This is my last layout for April 2012, which I managed to get in under the window on the One Month At A Time Challenge, Week 3, Thomas Kinkade Memorial Week.
If you didn't know what you were looking at, you would not know what you were looking at. ...
These are wagon ruts from the 1850's. During the California gold rush, the "company" worked a southern route through Indian Territory. Along that route, near Hinton, there were a series of spring fed creeks with the correct angle of slope to allow the wagon teams to get down to the creek for water on one side, and up out of the creek on the other. The angle could not be too steep, else the wagon would push the oxen or mule team down the edge and to disaster. Too shallow a slope and the team could not get the wagon pulled through the muck. The magic number was about 45 degrees.
Everyone walked. Images of people riding in wagons is the image of Hollywood, not the reality of going to California. Only small children were permitted to ride. The wagon driver walked to the right side of the wagon, next to the brake. When they got ready to go to the water source, he would set the brake, point the team down the slope, get them to step one step, which would drag the wagon forward a few feet. Then the process would repeat. Along some of these creeksides, there was sandstone under the dirt, and after hundreds and hundreds (maybe thousands) of wagons, the sandstone was worn into ruts which are still visible in a few places today.
The spring is still there, but the creek has pretty much been dug out for modern road beds, so it's hard to really envision exactly what the track looked like, but it is obvious that there were two wheels and a walking track beside them.
The buttons are from my vintage stash, and they're about right for the time period. I don't know if they're 1850's old, but they're pre-1900, so they're pretty ancient!