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Date:10/1/2014 1:28:40 AM
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Day 15--The Chuck Wagon part one
Howdy all, Chuey here with a TGIF Cattle Drive Post for you all. I think it is important that we all learn some history about one of the most important aspects of any cattle drive. THE CHUCK WAGON. Now, any cow-birdie worth it's weight in gold, loves to eat. We have been well fed by our wonderful cook Lizzie, and her two helpers Kaji and Mikey. They have been dishin' out some mighty tasty vittles.
There is a majestic beauty viewing over the massive grazing lands that run from Texas north through the Dakotas reaching into Canada. These plains expanded westward into Colorado meeting the rocky mountains and northwest to the Cascade Mountain Range. Scenic hills covered in tall Buffalo grass that whispers its historic past as one might sit silent reflecting upon the romantic images of the American West. As the wind blows through the wild blades of green stems that still flourish today, the sounds of the cowboys yawp can nearly be heard as they command their livestock on the long cattle-drives. Today, no other item best reflects the images of those cowboys who worked the cattle drives than the “Chuck Wagon”.
Prior to the Chuckwagon, Cowboys often relied on eating what they carried in their saddle bags such as dried beef, corn fitters or biscuits. In 1866, cattleman Charles Goodnight knowing the importance for his crew to drive cattle they'd require daily meals, bedrolls, extra gear and supplies. A humble Cowboy could work harder on a full stomach and a good night sleep. The trail would often last two or more months moving cattle several miles each day. Some drives lasting up to five months. Goodnight took a surplus Army Wagon made by Studebaker and added a large Pantry box to the wagon rear with a hinged door that laid flat to create a work table. The cook would then have everything he needed at arms length to prepare food. Shelves and drawers were added to the inside of the pantry to carry supplies and cooking gear. The larger pots, cast iron skillets and utensils would be carried in a box mounted below the pantry called the boot. The Army wagon merely was a light supply wagon of that period with Goodnight’s added design creating the invention of the CHUCK WAGON.
Tomorrow we will finish our history on the Chuck wagon. I smell dinner, gotta go!
Trail Boss Chuey 245908
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