Our Huff Wagon Train Diary
Monday , January 3, 2005

By Ali, Celina, Cody, Ronnie

Serna Ranch, Socorro, Texas

Monday was our first day together. We were ready to get on the wagons, but we needed time to meet each other. Even William Huff had to wait to get his companions together.

We had to learn what we were supposed to do. The boys did chores like putting up cots and garbage detail. The girls had to rake horse manure and help set up cots, too. We will have to help move our camps when we are on the trail.

There are 13 students from California and 14 students from Texas. There are like a thousand horses here. The Texas kids made posters. Then we introduced ourselves to each other using a "talking stick." A "talking stick" is a special stick that is passed from person to person and whoever is holding the stick is the only one who speaks. Texas kids selected a California kid to eat with. It was exciting yet nerveracking to see all these new kids. We got acquainted with the animals. Mr. Coate showed us the Huff Diary. Huff wrote his diary with a quill pen. We met William Huff's descendants. They will be coming on the ride with us. That was interesting meeting them -- the girls are 16 and 14 years old and Hanah will turn four on the trip.

Even though we got off school, we still had to do school work. We did wagon-wheel math and it was very complicated. Mr. Coate pointed to a wagon wheel to talk about radius and diameter and we had to figure out how many miles a wagon went by how many times the wheel turned. We also had to read part of the diary and highlight words we didn't know and then we had to figure out how many miles Huff rode each day.

The mayor of Socorro cooked us a steak dinner. (Yum!!) The teachers said we needed to have two California and two Texas kids in each tent. We stayed up late, played some games and told jokes. It rained all night!

Ali: I didn't think anyone would go to all the trouble of making posters and I really liked it.

Celina: I was worried I was making a bad impression (the kids were victims of spam stories).

Cody: I never saw so many cowboy hats!

Ronnie: The Texas kids are lucky because they don't live far away.

The following is a photo gallery from the trip. If you have questions, please contact us at education@tpwd.state.tx.us

Mr.Coate showing the diary


This educational project is a partnership venture of Madera Unified School District, Madera, California; the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department; the Texas Historical Commission; and the many generous and gracious communities along the route.

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