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.
Stagecoach Robbery by R A Davenport/Hip Postcard
Cowtown – Cowtowns Kansapedia – Kansas Historical Society
We left Manitou Springs yesterday morning, first visiting Miramont Castle.
Built in 1895 with a west wing being added in 1897, it was built as a personal residence for Fr. Jean Baptiste Francolon and his mother. Might I add right here and now – this place is huge just for two people to be running around in!!
Miramont has 4 floors, with 30 rooms covering 14,000 square feet. It features 9 styles of architecture designed by Fr. Francolon – shingle style Queen Anne, English Tudor, Romanesque, Flemish stepped gables, Venetian Ogee, Byzantine and half timber Chateau.
Being originally from France (then to New Mexico), I guess if he had travelled often through various parts of Europe before arriving in America then he would have seen many styles, thus incorporating his favorites into the castle.
Having been built in the late 1890’s and having some wealth, the castle included such luxuries as indoor plumbing, steam heat and electricity.
Fr. Francolon’s first house (located above the castle) was donated to the Sisters of Mercy for use as a sanitarium. They named it Montcalme.
Miramont means “look at the mountains” and when you reach the Queen’s Parlor Tea Room and feast your eyes on the stunning windows and view to the mountains you can understand why it was named so.
Hitting the road we make a quick stop into Manitou Springs Cliff Dwellings. Man these people must have been tiny! Either that or they lived with hunched backs all their life! No room for you to stand normally.
The Anasazi cliff dwellings, built more than 700 years ago, can be touched, you can go inside and there is a 3-story Pueblo-style building housing the Anasazi Museum. Worth a visit!
From here we headed out to Garden Of The Gods, taking the one way road in. It was busy given it is summer holidays here but we managed a park at the Visitor Centre and got that spectacular view of the rocks.
Leaving Clancy at that point we all set off for our next destination – Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Well actually we are headed NW, passing Villanueva, El Pueblo, San Miguel, crossing the Pecos River a couple of times.
The landscape is once again changing, with hidden ranch’s amongst a very green landscape and red rock cliffs.
With Clancy in tow, we are headed for Manitou Springs. Others have headed for Deadwood, the Turquoise Trail or back to Australia today.
Our first stop would take us into Las Vegas, NM where a brief trip into the Rough Riders Antiques store saw Clancy buy a gorgeous silver barrette and my score was a nickel silver Mexican hat pin that simply was just too unique to pass up.
We found that the Castenada Hotel is now open with 7 rooms and the bar for afternoon drinks. The ceiling, floors, windows are still original and yet there is still a lot of work to be done in getting the rest of the Hotel open. I look forward to a future visit to see her in all her glory!
Oh, and my fascination with the Castenada? She was the first Fred Harvey track-side hotel built in East Las Vegas that fed and watered passengers who journeyed the Santa Fe railway routes. When it opened in 1899 Teddy Roosevelt held a reunion of his Rough Riders here. The Rough Riders Museum just up the street is closed Monday’s but we did get to visit it last year.
As per the brochure (and having read the Harvey Girls book) Fred Harvey civilised the west. He developed and ran all the hotels and restaurants of the Santa Fe Railway, eventually controlling a hospitality empire that spanned the continent. He introduced linen, silverware, China, crystal and impeccable service to railroad travel.
We made a stop at Charlie’s Spic n Span Bakery – not for cream puff’s! – but a donut or key lime selection and coffee. We got a view of the mural whilst there. The mural is a documentary of South West and American History. Spanning the decades of time, it was created by some 300 students and additional community members.
We took a short trip past gorgeous Victorian houses and out to Montezuma Castle. Now and International school for students you can not visit the castle as its student use only now. It is truly magnificent in its size and presence set atop the hill in a secluded section of Montezuma.
We left New Mexico over the Raton Pass at a mere 7834ft and into Colorado. We are now in Manitou Springs.
As evening sets on this tiny town of Victorian charm, pubs, and shops, we enjoyed a couple of margarita’s and some dinner before retiring for an early night.
Some sight seeing tomorrow before getting into Cheyenne for the duration of the week!
Its now Thursday night and should be catching some zz’s as tomorrow we have the early start!
However, let me quickly catch you up.
Yesterday, Wednesday – Started out the morning with the Doily Gang Clinic, instructors this year, Shamrock Sadie, Lefty Jo, Honey B Quick, Iron Maiden, Sassy Dancer, Cooncan and myself Kathouse Kelli.
Was a great clinic, we had 2 shooters each to offer transition tips for pistols and more with long guns as well. Shot a couple of stages for critiquing and all in all, think they were all pretty happy to say the least when we were done. Thank you ladies for coming and glad we can offer something back to the sport for all.
From there it was grab some pictures of stages ready for main match. Go take a few runs at speed events. Pearl Starr and I then spent a couple hours in the LOCAS tent and in the down time helped Shamrock Sadie with a ‘craft task’ for later in the week.
Open ceremonies were held late in the afternoon. Alvira Sullivan Earp carried the flag for Australia! Legendary Lawman for Canada. Bloody Mary for Denmark. Chrissy Carson for Netherlands. The Kiwi Kid for New Zealand and in his uniform for the United States of America, Cash Cassidy.
With the anthem sung, the Wild Bunch, Match Directors, 111 first time attendees recognised it was on to the announcement of new Regulators. The 2018 Class of Regulators included many great recipients with none other than my very own Jackaroo!! Way to go man.
Two more from Australia – RC Shot, Mrs H, our Oklahoma friends – Flat Top Okie, Missouri Mae, Dutch friends – Dutch Bear, Justice Anne, Texas sweetheart – Sopapilla Sue and many more!! Congratulations to you all!
As the beer flowed, the Margarita party started at Hot Tamale’s and then it was time for sleep as Main Match was due to start today.
Now we arrive into today, Thursday – First day of main match. Jack and I are in Posse 21 with Red Haymaker our illustrious posse leader, Pepper Shot, C N Double, Captain Clark, Cowboy Jon, Deadly Don, Estancia Kid, Fast Fingers, Garrison Joe, Gilly Boy Hellbender, Huachuca Slim, James Colt, Lil Rob, Longcolt, Mick E Mouse, Old Frenchy, Sharpeye, Sunshine Belle, Jackaroo and myself. A big thanks to Nacho Momma for keeping score for all of us!
Four stages on the mid wave – 9, 10, 11, 12 were shot today with some degree of difficulty and success, blue skies, sunshine and a hell of a lot of New Mexico dust! Once we finished we shot the Posse shoot and we have a pretty good running time for that at the moment!
With weary feet, smiles as wide as you can get, we head to have lunch then back to the Motel for rest, relaxation and cleaning dust out of guns, nose etc. Haa haa haa
Coupled with a chat with Clancy, the occasional beer and a bit of hand sewing to finalise costume it is now getting late. Oh and a bit of cream puff for dessert. (groan after creammmmmm)
It is time to hit the hay, for the posse rides early in the morning with first shots down range at 7.30am.
Night peeps! Here’s to another awesome day tomorrow. Make it count! We are all still in the game! It ain’t over, til it’s over!
Silverton is certainly a lot quieter of a morning before the first train arrives. Locals were up, the famous Blair Street (which is still dirt, is being rolled for the day and some shops begin to open in readiness.
After breakfast at The Brown Bag, we took off again on another cloudless sunny blue skied day winding further into the mountains.
We made a quick stop at Molas Pass and were pleasantly surprised that at 10,910ft it wasn’t as cool as we had expected. The views were just incredible and Jack stood still long enough for me to get an uninterrupted panoramic pic.
Continuing our way down the mountain into Durango, we encounter a mountain goat just wandering ahead of the tow truck. Horns blast and the goat decides to move but thinks it would be smart to venture back in front of us. He eventually gets out of the way with the truck behind us giving him a good blast also!
We arrived into Durango and first things first, located a boot repairer to fix my shooting boots. I didn’t think it would get done but when I finally located Mervin, with the help of the young guy from Browns Shoe Fit, he was more than happy to have them and would ensure they were done in speedy time.
The rest of the afternoon, we spent wandering in and out of shops and pubs, looking at remarkable old hotels and buildings before checking in at the motel.
We spent the evening with Singin’ Sue, Shanley Shooter, Wooden Nichols and Marilyn for dinner and entertainment at the Bar D Wranglers Chuckwagon.
These guys are an absolute hoot, very funny, amazing entertainers and the greatest voices and harmonies to be found. Totally over fed, totally entertained. Was an awesome evening.