Dancin' Duelist, Potshot Parker, Jackaroo and myself.

Was a good time had by all, plenty of laughs, cheering, and jobs on the line were hard to find. That's when you know you have a great working posse. Great shooting with y'all! 🙂

The Bell Buckle Banquet Hall is a spectacular little hidden away gem – why we have not gone into Bell Buckle before is beyond me and now we have not had the opportunity to check out their famous cafe and little shops in a cowboy town sort of setting.

The Banquet hall was decked out with covered chairs, tables with cowboy decoration, lanterns with mini fairy lights, chandeliers, blue enamel plates and cups, has a stage for presentations and separate area for the dinner service. I was suitably impressed.

 

Three new Jedi Gunfighters were inducted – Waimea, Brada Tat Tat and Appalucy. Congratulations gunfighter shooting legends!

I won Best Dressed Cowgirl alongside Best Dressed Cowboy, Count Sandor.

 

There were 41 clean shooters for the match from 204 shooters.

 

Jack faired well, shooting the best match he has shot in a long time and he was clean!! He had some stiff competition at this match but his performance certainly proved him 1st place in Elderstatesman!! Congratulations Purly 2nd, Snake Oil George 3rd, Three Deuce Cowhand 4th and Max Payne 5th. C W Knight was the TN State Champion.

 

I placed 1st in Lady Wrangler with Pickpocket Kate 2nd. Congratulations Kate was nice to shoot with you on our posse.

 

This year's TN State overall champions are Blackfish Kid and Dodge City Dixie.

 

A huge congratulations to Mens Overall – Prestidgitator and Ladies Overall – Dodge City Dixie. Well played, great match this weekend Dixie, great to watch you shoot again, you deserved it!

 

Thank you Wartrace Regulators, we had a great weekend catching up with so many cowgirls and cowboys again.

Kat xo

Click on the link above to check scores and the club itself.