Monday, October 25, 2004

...Keeping in touch...

Well, your adventure has finally drawn to a close. It's a bit sad in a way, but it should also mark a joyful chapter in your lives. You accomplished a remarkable feat and I personally applaud you for that.

I am already getting comments and emails from people about how to keep up with the friends that they made on the ride. I am going to leave the blog up for as long as people will continue to use it. If you would like to post comments here for all to read, then please post them on this page. This way, people can come back here periodically and see what new comments have been posted.

I have an entry for just about everyday of the trip. A number of those entries have photos of people whose names I didn't quite get. If you see your picture, note the date and email me and tell me your name and I will go back and make sure we can identify you correctly. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

I might also note that one of the great things about "blogs" such as this one is the ability to go back and add things. If you had a very memorable experience in any town along the way, go back to that date, and click on the "comments" section and tell us about it. This is your use it in the best way you see fit.

I have been adding interviews along the way, and I want to make sure you know where they are and which ones are new, so here is the currently list. I will try to make corrections to this list as soon as I post something new. I still have T.R.Fehrenbach history entries (these are almost ready) and I am still trying to reach Larry McMurtry for an interview, so check back often:

  • Interview with Mrs. Kraisinger – Co-Author of "The Western, The Greatest Texas Cattle Trail" - Sept 9 (New)

  • IInterview with Frank Sharp –Expert on the history of the Spanish cattle or Longhorn - Sept 13

  • Elderbob's Fireside Chat: an Interview with Fayette Yates

    Interview with Fayette Yates – Third generation Longhorn breeder - Sept 13
  • Green Horn Weekend – My first personal experience on the trail at Rockwood - Sept 16

  • Elmer Kelton Interview – Great interview about the history of the Cowboy by one of Texas most prolific western writers - Sept 20

  • Robert Wanat Interview – His hobby is tracking down the earliest cattle brand in each county and then creating a miniature replica of that brand, and finally burnishing the brand onto a piece of cowhide shaped into a map of Texas. - Sept. 23

  • Interview with Lester Galbraith – Retired administrator of Fort Griffin State Park. Few are as knowledgeable about the history of Fort Griffin and the area. - Sept 24

  • Interview with Dr. Andres Tijerina – Expert on the Texan influence on the trail rides. - Sept 30

  • Interview with Dr. Turner – An outstanding interview about the trail rides and the history of western Oklahoma and the Indian Territories. - Oct.4 (New)

  • Lee Hale at the Campfire – The greatest story teller of the ride. - October 9

  • Interview with Red Steagall – A history of Cowboy Music - October 14 (New)

  • Elderbob's Fireside Chat: an Interview with John Erikson

    Elderbob interviews Hank the Cow-dog creator, John Erickson. – Some chat on why animals had such an important role in the life of cowboys and the "cowboy way" - Oct. 18 (New)

  • Interview with Jim Sherer – A great interview with the Director of the Kansas Heritage Center on the history of Dodge City and the cattle drives. - October 22 (New)

So many of you have wonderful stories to tell about this ride. I want you to be able to share those stories with others. If you think your story needs to be posted here, don't wait for me to call you, write me an email instead or call me, and give me a bit of background and a phone number, so I can call you and interview you over the phone or I can give you a phone number where you can post your story directly to the blog. My email is: . If you are not sure if you want to post it, call me and we can talk about it (972-660-2287).

Finally, I still have a lot of space to host additional photos. I certainly can't put all the photos that everyone took on the blog, but I would be more than happy to host one or two of your favorite photos. Digitize them and send them to me at Try to tell me what the caption should be and I will gladly add that.

...the Trail Boss... Posted by Hello

One final, comment... I couldn't be there with you everyday, but I knew where you were, and I could imagine what it must have felt like. My experience with you all was wonderful, whether I was there in person or virtual. You are all awesome folks and I truly hope you will remain in touch. Feel free to call or write me anytime. Thanks for the experience.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Dodge City, Kansas

We Made It!!!!

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Dodge City, Kansas

...over 679 miles later, the trail riders actually enter the town of Dodge City, Kansas....

Dodge City, Kansas
Courtesy, Ford County Historical Society, Dodge City, KS Posted by Hello

Forty-eight days after the adventure begins, the destination was realized...this was what it had all been about...Kansas welcomes Texas.

...A Texas/Kansas handshake...
Photo by Michael Schweitzer, Dodge City Daily Globe Posted by Hello

Friday, October 22, 2004

On a ranch between Mineola and Dodge City, Kansas

One more day to Dodge City...
Photo by Michael Schweitzer, Dodge Globe. Posted by Hello

Well, tomorrow is the big day. I know that everyone is excited about their arrival in Dodge City. Dodge City has thrown out the welcome matt and as it was so many years ago, when the cowboys from Texas finally arrived in town...There will be a party in Dodge City, tonight.....Yeeeehaaaaw!!!.

Dodge City has a fascinating history that is intertwined with the history of the Western Trail. To get a good grasp of how the two related over the years, I had an opportunity to interview Jim Sherer, the Director of the Kansas Heritage Center regarding Dodge City:

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Mineola, Kansas

...another chance to let a school kid get involved...
Photo by Michael Schweitzer, Dodge Globe. Posted by Hello

Mineola was established in the 1870's and was once the territorial capital. What is left of it is now an agricultural town. It once boasted a population in the 700's. After losing it's status as Territorial Capital, it faded away. (Information gleaned from files of Ghost Towns and History.)

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Ranch outside of Englewood, Kansas

...she rides side-saddle...
Photo by Amy Posted by Hello

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Englewood, Kansas - Rest Day

Monday, October 18, 2004

Englewood, Kansas

...part of the original trail near Rosston...
Photo via Cingular Photo Phone by Lee Hale. Posted by Hello

We're in Kansas, Toto...

Corrine Donaldson, the mayor of Englewood, tells me that the "Ghost Town and History" link above is not correct. She assures me that there are 101 people living in the small agricultural community. The riders stayed out near the high school here and apparently, a good time was had by all.

The Kansas History Website is a great place to explore the history of Kansas from many different resources.


I wanted to include something in the blog about other kinds of animals that might have accompanied the early riders. There seems to be a question as to whether dogs accompanied the early drives. There is little documentation to be found, outside of the book, "Lonesome Dove" to indicate that any pets were invited along on any of the trips. But that didn't stop me from talking to one of my favorite pet heroes, Hank the Cowdog and his creator, John Erickson:

Elderbob's podcast

Give it a listen!

Interview with John Erikson

Enjoy! -- Elderbob Brannan

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Rosston, Oklahoma

Sunrise in Oklahoma...
Photo via Cingular Photo Phone by Lee Hale.Posted by Hello

Saturday, October 16, 2004

May City, Oklahoma

Cross country...
Photo via Cingular Photo Phone by Lee Hale. Posted by Hello

Friday, October 15, 2004

Fort Supply, Oklahoma

...on to Fort Supply...
Photo via Cingular Photo Phone by Lee Hale. Posted by Hello

More information about Fort Supply.

Here are some other tales and even more tales about the area of Northwest Oklahoma in the time of the cattle drives.

George Armstrong Custer is also connected to Fort Supply and this part of Oklahoma and Kansas.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Woodward, Oklahoma (Rest Day)

Rest day? Posted by Hello

Red Steagall is known as the "Official Cowboy Poet of Texas". He was kind enough to take time from his busy schedule to speak with me about the history of cowboy music that might have been heard on the Western Trail.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Woodward, Oklahoma

Buckaroo in a wagon...
Photo via Cingular Photo Phone by Lee Hale Posted by Hello

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Sharon, Oklahoma

The frogs probably like the weather...
Photo via Cingular Photo Phone by Lee Hale. Posted by Hello

Monday, October 11, 2004

Camargo, Oklahoma

...another happy rider...
Photo via Cingular Photo Phone by Lee Hale.Posted by Hello

Sunday, October 10, 2004

...I think I can see Dodge City from here...
Photo via Cingular Photo Phone by Lee Hale. Posted by Hello

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Hammon City, Oklahoma

...singin' cowboy tunes around the campfire...
Photo via Cingular Photo Phone by Lee Hale. Posted by Hello

Lee Hale rides a horse, drives the green frog bus, plays guitar and harmonica and tells tall tales. Here's Lee at the campfire with one of his tales.

Lee journalist and tall tale teller.
Photo via Cingular Photo Phone by Lee Hale (don't ask me how he did it.) Posted by Hello

Friday, October 08, 2004

Elk City, Oklahoma (Rest Day)

"Oooooklahoma, where the wind comes sweeping through the plains..."
Photo via Cingular Photo Phone by Lee Hale Posted by Hello

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Elk City, Oklahoma (Rest Day)

I'm seein' spots.
Photo via Cingular Photo Phone by Lee Hale Posted by Hello

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Elk City ( was scheduled in Retrop), Oklahoma

Sudden fall thunder storms were things that cattle herders were constantly on the lookout for. Just a few lightening bolts or claps of thunder could turn a passive herd into a deadly nightmare on hooves. And so it was this week when the trail boss, peering into her weather prediction crystal ball, decided that it would be best for the trail ride to push harder and go all the way to Elk City rather than take the chance on the bad weather predicted for Retrop, Oklahoma.

So the riders pushed on for a whopping 31 miles on this date and settled into camp in Elk City with an extra day of rest and protection from storms.

Can you imagine seeing three thousand of these shiny eyes on a dark moonlit night...I'd be singing to myself too!
Photo by elderbob. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Granite, Oklahoma

I think Dodge City is North of here...
Photo via Cingular Photo Phone by Lee Hale Posted by Hello

Monday, October 04, 2004

Slim's Diary - Week Four

It's not unusual to find Slim hangin' out with a purty woman and a mule... Posted by Hello

The history of western Oklahoma and the Western Trail is closely interwoven. I had an opportunity to speak to Dr. Alvin O. Turner, Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences, at East Central University, at Ada, Oklahoma about that part of Oklahoma's history and how the Native Americans had a big role to play in their own way.

You may find this map of the Indian Territories of 1890 helpful.

Blair, Oklahoma

Cotton Belles outside of Blair, Oklahoma.
Photo via Cingular Photo Phone by Lee Hale
Posted by Hello

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Altus, Oklahoma

"I can't believe I made it to Oklahoma!!!"
Photo by elderbob. Posted by Hello

Buffalo gals, won't ya'' come out tonight?...
Photo via Cingular Photo Phone by Lee Hale
<Posted by Hello