Chuck wagon food came in many guises, some good, some really really good, and some just horrid.
Far be it for the cowboy to complain about the food that got put on his tin platter. No grumpy cookie wanted to hear complaints after he has just spent a long day on the trail, driving, setting up camp, tending wounds, herding cowpokes and cooking vittles.
A smart cow wrangler ate what he got, smiled, and asked for more!!
(and in appreciation of Cassandra Swanson…Rattlesnake Roast should be on this list!)
We have a musical friend called Lonesome Ron. He is the kind of fella that is always there if needed. The kind of friend that we don’t often see, and when we do, he is just all Ron once again. He remembers every-ones birthday (even my daughter’s!) and sends a musical greeting of his own device.
He is kind, tall, and good. We very much like Ron!
Ron is talented, he yodels, he sings cowboy songs, jazz, rock. he plays a bass, a guitar, a mandolin, and more than likely many more instruments.
Well all, Our Lonesome Ron has released his first CD and his having a release party this weekend. I wish we could go, but we are at a family event that night. But y’all if you are in the Mankato area on March 28th, stop in, your time will be well spent!!!
We are a country of free thinkers, liberal and conservative alike. We, as a people, come together united in freedom of religion, politics, creed. Texas represents to us, a large independent union filled with free spirit.
We love western artwork, and love to share it when possible. We are trying to make sure we attribute the artist, because by golly, they deserve the praise both legally and morally. Here is one found on the internet that made us happy, simply because one of our winter projects has been watching all of the Deadwood series. Tough job huh?
In Texas, prior to the civil war, cattle ran free range. During the war many of the ranchers headed out to fight, and then returned, after the war, to discover millions of wild longhorn cattle roaming the prairies, and desserts of Texas.
Needing a way to get these cattle to a rail head in Kansas, where they could be sold for a decent profit, ranchers with names like Goodnight, Loving,Ackly, and Chisum rounded up thousands of these wild beef at a time, branded them, and headed them north in a 900 mile drive. The cattle trails stretched for a over 2 miles, and were managed by a crew of about 20 cowboys, a trail boss, a wrangler or two and the inevitable, cranky, and multi-talented cookie with the chuck wagon.
An estimated 25,000 to 35,000 men trailed six to ten million head of cattle and a million horses northward from Texas to Kansas during these years,
This amazing era of cowboy-dom, lasted about a meager 20 years, ending with the advent of fenced prairies and homesteaders, yet the legends and history of the trail drive years launched thousands of stories that capture our attention for all time
Our Lost Creek wagon was originally built in the 1900’s; about the time Webber was being recreated as International Harvester. It spent many years as a hearty farm wagon in Iowa, hauling grain, and proving it’s sturdy worth until it was purchased by a collector and relegated to sitting quietly in a barn, collecting dust and a minimum amount of dry rot, until that day that John “JT” Hallson sighted it at an auction in Waverly Iowa. At that time, he went into partnership with Robert “Boomer” Beck, a gentleman who had previously cooked with John on the original Lost Creek Mandt wagon. The two of them immediately set to work, tearing the new wagon down to its basic framing. Over the winter and summer they worked, hammering, sawing, measuring, analyzing and painstakingly rebuilding it to the wonderful work of wagon art sitting in front of you today. Boomer has recreated much of the iron work in his Robbinsdale blacksmith shop; JT has done much of the woodworking. They completed this massive and exacting job at John’s barn in rural Minnesota. The work on the Webber continues to this day, always tweaking, always improving. The Webber, (Mountain Man) has given our team the opportunity to garner a number of first places on the wagon trail.
JT hails out of Dassel Minnesota, and has competed in chuck wagon events around the country for many years. Our new Webber Wagon, “Mountain Man “is JT’s second wagon, Our first is a Mandt, (Pretty Little Lady) rebuilt by JT with the same dedication given to the Webber. JT, a member of long standing in the Old West Society of Minnesota, spends time when not on the chuck wagon cook off trail working in his leather workshop creating pristine cowboy leather, (www.lostcreekbags.com) serving as technical advisor and supplying period correct Old West clothing and accouterments to various independent films, working with his partner, Tilly with the Mountain Man teaching school children at educational events about the history of trail drives, and totally enjoying his country life in Dassel, Minnesota.
Boomer is from Robbinsdale, Minnesota and has worked with JT for many years. He is also an old timer in the Old West Society of Minnesota. When not creating fabulous apple pies at the cook-offs, Boomer hammers out works of art in his blacksmithing shop, builds musical instruments, and enjoys his summer months zooming about the country on his Harley. Boomer is a true Renaissance man, always creating, always learning.
The crew is rounded out with JT’s partner, Tilly Evan Jones, who wishes in her heart they would always cook on her favorite wagon the Pretty Little Lady, but still loves the Mountain Man. When not cooking Tilly indulges in her love of nature and growing things, working in not only her gardens, but as a professional gardener for others, indulging her hippy side with palm readings at expo’s private parties, and business events, performing happy marriage ceremonies, and writing for her on- line journal (www.tillyevanjones.com). The team is completed by Hanna Rose, who has brought her particular kindness and gentle spirit to the rascally group. Rose, along with her husband, Just Dave, fire monkey and raconteur extraordinaire; have traveled with Lost Creek for a good while. Rose is a fantastic cook; helping herself to a number of first places since she began, a seamstress of divine clothing and quilted wonders, and just plain nice. We love having her on our team!!