Our Huff Wagon Train Diary
Thursday, January 20, 2005

Fort McKavett to the Colonel's Camp on Clear Creek

From: Dylan, Erika, Houston, Kaylyn, Kelly, Laressa, Robyn, Victor

It was a very foggy morning at the fort. It was cold yet the dew sparkled. We had a rude awakening this morning -- Tim singing in the worst possible way. Tim is one of the adults, and he was singing "Oh what a beautiful morning" and he threatened to keep singing unless we got up. Some of us saw him through the fog and thought he was a ghost. After we jumped out of bed we packed up, ate breakfast and loaded onto the wagons.

The wagon ride was rough for those who didn't have rubber tires. We learned that rubber tires aren't authentic but they are smooth riding. We rode 14 miles today -- which took about five long hours. The last two wagons sang the whole way. We sang The Peanut Song; Deep in the Heart of Texas, Home on the Range, The Banana Salute and a bunch of cheers. The outriders enjoy our singing and laugh. Some of us got to drive the mules and horses today; others got to sit on top with the drivers. As we rode along, it got pretty and sunny outside.

We arrived after lunch to the Colonel's Camp. It's a rocky terrain, with trees and cactus. It sits alongside a wide creek. It's pretty here.

We had several speakers today. We met the owner of the property. He introduced an archeology professor from Texas Tech University. He talked about the presidio and the mission. Then they introduced someone who was a descendant of a Spanish soldier who survived the Indian attacks on the mission. He said Bowie's name was carved into the rock at the entrance of the San Saba presidio. Mr Coate read from Huff's diary and asked our speakers whether what Huff said was authentic. They said Huff was detailed, accurate and thorough. They could identify what he referred to in the diary.

Marsha from Waco beat Mr Coate at the Indian Rock Game. We think he let her win. She was playing hard and thinking. Everyone was yelling like The Price Is Right and it was hard for her. The California kids have a special hand wave that they joke is the secret to winning the game.

All the people came. We now have students from California, Menard, Big Lake, Waco, and Carrollton. It's a HUGE group and we're packed into a lot of tents. Some of us are staying in giant teepees.

Dinner was chili dogs, fritos, hot sauce and potatoes. After dinner we got into a huge circle and shared the "talking stick" to tell about ourselves. Then singers treated us to a concert of country songs. Yee-haw!

We think there might be some dessert for us tonight!

Dylan: Today was fun. I tripped a lot on the rocks but I didn't get hurt. The food was good and I'm happy to be here.

Erika: Today was fun but I'm tired. I got to meet new people and ride in the wagon.

Houston: The wagon ride was a rude awakening. I fell out but I'm okay!

Kaylyn: I had fun and it was a great experience. I hated the morning awakening but liked the after dinner entertainment.

Kelly: Today was a nice day except that if you got hot and took off your coat, then you got cold; the temperature was swinging.

Laressa: The most fun part about today was being on the wagons. I never rode on one before. It was kinda scary. They tilt on hills and I was worried it would tip. But other than that everything was fine.

Robyn: It's been fun so far, but the Big Lake kids are ready to go home. It's nice here and we like the new people but we're ready to get back to what we're familiar with. It scares me that I want to get back to school. Also, Hi, Mom!

Victor: I can't wait to get to on the wagon train. The food was good and I'm glad to be here.


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

photo by john cobb photo by john cobb


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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