Monday, August 13, 2012
MOM'S CONVENTION, Part 1
My blog is now officially not on hiatus anymore! Yay! Mom got home from the Oregon-California Trails Association's convention Saturday night, and then yesterday afternoon she came and got all of us dogs out of Pooches' Prison! (Oops, I mean Pooches' Paradise!) We were soooooo glad to get home. And the worst part was that Mom even paid for us to get a BATH! I hate, hate, hate baths, as I might have mentioned before! But it's over now, and luckily I did not drown. I won't have to get another bath until maybe next year. Or the year after that.
Anyway, I am not going to tell you about what all we did at Pooches' Paradise for a week, because it was mostly the same thing every day: eat, poop, pee, sleep, play, poop, sleep, pee, eat, and sleep. Instead, I'm going to tell you about Mom's convention because she explained it all to me, and she took a lot of pictures, and it was all mostly more interesting than being at Pooches' Paradise.
Today I will start by telling you about the bus tour that Mom was one of the guides for. This was the tour she practiced for earlier, and I already showed you some pictures from when she was practicing. But these pictures today will be different because they came from the Real Deal bus tour, with Real People on it. The tour was called the Independence Route, which I think I told you before.
The tour started at the Independence landing, where people used to get off the steamboats and then go in covered wagons to Oregon, California, or Santa Fe. In this picture, you can see the people from the tour group standing by the fence, trying to get a look at the Missouri River, which was hard to do because it was down at the bottom of the hill, and there were lots of trees in the way. Sadly, this is as close as you can get to where the real landing was, since it doesn't exist anymore.
A couple of people climbed up on a big rock to try to get a better view. Luckily, they did not fall off and get hurt while they were going up there or coming down.
Here are lots of tour members reading the markers. Remember how I told you that people on these tours always like to read every word of every marker? Well, in this photo you can see that I wasn't lying to you.
After that, the bus went through the city of Independence and to the Frontier Trails Center. Then the bus drove around in a lot of little streets, trying to follow where the trail used to go. The next place where Mom took pictures was in Minor Park near the Red Bridge. In this area you can see some really deep swales that come up from the crossing of the Blue River. When Mom was there before, she went and looked at the new Red Bridge, but the real tour went to the park to see the swales.
In this photo you can see some people who are not in a swale, and you can also see some people who look like they are sawed off at the waist. Those sawed-off people are standing in the swale. The reason why there is such a deep swale in this place is because when the wagons and oxen came up the hill after crossing the river, they were all drippy, and they made mud everyplace. So then the hooves and the wheels dug into the mud, and the ground got cut into deep ruts. Here's another picture of people walking in a swale.
Back in 1909, the Daughters of the American Revolution put up a marker to show that the Santa Fe Trail went through here. Of course, the Oregon and California Trails did, too, but the marker doesn't mention that. In case you can't read the marker in the photo, it says:
Marked by the
Daughters of the
State of Missouri
Here's another picture Mom took at Minor Park. You can see a couple of shallow swales, and also you can see people reading markers. Plus you can see the bus.
Mom saw a bunch of stuff left over from fireworks at the park. This means there were some very stupid people shooting off fireworks in the dry grass on the Fourth of July, which could have made a fire start. And if the fire got really big and burned many acres of land, it could have burned our house down because we only live a few miles from this park. Yikes! I don't like to think about this!
After leaving Minor Park, the bus got on a big highway called I-435. There is always some kind of construction happening on this road, so the bus got stuck in traffic for a while and had to go slowly.
Finally, the bus got past all the orange cone thingies and went faster. And then the group arrived at Mahaffie House for lunch. This is the place where Mom saw a stagecoach when she was there before. There was no stagecoach on the day of the tour because the Mahaffie house was closed. Except that they opened it up especially for the nice people on the bus tour.
The stagecoach horses had the day off, so they were out grazing in the dead grass, which does not look like it would be very yummy.
This horse is an appaloosa. This kind of horse is like the dalmatian of the horse world because they have spots, like dalmatian dogs do.
Here's a nice bay horse who came over to say hi to Mom. She got to pet him on his nose and face. Also, he posed for a photo.
At Lone Elm Campground, everybody got off the bus and went to read the markers. By that time, it was about 105º so nobody wanted to stand out in the sun very long. Most people didn't even use all the time they were allowed to look around this place. They just wanted to get back on the bus, where it was air-conditioned.
This might look like a wagon road, but it's really Cedar Creek, which goes through the Lone Elm Campground. Except that right now, it's all completely dried up, so if you were a thirsty ox, you would be out of luck.
And speaking of dried up things, here are some prairie flowers that are.
Okay, that's all for now. Another day I will tell you more about the convention.