The Stories say that around 1849 the California Road developed across Indian Territory. What most folks consider the main or upper branch of the southern California Road officially is claimed to begin at Fort Smith, Arkansas. I guess back then you figure your ass was really in now. Getting across the Mississippi river to Fort Smith was a common path. Hell, Fort Reno was not even a thing till 1874. So, once you left Fort Smith you got 1500 miles of the most unforgiving trails staring you right in the face. The first 200 miles your stuck in the mud and trees but least the ground had a solid bottom in most places. Most wagons did not struggle to bad if the mud was less than a foot deep. But the Praire mud did not have a bottom. Once you were west of what is now known as Fort Reno you needed to be a lot more aware of the world around you. Yes, you can now see for miles atop the ridges but that just broadcast to everyone for miles where you are. Once you get to the Canadian river you go north along its banks, till it heads south then to cross it at the first narrow spot you make your way across it.
Once I started writing this, I realized that I only know this one area of the trail I would like to have included a map with the story and I be dammed, the first thing googles do not even try and fake it knows. I guess someone should take time to draw that line on a map. If that was done, all those lives lost along the trail, may not have names. But in another hundred years, at the very least California people could understand how hard it was to settle that land. Those smart-ass kids they got there now must have taken airplanes and flown there.
Cous, I guaranty the ones we see on the movie screen today. They would die of stupid in a week. All it would take is a toilet paper shortage and if they could not hire someone to wipe their ass. Can you believe that one dumb fucker was trying to play cowboy and shot the camera lady. Then he tried to blame the gun, for not having the right ammunition in it. Some would say it takes a special kind of stupid, But I tell you in California these days, that is not special, it be normal.
Okay one more funny than we move on, if you are from California, and you want a gun, you should be required to take an IQ test. We can make it hard like, If the tires on a car are blue and the car is white how many capital letters are in, your name.
If you thought in your head anything but “none” and you have a gun and ammunition, God help us all.
Okay, enough that for tonight, back to the wagon trail. We put our stuff right there as you cross to the south and on the other side folks started the town about a mile from the river Grandfather never could figure out why people wanted to move up on the flat ground the Prairie grass was nice there but running water on that side was hard to come by.
I guess, we did not start building the new store till dad wanted to move up to town. To hear dad tell it, granddad did not drive a nail in the new store. But when grandmother started making breakfast there, he finally decided to cross the river in the evenings. Do not kid yourself he still went north to build wagon tongs. There were not no one in town willing to smell the old fires making glue. Some the old people Kidd me still from time to time about being born out at the barn cooking glue.
It is that I spent a bit of time playing in the canyons. It was only a mile and a short swim if in the river was up, to the barn. It was great if the river got up during the day you could be there by yourself for a week. I know, your think in an 8-year-old should not be working on his own. Really nothing could go wrong. I had flower to make biscuits and got fish a water out the creek out back.
If you are not learned how to eat buy that age, wrong is something you got. I know I started out talking about the California road. I promise, I truly will get back to that someday, I just start thinking about the good times as a young man and seem to get side tracked.
Sorry about that.
Have a great weekend
The old man
Your fences need to be horse-high, pig tight and bull-strong.
Keeps skunks and bankers and lawyers at a distance.
Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.