HORSELESS CARRIAGE

Lorelei’s comment about missing the “horseless” carriage, and how pioneers couldn’t carry all their household goods when they left the East was interesting.

Did you know that, although the dimensions were different, the square feet of the bed of a covered wagon is about the same as the square feet of today’s California king bed?

Can you imagine putting everything you own and the food you’ll need for the next few months on a California king bed?

Another interesting piece of trivia:  When the wagons left St. Joseph, Missouri they were inevitably overloaded.  Within a few miles down the road the pioneers would start throwing things out.  Scavengers would follow each wagon train; pick up the discards; take the back to St. Joseph; and sell them to the next wagon train.

PIONEER MEDICAL CURES

Mark from Florida says the thing he would miss most as a pioneer is proper medical care.

Some of the pioneer’s “cures” were a bit crazy.  When someone was bitten by a snake, a poultice of warm manure was applied on the bite area.  Coal oil cured dandruff.  And for measles, there was nothing better than a well-cooked mouse.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE A SETTLER?

I just got my computer back from the shop…A virus hijacked it.  In addition to that the screen on my iphone turned black.  I’m waiting for a replacement.  To add to all this, it snowed last night and my Direct TV dish is covered in snow, blocking the signal.

Have you ever wondered what it would have been like on the Kansas frontier spending weeks and even months with no contact with the outside world?  And when it was time to go into town to get supplies it was usually the man.  The woman had to say home and take care of the animals.

If you were transported back to the Old West as a pioneer, what do you think you would miss the most?

GROUNDHOG DAY

Today, February 2, is Groundhog Day.  It’s the day Punxatawney Phil supposedly comes out to see if he can see his shadow.  This is a ritual that has taken place here in the States since 1887.  It seems to be strictly an eastern thing.  But because our western pioneers were so attached to the earth with farming and cattle raising, I’ve often wondered if people on the frontier used a groundhog to tell the weather.

Incidentally, since 1887 Phil has seen his shadow 99 times, not seen it 16 times, and there are 9 years with no record.  How well has he done?  Phil has forecasted the weather correctly only 39 percent of the time.

Sorry Phil, I’ll stick with my weatherman.  He does a slightly better job.

COWBOY FAST DRAW

The Outdoor Channel’s Shooting USA program is scheduled to broadcast The Fastest Gun Alive Tournament – The World Championship of Cowboy Fast Draw, which is held in Fallon, NV in early October each year.

The sport of Cowboy Fast Draw is run by the Cowboy Fast Draw Association, based in Fernley, NV.  Its unique format using special wax bullet ammunition allows CFDA events to be held at almost any location and the organization has over 50 affiliated chapters across the USA and several other countries.

Shooting USA can be seen on the Outdoor Channel three times on February 8th at noon, 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. Central Time.

To get more information about the organization go to: http://www.cowboyfastdraw.com/

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