Monday, May 25, 2009

A Walk Down Chisholm Trail at Duncan, OK

Sunday afternoon we spent at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center. This is a must if you are ever traveling through Duncan, OK on Rt. 81.

The Chisholm Trail was a trail used in the later 19th century to drive cattle overland from ranches in Texas to Kansas. The trail stretched from southern Texas across the Red River, and on to the Kansas Pacific Railway in Abilene, Kansas, where the cattle would be sold and shipped eastward.

The trail is named for Jesse Chisholm who had built several trading posts in what is now western Oklahoma before the American Civil War. He died in 1868, too soon to ever drive cattle on the trail.

The beginning & end of the trail outside is marked with these markers. In between is a brown curvy path that you can walk which shows the states & towns that this trail passed through.

Inside the center. This is a picture of Quanah Parker. Quanah Parker was the last Chief of the Commanches and never lost a battle to the white man. His tribe roamed over the area where Pampas stands. He was never captured by the Army, but decided to surrender and lead his tribe into the white man's culture, only when he saw that there was no alternative. When we visited the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge with Judy on Friday, there is a lake named after him on the refuge as is the visitors center.

This was one of many bronze statues in the the art gallery of the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center.
Bronze statue of Geronimo. Google Geronimo - several interesting stories.

This was the entrance to the "hands on" section of the Heritage Center. You could push buttons & listen to stories, be the trail boss for a cattle drive, sit atop a saddle & try to rope a longhorn, create your own brand, stroll through the general store thinking about what supplies you would need on the next cattle drive & check out the cook's wagon.
The cooks wagon, medicine wagon, whatever.
This cook was checking it out!
What? No gas grill???
Beans, bacon & biscuits. The daily menu. I don't think anyone would have wanted to ride with me! But then, with all that cattle you wouldn't be able to tell!!!!
Check out the general store for supplies.

These were the 4 main characters on the cattle drive:
Indians, Calvary, Trail Boss & Mayor of the towns that were passed through. Each had a story to tell.
Some amazing information. Did you know the horns on cattle were hollow? The Texas Longhorns are descendants from Spanish longhorns brought to North America by Christopher Columbus?
We even made up our own Brand. Don't ask me what it was, we just made marks on the paper. Something with Circle C's nothing about Cardinal's!
Old movies about cowboys & cattle drives. Mostly John Wayne. Oh & Tex Ritter in The Old Chisholm Trail.
Some of these songs will trip your memory.
This is the marker at the end of the trail outside. After we walked around the art gallery part, we went to an Experience Theater. This was awesome. The screen was huge & the surroundings had trees, grass, etc. When the wind blew on the screen the trees & the theater blew wind. When the horses were galloping rounding up the longhorns, you could have sworn they were riding right over your head & along side of you. The seats even vibrated. As they also did during the thunder & lightening storm! You aren't going to believe this, but it also rained! Not pouring, but we got drops of water on us! It was a real experience of being on the trail!

Next we went to sit under the stars in the Campfire Theater & listened to Jesse Chisholm and one of the cowboys talking. The Cook was in his wagon pulling a tooth from one of the cowboys & Jesse & the cowboy sat talking. Their mouths moved, their hands moved, they blinked just like a real person. Very impressive!

It was a fun afternoon. Since we don't have TV here, we gave up our reading & decided to take a little trip back in time. There is TV, but our antenna won't turn because the seal coating on the roof has it stuck in one spot. Bill can't climb up on the ladder because I don't want to take the bike off! So unless we have cable, we have no TV.

I just talked to Renee & she had made a trip to the emergency room last night. She sounds okay today though. She thought she had appendicitis like Tom, but instead it was gallstones! Tomorrow she has to call the doctor to make arrangements for surgery! Those poor kids can't get over one hump before another bump in the road hits! I'm sure things will turn out okay though. Hopefully she can get everything taken care of before we get there so she can travel to NY/PA with us!

This afternoon we are going to take a little trip to Walmart. Bill just came in & got me & said I wasn't going to like what he just found. Our front driver's side tire on the truck has a cracked bulge in it! I am so thankful he found it now before we had a serious accident on the highway! So we are off to get 2 new tires.

So until next time............The Traveling Cardinals

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