Our Huff Wagon Train Diary
Saturday, January 15, 2005

Excerpt from Huff's diary, Saturday, June 23, 1849: From the Quie-Pah Mountain to the Pecos River the country is almost at water level; about half of the distance the road is sandy and in some places very heavy, steady pulling for our work animals. That portion of the road next to the river passes over beds of sand and loose cement in many places, presenting the appearance of sifted flour but of a more yellow color.

From Damian, Fredy, Katie, Tatiana

This morning the noise that was coming from the boy's tent woke up the girls. The boys were talking very loudly. The morning was very cold, but our tents were warm. Everyone got up and went to a good breakfast of sausage and egg breakfast burritos.

After breakfast we went inside the tent and wrote inside our journals. After that, Mr. Coate gave us a math problem -- it was hard for the new kids. Actually it was a lot of math problems about how many times a wagon wheel went around and how many miles the wagon went. Then we played charades from the diary. We had to act out people or places in the diary. Mr Coate thought he was going to stump us but he couldn't!! We had lots of fun.

We tied the mules to the wagons and headed on to Castle Gap and the 49er camp. We could see Castle Gap in the distance, and were about to follow Huff's trail. It was bumpy and very sandy in places. It was very hard for the mules and especially hard for the horses to pull the wagons through the heavy sand. Some of us had to get out and walk. Huff described the sandy trail in his diary.

We saw lots of cactus but mostly pokey mesquite along the way. It was everywhere. During Huff's time there probably wasn't all the mesquite. We went 2 1/2 miles before stopping for lunch. As we got closer to Castle Gap there were more grasses and fewer mequite. We also saw Soda Lake from a distance. It looked like a little white spot out on the range. It was a long ride today. To keep busy we talked a lot and some of us learned more sign language. On the way we found cow bones. Mr. Allen showed us a burnt rock where Indians made a fire long ago. We also saw 3 jackrabbits. We rode on the highway for a while and saw some friends and family who came to watch us. Most people drove today.

The most exciting part of the trip today was that sometimes we were riding right over the ruts from the old wagon trail! It showed us more about where William Huff went.

Damian: Today was a very long and bumpy ride! But it was kinda fun.

Fredy: Today I missed my family because I have been on this trip for a long time now.

Katie: Today I had lots of fun on the wagons.

Tatiana: I fed Steve's horse an apple and the horse licked my finger. It was disgusting! The rest of the ride was bumpy and long.

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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