Our Huff Wagon Train Diary
Tuesday , January 11, 2005

Bennett Ranch, New Mexico to Dell City, Texas

Excerpt from Huff's Diary, Saturday, July 7, 1849: I saw the finest and grandest view that I had ever beheld. However faithful or vivid the description attempted to be given of this or any other eternal monument of time, it is utterly impossible by the mere power of word...to portray describe or delineate the wonderful natural scene here...This lonely and studpendous pile of nature's masonry here presents itself in all of its lonely, isolated grandeur and which can only be properly and truly appreciated by an acutal eye-sight view.

From Aidee, Ashley, Mikaela, Ronnie

Bye and Thank You, Dell City students!


This morning's breakfast tasted wonderful today -- we had pancakes, syrup, bacon and eggs! Yum!! This morning Mr Coate presented the emails of introduction from the Dell City students. We thought it was really nice that they took the time to do this.

After breakfast we wrote letters home. We hope our families receive the letters that we have sent.

On the trail today, we saw at least 30 antelope running across the trail and onto the plains. Most of us never saw antelope before. One of our mules, Woody, was trotting and pulling too hard on Cleta. We had to stop and adjust Woody's strap. In the distance we saw Guadalupe Mountains, the highest mountains in Texas. We had to leave Huff's trail today which would have gone to the Guadalupe Springs on Guadalupe Mountains since were not able to get permission to go on that property. Instead we took a different route. We went 12.5 miles today. After about three hours, we pulled into the Dell City rodeo grounds. It was our first sight of civilization in a long time.

Dell City has 413 people. There are 120 students in the K-12 school. There is only one tenth grader. The elementary, middle school and high school are all in one place. This is very different from California because the classrooms are smaller here. There are seven teachers in the entire school There are two convenience stores and two gas stations. They were very generous to lend us the showers at the gym. It had been nine days since we got to take a shower!! (We do wash up in the morning, however.)

The Dell City kids were very nice and we are very disappointed that we weren't able to say farewells to the Dell City kids. We had to jump on a bus to get to the school. We apologize for not having the time to say good-bye. We would hope that they will write back or email us.

Tonight we are sleeping in a warm building courtesy of the Dell City rodeo. We were able to read emails and discuss the emails that came in. Some of us were really surprised that many people are following along reading and studying us and the trail.

We have something to say to everyone who is following our journey: "Hi! and thanks for following the trail with us. We are astonished that so many people have been following us. Our mission to authenticate the diary of William P. Huff and we are well on our way."

Aidee: I am so happy that for the first time we have seen civilization. And to my friends and teachers, I hope you remember me even though I am having a lot of fun.

Ashley: I want to thank my grandma and aunt and the people from my mother's work for emailing me. Tell my cousin Amber that I'm still thinking of her.

Mikaela: I was very very happy that I got to take a shower today. Hallelujah! Tell my family thanks for the emails.

Ronnie: I appreciate the people who emailed me, and Kelly, the wagon driver, for teaching me the sign language alphabet and to my family, I'm having a great time!


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


Credits

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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