Friday, August 2, 2013

Traveling By Stagecoach

By Paisley Kirkpatrick
The best seat inside a stage is the one next to the driver. Even if you have a tendency to sea-sickness when riding backwards - you'll get over it and will get less jolts and jostling. Don't let "Sly elph" trade you his mid-seat.
In cold weather don't ride with tight-fitting boots, shoes, or gloves. When the driver asks you to get off and walk do so without grumbling, he won't request it unless absolutely necessary. If the team runs away - sit still and take your chances. If you jump, nine out of ten times you will get hurt. In very cold weather abstain entirely from liquor when on the road, because you will freeze twice as quickly when under it's influence.
Don't growl at the food received at the station - stage companies generally provide the best they can get.
Don't keep the stage waiting. Don't smoke a strong pipe inside the coach. Spit on the leeward side. If you have anything to drink in a bottle pass it around. Procure you're stimulants before starting as "ranch" (stage depot) whiskey is not "nectar."
Don't lean or lop over neighbors when sleeping. Take small change to pay expenses. Never shoot on the road as the noise might frighten the horses. Don't discuss politics or religion.
Don't point out where murders have been committed especially if there are women passengers.
Don't lag at the wash basin. Don't grease your hair, because travel is dusty. Don't imagine for a moment that you are going on a picnic. Expect annoyances, discomfort, and some hardships.
As posted in the Omaha Herald 1877
The next time you travel imagine traveling on a stagecoach and maybe all the rules and regulations at the airport, train station, or crazed drivers on the road won't seem so bad -- unless of course you get to sit next to a hunky cowboy!! Just be careful he's not there to rob the stagecoach passengers.

26 comments:

  1. Dang it - I've been spittin' on the wrong side. No wonder I wasn't the most popular chick on the stage. Well next time I'll know.

    Course it'll be hard to spit on the leeward side if there's someone else sittin' next to me. Guess I'll have to practice my aim and distance so's when I lean across 'em they won't get caught in the crossfire.

    Good stuff, Paisley. Fun post.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

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  2. I can't even imagine you spitting out the window, but then again, from reading your blog you do a lot of things I wouldn't imagine. ;)

    Thanks for coming by. I just loved the way my photos turned out and wanted to find a way to share them. Looks like mighty uncomfortable riding to me.

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  3. Wow, this is so interesting never would have thought of half of that.
    I still think I'd like to try it, just once.

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  4. I think this is sound, everyday advice! And, Patricia has been spitting improperly! Bad Patricia.

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  5. Hey, Deb. Just think of that coach driving you up and down Foresthill Road. :) Of course, my heroine in One-Eyed Charly did that three times a week. Scary!!

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  6. I know, Judy. Who would have thought the embarrassment of spitting wrong? I would think that riding with dust flying past the open windows might make for a dry and parched throat. It might have been difficult to work up a decent spit. ;)

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  7. Very interesting post, Paisely. Makes me appreciate our easy and comfortable ways of travel. Plus, not as many spitters these days. :)

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  8. Yikes! I've seen old stagecoaches in museums here and there, and they are so fascinating. I walk around them, look in, try to imagine riding in one for days on end. Lands, we don't know how good we have it, do we?
    Thanks, Paisley..this was so good!!!

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  9. Great post, Paisley! I sorta feel like I need to go take a shower now, what with all spitting practice going on in the comments above. ;-) Plus, like Celia, I've been fascinated by old stagecoaches in museums and living-history events for ages. I've even climbed all over a couple. Probably best I don't dwell on all that spitting. How long do you suppose germs last, anyway? **blink, blink**

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  10. You're right, Gerri. Besides all the spitting, they had people sit on each side and if there was an overflow they would also sit on the velvet covered bench in the middle. I'll take a comfortable air conditioned car.

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  11. Thanks, Celia. We have a couple of museums around the county, but none were in as good of shape as this one. Someone had questioned my story where I had the heroine wait to have the door opened and help out. So when I saw that there was no handle on the inside it gave me validation, and it is a long step down to the boardwalk, too. ;)

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  12. I have no idea on how long germs may last, Kathleen, but in those days they probably lived a very long time. Thanks for saying hi today.

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  13. Cool blog. Give me my Prius any day.

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  14. Yes, well if I lived where you live, I wouldn't leave the house unless I was in something with air conditioning. ;) Thanks for stopping by today.

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  15. Wow. And I thought airport security was a chore! ;)

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  16. Thanks, Maeve. I think the dust and the rough road would be a nightmare. Thanks so much for coming to check it out.

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  17. This is great, Paisley! I especially love the one about not shooting on the road. lol

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  18. Thanks for coming by, Susan. I don't see how they could enforce them. I'd say the driver would have his hands full with driving the team.

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  19. Hi Paisley, fun post. My husband and I rode on a stagecoach when we went to Durango. I have to say it was terrible. I don't know how women managed. I feared my bladder would shake right out of my body. When we turned around, they let me climb up top and ride shotgun. It was much more comfortable.

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  20. Who knew, Paisley? Courtesy 'rules' for stagecoaches. I'd have never given it a thought if you hadn't mentioned it.
    Great blog, and a lot of fun.... now hand over that bottle!

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  21. You got to ride shotgun, Linda? WOW that sounds like fun. Travel sure has come a long way when you think about these horrors in the wild west.

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  22. Mairi - Ummmmm I can't seem to find the bottle ;) - thanks for coming by. I just loved reading these rules for the first time. Thanks for the visit.

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  23. Those rules make a lot of sense, especially the one about not "lopping over" on your neighbors. Can't say I'd care to experience a cross-country trip in a stagecoach. I wouldn't make a good pioneer. :(

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  24. Thanks Lyn. I agree with you. It's too bad airlines are making air travel so uncomfortable, but considering the way the wild west bunch traveled, I shouldn't complain.

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  25. Enjoyed your post, Paisley. Some great info, but I am surprised about not drinking liquor in cold weather because it will make you freeze faster. Do you think they posted that to avoid drunken passengers? I thought it would warm you up. Remember the cook who survived the Titanic sinking and was retrieved from the water because he drank so much brandy? Hmm. Maybe that was a myth. Not sure. But in books and movies, they sure ladled spirits into people rescued from the cold.

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  26. Thanks Ashley. I have no idea about booze freezing you or keeping you alive. It might be something worth looking into for research. :)

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