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Date:9/16/2014 10:47:19 AM
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Day 16--The Chuck Wagon part two
Well howdy to all you cow-birds out in the wild west on the cattle drive. I hope you all had a good nights rest, cause am supectin' that we are in for some troubles come sunshine tomorrow. The scouts have been trailing some shady characters up in the hills, but somehow they seem to be one step ahead of us. Though I'm pretty certain, that when Jenny-Lynn, Kiddo and the other scouts find 'em they'll be wishin' they'd stayed clear of us.
With our bellies full of some more of Lizzie's greyt cookin' we be set to move the herd on the trail towards the Red River Crossin nearby to Doan. I do think it's important that we all know how important having Lizzie, Kaji and Mikey drivin' the "Dragon Wagon" Chuck-wagon is. So, without any further jawin' from me we'll finish our history lesson.

The Chuck wagon is equipped with the wide array of supplies needed to make the journey. Besides food, the supplies would include Farrier and Blacksmith tools for horseshoeing or making repairs to the wagon and horse tack. Sewing needles for mending clothing or saddles, first aid and alcohol tonics used for medicinal purposes. Bedrolls and rain slickers for the working cow hands along with the crew’s personal items. One side would be equipped with a large wooden water barrel to carry a two day supply for the working crew. The other side often had a tool box, as well a smaller attached wooden box in front called the jockey box. Additionally, the wagon would have a canvas cover called a Bonnet that had been treated in linseed oil to repel rain keeping items in the wagon dry. To allow headroom in the wagon, bows where added raising the canvas and providing securing points.
The chuck wagon would be managed by the cook . He performed all the needs for the camp sites along the cattle drives. He would be second in charge of the outfit to the trail boss. Due to his importance and position, the cook received pay around $45 per month while the wranglers and cow punchers received $25 to 30 dollars each month on a trail drive. The Cook also was expected to act as Barber, Banker, Doctor, Dentist, letter writer and sometimes referee in camp should tensions flair amongst the hired hands. His normal day started hours before others. Getting up around three in the morning he started by grinding roasted coffee.
Today, the Chuck Wagon so historically represents the era of the trail drives and the Cowboys whom worked the cattle that it was Honored as the Texas State Vehicle and continues operations on many ranches nearly 150 years after its invention. It is no surprise to view a chuck wagon and immediately think of those nearly forgotten trails and the cowboys who drove over 10 million head of cattle to market. Trails of majestic beauty where you can nearly hear the wind echo a ringing camp bell and the Cook calling out, “Come and get it. Get it while its hot”.
Trail Boss Chuey 245908
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