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

 

Advertisements

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

Bullets and Rails 2018

The Plum Creek Shooting Society hosted the Battle of Plum Creek – Bullets and Rails 2018 this weekend at the Comanche Country Ranch owned by landowners Lyman and Nancy who have kept it running as an outstanding cowboy range facility.

This year the shoot is based on famous train scenes in western movies with even a silent movie start in the Livery.

After much rain in previous weeks, it appears the range has been mostly spared and the ground is soft under foot but not boggy.

Day 1 was Wild Bunch and side matches which went off in fine sunny weather.

Day 2 rolls around with a clear cool start and more sunshine expected to continue. The mornings proceedings start with welcomes, pledge of allegiance, pledge to Texas, prayers and 'Patience'. Patience is a cannon but I couldn't tell you the details of her magnificence but if you asked her caretaker, Artiman, I bet you he could tell you more than a story or two.

 

Under the intricate instruction of Artimans artillery commands he and his fellow cowboys, come recruits get Patience ready for action. (You have to go to the Facebook page to see her in action). Now ready for firing, me holding iPad to video, I realise I don't have earplugs and only the capability to plug one ear hole, well….you can see by the video, that I still was not expecting the result! My ears were ringing for a good while!

 

We all moved off to our respective start stages for Day 1 of the Main Match and commenced stages 2-7 with our posse of Texas Ghost, Lady Ghost, Oklahoma Dee, Kansas City Sneed, Lefty Wheeler, Krazy Legs Kay, Texas Drifter, Chisos, Red River Raider (and the ever spectacularly dressed Petticoat Parker), G W Ketchum (thanks Suzie for keeping score all weekend), Six Goin South, Kickshot, Jack and myself.

Last night was the banquet and I assisted Six Goin South and Lorilei Longshot with a costume contest in the Parlour House Reception whilst men gathered in the Saloon next door. Congratulations to all who attended and placed.

 

Side match awards were given. A neat train whistle, theme appropriate for the shoot. I walked away with 4 so I may share with Jack if he wants to play trains! Haa haa haa!

 

Thanks Lyman for putting together your band and playing too. Music was great!!

Day 2 of the Main Match and we are set to finish stages 8, 9, 10 and 1. We had thunderstorms last night and the range has seen a massive downpour that has created better environments for pigs! Lol!

It is boggy as but the match officials are hurriedly running around clearing water and laying bags of sawdust as best they can, After a delay, we started at 9.15am to finish the match.

Lunch was on – fajitas – and might I just say the lunches and dinner the crew put on the whole weekend was outstanding especially lunch today. Awesome job and it was very much appreciated.

Awards got under way and the prizes were railroad spikes. Not just any old railway spikes I might add, these are the real deal. Actual 1800's railway spikes from Texas railroads.

 

Joe Darter gave a little trivia behind them before they started the awards. He 'acquired' these from somebody he knew that had connections. All the spikes are uniquely marked and highly collectible. The makers of the spikes would mark their initials or other carvings into them. If you were injured during other railway work back then, you usually ended up with one of these jobs also. All these spikes are marked, engraved with the shoot name and some with Champion on them.

Special awards made by Two Spurs and in keeping with the railway theme were given to our, shall we say, more mature cowboy and cowgirl at the match. Cherokee Clay and Lady Ghost received these awards for 'Most Train Rides'. Such a neat idea.

 

Jack with a jam in his rifle today finished 3rd in Elder Statesman. Congratulations 1st Skyhawk Hans, 2nd Wildcat Bob, 4th Dusty Mines, 5th Lefty Wheeler, 6th Little Bowley, 7th Ranger Tay.

 

Congratulations to my fellow Lady Wrangler shooter in 2nd place, Krazy Kat.

 

There were 16 clean match winners from 203 shooters for the match. I had a clean match!

Congratulations to Oklahoma Dee 1st man overall and I won ladies overall AND finished 2nd place in the match right behind him!

 

Thanks to all the crew at Plum Creek Shooting Society once again for a great match.

Kat xo

 

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

 

Casey Jones

Casey Jones, climbed in the cabin,

Casey Jones, orders in his hand

Casey Jones, leanin' out the window

Takin' a trip to the Promised Land

Now you've got that stuck in your head, haven't you?! I did the whole way through the Casey Jones Home & Railroad Museum.

 

Mind you that is the chorus from Johnny Cash's version of 'Casey Jones'. The original 'Ballad of Casey Jones' was written by Wallace Saunders, a friend of Casey Jones.

Come, all you rounders, if you want to hear

The story told of a brave engineer;

Casey Jones was the rounder's name

A high right-wheeler of mighty fame.

It is long and tells of brave Casey Jones riding the trains and saving his passengers on his last fateful ride.

 

He was born John Luther Jones in Southeast Missouri on March 14, 1863, the eldest of 5 children. He and his siblings grew up in Cayce, Kentucky. He fell in love with all things railroad. During his railroad work when asked where he was from, with Cayce being the answer he was soon known and referred to as 'Casey Jones'.

Casey started work with the Mobile & Ohio Railroad as a telegrapher at age 15. While boarding with a family in Jackson, TN he met and fell in love with the proprietors daughter, Janie Brady. He and Janie were married in 1886 and had 3 children of their own. He was a devoted father and husband.

 

Having become a proficient telegrapher, Casey then moved up to the position of fireman. Eventually earning his ultimate role as an engineer, Casey was one of the best.

 

During his employ with Illinois Central Railroad, Casey was making a run from Memphis, TN to Canton, MS on April 30, 1900. At 3.52am he was killed in a train wreck.

The mainline was supposed to be clear for the mail and passenger run but Casey didn't know that ahead, a train had stalled on a siding due to a broken air hose, leaving 3 of its carriages still sticking out on the main line.

 

Casey had almost no warning but managed to slow his engine from 70mph to 35mph, telling his fireman Sim Webb to 'jump!' just moments before the impact. With one hand on the whistle and the other on the brake, Casey's engine collided with the other train and he was killed in the crash. He had managed to slow the train enough that all his passenger cars stayed on the track and all passengers survived. He was just 37 years old.

 

If my memory serves me correctly from the short introductory video, compensation payouts totalled around $29, with the highest being $5 for bruising to the fireman.

Through personal appearances by Sim Webb at events honouring Casey Jones, the ballad written by Wallace Saunders and his wife, Casey became famous around the world.

The museum houses many railroad artefacts, a model display of Casey's crash, news articles, photos, and much more. Through the museum and out on the platform is Engine 382 where you can ring the bell of the engine.

 

After hearing the railway sounds on the platform you can walk around to go through and view his original 1870's home that was relocated to the current site in 1980. It was originally located at 211 West Chester Street in downtown Jackson.

 

Also located here is a number of small shops in the Casey Jones Village. The Brooks Shaw & Son Old Country Store, is a step back in time! From the moment you enter there are the original post boxes, counters filled with old antiques, exquisitely ornate timber shelving, the antique original soda fountain and 1890's ice cream parlor.

 

The Old Country Store offers buffet style meals, three times a day or you can get take out or eat in the Dixie Cafe on the other side within the store.

The food choices were many and everything was very fresh. There is also another area with some old homes, chapel, bakery, mini golf and farm that we didn't visit.

If you ever get into Jackson, TN this is all worth a visit!!

Kat xo

Click on the link below for more info.

Casey Jones Village