Our Huff Wagon Train Diary
Thursday, January 13, 2005


From Aidee, Savanna and Sharon

Today was a lay-over day in Crane. We spent the night in the community center. We woke around 8. It was a treat to sleep in. Our breakfast was eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy. We rolled up our sleeping bags and got ready for the day's lessons.

The boys took Texas maps and highlighted our route. We read from the Huff diary and talked about the authenticity of the diary. Then we did essays on our feelings so far about whether we think the diary is real or fake.

We also did more wagon wheel math. If a wagon wheel with a radius of 2 feet turned 6,090 times, how many miles did it travel? Mr. Coate said that if you didn't know wagon train math, you'd die in the desert. The wagons had something that would keep track of the wagon wheel revolutions. If you were looking for water and someone told you how many miles away it was, you had to be able to figure out how far you went each day. (The answer to this problem was about 15 miles.)

We got to play outside today in a playground! We played ball tag. Some of us did independent study, also.

Today we got to read some more emails. Mr. Voorhees from Soccoro sent us the Wagon Train Song that Wagon One made up on the first part of our trip. Aidee and Ali sang it for everyone. Here are the words, sung to "On Top of Spaghetti":

The Our Huff Wagon Train Diary
By Wagon Number One: Celina, Lauren, Jacob, Aidee Fredy, Melva, Ali, and Mr.Voorhees
Near the Tower Camp, New Mexico

We came here so happy,
Excited and glad;
Re-tracing the journey
That William Huff had

We camped in the cold;
We camped in the rain.
If you should ask us,
We’d do it again!

The road was so rocky,
We bounce and we bump.
The scenery is gorgeous,
But, Oh, my poor rump!

We all miss our family
Who live far away,
We wish they were with us
To share our dismay

At being so lonely
Here under the moon,
With nothing that’s modern—
A bush for bathroom!

Next we went to a special program. The Texas students who will be joining us for the next few days came also. Local experts showed us a movie and slide show on the Pecos River. The river winds a lot, and in one area it looks like the outline of a ghost. They told us about the history of Horsehead Crossing and the Emigrant Crossing. People died around the Pecos River. The water is salty and the banks are steep in many places. We are going to see this tomorrow, but we won't cross the river. One of our speakers, Mr. Joe Allen, found artifacts from many years ago. We wondered if some were dropped Mr. Huff. Mr. Allen has made many maps and also read Huff's diary. He is going with us for several days.

Then we went to the Crane County Historical Museum. They had the things we saw in the slide show. We saw many other items, like a newspaper about Pearl Harbor, a Linotype and advertisements for suits that cost $5. We saw an old Sears catalog and Life magazine. There were these very tiny boots that women used to wear. Who could wear such tiny boots? They didn't look comfortable.

We got to take a shower at the high school! Everyone has been very kind and generous to us.

Aidee: Today's dinner was good -- chicken and dumplings cooked in a dutch oven.

Savanna: The museum was small but awesome. You really learn a lot. Some museums are boring because you have to have a guide the whole time. We got to walk around and touch things. It was one of the best museums I ever went to, and I really remember the stuff I saw there.

Sharon: I thought it was interesting that they said the pioneers used to carry musical instruments with them. I wish we have instruments with us. I play the guitar and drums.

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


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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