Saturday, May 29, 2010

Four (or More) Carts, One Driver

 Red River ox-cart-train at Fort Smith near Edmonton, Alberta in 1870.
Source: Minnesota Historical Society Collection
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Just for Fun

I started out with the ox's lead-rope in one hand and the pup's leash in the other, but I hadn't gone far when that became unmanageable. Obvious solution --- tie the slower one behind the faster one. Things then moved right along in an orderly fashion. It brings to mind the Red River ox-cart-trains with the behind ox tethered to the cart of the before ox. From about 1820-1870 the ox-cart-trains were typically divided into brigades of from four to ten carts. This made it possible for one man to drive several carts.

The bug on my camera's lens is another reminder of the Red River ox-cart-trails. Sections of the trail were described by one travler as a "miserable country, swamp following swamp." They were assaulted by "bull-dogs" of horseflies. One man who rode the trail on a cream colored horse wrote that he was "unable to distinquish the color of the animal so thickly was [it] covered [with mosquitoes.]"
Historical source:The Red River Trails, Oxcart Routes Between St. Paul and the Selkirk Settlement 1820-1870, Gilman.

Weather Alert!!!

When dogs eat grass, you can expect a severe storm.