Tuesday, September 07, 2004


...leaving Bandera... Posted by Hello

this is an audio post - click to play

Well, Monday morning came early and the pioneer spirit could hardly be drenched by the brief rain that fell. Despite the damp, the Western Trail ride got underway with an estimated 225 cowboys and cowgirls, and forty some odd wagons. People from 19 different states had signed on, saddled up or stepped aboard a wagon to begin the adventure of a lifetime. I am convinced that this will be a life altering experience for many of those buckaroos. The tales that come from this jaunt up a historic byway of times past, will be the fodder of stuff for grandparent tales in days to come. Some will bring home photos, and some will bring home journals, but all will come home with memories of an awesome event. One not often duplicated in time.

...the trail guide never leaves his post, regardless of the weather...
(Photo by Eric Seeger, Have Camera Will Travel)
Posted by Hello

Of course there were problems. Perhaps they were not of the magnitude of the problem of the first travelers of this trail, but glitches, never the less. The cellular phone with which audio and photo reporting didn’t arrive at the ride until late on Wednesday. The rains made the road muddy and some of the wagons had some trouble negotiating the mire. There was a last minute change in where the night's camp would be. But in the end, the riders moved on and all turned out well.

The change in plans allowed me a chance to delve more deeply into the history of the ride and tomorrow I will post a longer narrative about the background of the Western Trail. In the meantime, I have added some links to the University of Texas Perry-Castenada Map Collection. One of these old maps documents several of the old cattle trails and the other provides us with an excellent look at frontier life in Texas around 1869. I will add more maps for Oklahoma and Kansas as we get further down the road. The maps appear as links to your left.

I want to add a bit of ambience to this blog. I want to set a virtual mood that allows one to more easily imagine the life on the trail. I will be adding more audio links as we go along but for now, I thought I would point you to some links that help set the "cowboy" mood. Below, you will find a link to the 20th National Cowboy Gathering in Elko, Nevada. There are more than 10 hours or RealAudio recordings of cowboy poetry, tales and music for anyone who wishes to listen. There is also a link to an internet radio station that I think celebrates the spirit of the Western Trail, the Cowboy Cultural Society at KPIG internet radio. When you get ready to read the post or any future posts, plug one of these audio files into your favorite media player and listen along.

See ya’ ‘round the campfire.

the blog boss

...a trail rider always has raingear...
(Photo by Eric Seeger, Have Camera Will Travel)Posted by Hello


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