Our Huff Wagon Train Diary
Saturday, January 22, 2005

Menard to Lyndon B. Johnson State Park, via House Mountain

Excerpt from Huff's diary, Friday, June 8, 1849: Traveled fifteen miles during the day. the country very broken and mountainous. Here and there immense b locks of ferruginous sand-stone with occasional white flint. On many of of the he hills the rocks at a distance look like tents pitched without regard to order. The forest growth on the mountains and in the valleys avery dwarfish and is principally Post Oak, black Jack, scattering of walnut and mesquite. We took our dinner today about one mile from the "House Mountain" so named from its resemblance to the top of a house. The sick list is on the increase and the idea of standing guard keeps some sick who otherwise would be in good health. The grass tolerable plentiful but drying up very fast.

From Aidee, Ali, Fredy, Melva, Mikaela

We awoke in the Menard Camp with comfy mattresses and bunk beds. We never realized the pleasure of sleeping on mattresses until now! We really appreciated the hospitality. It was really thoughtful of them to provide breakfast -- breakfast burritos and hot chocolate. Yum!

This morning we said farewell to Big Lake and Waco. We had a fun and eventful evening the night before on the playground equipment. We were on the swings, we joked and laughed and talked. It was sad to see the kids go. Mrs. Lavario from Big Lake was really nice and we were sorry to see her go. Mrs. Lavario helped us feel like we were at home.

After breakfast and the departure of the students, we headed out to the last landmark we would visit on our journey. We regrouped in fewer wagons. We headed out toward House Mountain. On the way we stopped at a cemetery. When Huff saw a cemetery he stopped and saw the people who had died there. He recorded a remembrance in his journal. So we stopped at the cemetery to record the people we saw there. There were a family, a baby, mother and father. One baby was born November 22, 1925 and died the same day. There was one, baby Weinenberger, whose tombstone said only his name with the year 1929. It was a little emotional -- visiting their grave was like getting to know them. It was particularly sad because there were so many infants. We realized how useful and important our medical advantages and technology we have today are. It touched our hearts. We paid our respects and went on our way.

We headed toward House Mountain and saw the angled surface that gave the mountain its name. It was a landmark of Huff,s -- where he ate lunch. It was the first known landmark of Huff's after he left Fredericksburg. It was bittersweet. We reached our goal but it also marked the last significant landmark of our journey to authenticate the diary. It was the last time our wagon wheels rolled in the ruts of Huff's wagon wheels.

We switched to vehicles and drove to LBJ State Park to camp. We got to talk to our parents this evening. We'll be sleeping in the big heated tent tonight. From now on it's just us as we finish our journals and prepare our proclamation for the Capitol on Tuesday.

This will be our last daily digest since we'll be busy preparing for our presentation and having a little rest and fun. Thanks for following our journey! Watch for our conclusions coming soon on this web site.

Aidee: I'm nervous and happy about going home and writing the proclamation.

Ali: Hi to everybody and sixth grade at St. Joachim's School along with everyone else. I'm coming home soon. Jacob's still the same Jacob. (I mean you, Clint.) Hey, Mom, love you. Hi, Tara, Nicole, Alexandra, Julia, Johnna, and sorry if I forgot anyone else. See you soon! Ha Ha!

Fredy: I can't wait until I get home. The whole trip was fun and I'm proud of myself for surviving the whole trip.

Melva: Hello to Saraday, Marguerite, Cody, Russell, Jonna and Kim.

Mikaela: I can't believe it's already time to end this wonderful trip!

Others comments:

Jacob: Congratulations, Isaac, on reading Harry Potter! Miss you, Daniel.

William: Thanks to all the people that made this possible including Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Madera Method Wagon Train.

Ronnie: I really now feel that the Huff diary is authentic.

Mike: I'm really excited that we're going to go home soon but it feels weird because the farther we get from home the closer we are to be able to go home.

Ashley: For my family and listeners, hi! and I miss my family a lot. And I love and miss my brother and family. This was a nice experience for me.

Mr. Coate: The trail ride has ended but over the next two days the final round of the academic debate will be fought with results to be announced in Austin on January 25. Tune in!

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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