The Original Dry Route

No Original Dry Route Markers in this Township

Township 25 South of Range 20 West, Edwards County, Kansas Township 25 South of Range 20 West, Edwards County, Kansas

In crossing Coon Creek the following day we met with an accident that came nigh putting some of us hors du combat for the rest of the trip. The wagon in which four of us were riding had been given into the care of the Mexican a little while before, and as he was not much skilled in driving, the mules ran away with us. They plunged at full speed down the steep bank into the creek; and the wagon body with its human load, was thrown off the running gears, and landed at least ten feet distant in the dry bed of the stream. The concussion seemed like a young earthquake. People may talk about seeing stars upon such occasions, but as near as my recollection serves me, I had the pleasure of beholding a score or more of full-sized moons. I was pitched out of the wagon head foremost on the hard earth, stunned but not much hurt. On looking after my comanions, I found them to be alive and kicking, and scrambling out of the wagon with all possible speed, apparently fearful it was about to make another summerset.

We were all more or less bruised. Rodman was more seriously injured than the others, and the blood was streaming down his face from an ugly cut over the left eye, produced by falling against some sharp instrument. The wagon was in a worse condition than the passengers. When the mules had rid themselves of the body, they dashed across the Plains with the running gears in fine style, apparently pleased with the operation as a most capital joke. They dropped the wheels here and there as the linchpins came out, and then dragged the axle about on the ground until they were stopped by the men. This accident detained us about an hour, when the wagon was pronounced in running order once more, and we resumed our journey.

At this time our road lay across what is known as the Dry Route , where for the distance of thirty miles there is no water. We last filled our kegs at the Pawnee Fork, which supplied us with water to drink, but we had none to cook with, and the mules were obliged to thirst until we reached the Arkansas.
William W. H. Davis

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