Texas Bob Travels

Life in the Glass Mountains of Texas

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Introduction

The following story is composed of true incidents in the lives of several people who lived in the Glass Mountains of Texas for a few marvelous years. To whom I am writing I do not know. Perhaps if I did, my words might be better chosen but since I am in doubt, I shall strive to strike a happy medium and hope that adults, as well as children, may sip the cup of enjoyment as they tour the mountains with me. One may find some parts of my story recorded in the pages of history but not the little personal happenings, for most of them have not been repeated outside our family circle. In the year 1911 a family of four began an adventurous life in the Glass Mountains [1] of Texas. Arriving there after a long and tiresome trip made by wagon train from Sonora, Texas to a ranch twenty four miles from Marathon, Texas. The trip took some six weeks of hot, dusty traveling, but led us to a life which began anew in a strange world. Not only the household possessions and family came in the procession but the livestock and herders as well. About thirteen hundred head of goats, two wagons, several horses, one cow, a Mexican, one white man and the family made the trip from the low rolling plains of Texas to the mountain heights. I said that a cow made the trip. This was not entirely true. We started with a cow, so as to have fresh milk for the family on the way, but she declined the invitation and refused to walk after a time. We were forced to sell her.

We traveled very slowly as the stock had to have time to graze each day. Often we covered few miles and had to find a desirable place to camp before stopping. The stock needed water at least once a day. Sometimes this was an almost impossible task. One night shall long stand out in my memory. We traveled late to get to water and were very tired. On arriving at the camp site my little brother and I ran as fast as our short legs could take us down the bank of the Pecos River [2] for a refreshing drink. To our horror the water was impossible to swallow. It was salty. It was a terrible sensation, "water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink". The animals walked about bawling and pawing the earth, but to no avail. We were forced to do without water until late the next day.

The hours were long and tiresome as we traveled day after day. I often got out of the wagon and walked a distance to stretch my legs. My little brother could not enjoy such a privilege as he was crippled. Once the Mexican made each of us a stick horse with a head carved of wood. We passed many pleasant hours with our new toys. I was heartbroken when mine was lost from the wagon. At one time we were delayed for several days because we ran into buck eye. Many of the goats became ill and some died as a result of dining upon this poisonous delicacy.

Footnotes:

[1] "GLASS MOUNTAINS," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/rjg06), accessed September 02, 2011. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

[2] Delmar J. Hayter, "PECOS RIVER," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/rnp02), accessed September 02, 2011. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.


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