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Santa Rosa Stage

Updated on January 10, 2014
(gilpinhistory.org)
(gilpinhistory.org)

By: Wayne Brown

 

The overland stage is rolling right outside Santa Fe

Pushin’ the team to hit Santa Rosa by the next day

Four passengers in the coach;  pay pouch in the boot

My shotgun guard is alert ready to protect all the loot

 

 

Six harnessed horses work out front in pairs and spaced

Push ‘em hard to Soda Springs, there  they’ll be replaced

Twelve reins are woven through fingers of my gloved hands

Drivin’ teams on this old run starting out as a young man

 

 

Get you butt up Ol’ Sal! Move up old Dan! Git up old son!

This road is getting hilly and up that grade we must run

To keep the line on the schedule, we’ll stay at  this trot

And try to be on time with the payload that we’ve got

 

 

I send my commands with the reins in my fingers laced

I push ‘em hard between stations keeping the line paced

If there’s trouble on the trail, we’ll take it as it comes

We’ve fought a few outlaws and we’ve killed us some

 

 

This coach, she’s a rocky one on these old washboard tracks

It’s tough on us drivers bent over the reins with our tired backs

But we love what we do or else we would have quit it long since

I’ll take drivin’ any day;  don’t surround me with a fence

 

 

Dust is boiling up behind and some hombres are giving chase

I  nudge the guard and slap reins to quicken up our pace

We’re too close to Soda Springs to pull up on this route

We’ll draw the guns and see if they want to shoot it out

 

 

Casey lays up atop the coach and aligns his Henry rifle

The 44-40 barks hot lead and its punch can surely stifle

Casey’s levering the rounds holding the outlaws in check

 Pullin’ my Colt, I throw some lead hoping to save our neck

 

 

I can see Soda Springs coming up just over that far rise

That old station will look good today; a sight for sore eyes

An outlaw rides up by the coach and tries to climb on back

Casey unloads both shotgun barrels and drops him on the track

 

 

The team is running full-out now and climbing up the incline

I pop the reins and try to push for just a bit more time

Ol’ Casey’s whittled down the odds with that sweet Henry gun

The rest of the gang has  pulled up short and left in a run

 

 

We hit Soda Springs with the team a running a full-out

The station man waves his arms and a loud “whoa” he shouts
I’ve got my foot on the brake and pullin’ hard against the reins

One of the team is getting wild and bucking in the chains

 

 

Finally, the old coach pulls to a stop and horses start to blow

The team is fully winded; we got to get them changed and go

Cut loose the chains and slip the tongue, get a new team in tow

Then we head out at a trot and off to Santa Rosa we go

 

 

© Copyright WBrown2011.  All Rights Reserved.

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    • Wayne Brown profile image
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      Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

      @epigramman...If I ever make big Colin...I'll make sure you have seats at my first big show! LOL! No I have not yet seen that movie but I am dying to see it. My wife is less prone to the violent side than I so I'll have to sneak away and see it by myself. It really looks like a winner from the trailers and I hear really good things from folks who have seen it. WB

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 6 years ago

      ...just let it be known Wayne that I look up to you - and admire you very much - and not just because you're the most prolific cowboy at the Hub - by the way have you seen the Coen Brothers remake of True Grit??

    • Wayne Brown profile image
      Author

      Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

      @epigramman....Ya got that right, pilgrim! LOL! Maybe the irony of my life is that I can spend my twilight years laying on a bearskin rug with naked princesses of the Nile feeding me grapes while I am being fanned with the gentle breezes of a palm frone. Is that Ray Stevens i hear singing in the background! LOL! Thanks Colin! WB

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 6 years ago

      ..this is the genre in which you excel - and like I've said before you could give Zane Grey and Louis L'amour - a run for their money - anyday - and I'd bet you wouldn't mind some of their money too - lol lol lol

    • Wayne Brown profile image
      Author

      Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

      @Scarlett My Dear...Well, thank you...seems many have enjoyed the stage run to Santa Rosa...we may have to do it again! LOL! I am glad that my words could create that imagery and urgency for you...that was my goal but in verse it can be a bold one! Thanks again for the read and the great comments! WB

    • Scarlett My Dear profile image

      Scarlett My Dear 6 years ago from Missouri

      Wayne,

      What a fun poem full of energy, history and the memory of the old tv westerns I grew up watching with my dad! You can feel the necessity of their haste in getting to Santa Rosa lickety split!

      You describe the hurried pace in every word and really did get my heart pumping just thinking about 'Pullin my colt' and the team of 'winded horses'. Love it!

    • Wayne Brown profile image
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      Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

      @DzyMsLizzy...Oh so good to see you...I have been remiss in showing up at your place and too many others lately. The late year and holidays have totally disrupted my life. I agree a four horse team would be a handful. A driver handling a six-horse team would be a magician! LOL. I think it is a "horse-whisper" type thing that I probably do not have! LOL! Thanks so much for your comments and showing up to read. I will see you soon! WB

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 6 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Great visuals, there! Word pictures galore. Bravo!

      I recall my dad telling that when he was just about 12 years old, he learned to drive a 4-horse team...I don't see how anyone could keep the reins straight..I'd have them all tangled up, I'm sure.

      Voted up!

    • Wayne Brown profile image
      Author

      Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

      @ladyjane1...Glad to have you along for the journey LJ...and you are correct, it is a bumpy one! LOL! WB

      @TimBrycy...Thanks Tim...glad I could get that imagery for you. WB

    • profile image

      TimBryce 6 years ago

      Wayne -

      Nicely done. It makes you want to make the ride yourself.

      All the Best,

      Tim

    • ladyjane1 profile image

      ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas

      Nice bit of writing there Wayne. I always wanted to ride in an old stage coach. Must not have been very comfortable I imagine they could feel every bump on your ass....LOL Good job as always.. Cheers.

    • Wayne Brown profile image
      Author

      Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

      @drbj.....Glad I could take you along...now flying won't seem so bad!LOL! WB

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 6 years ago from south Florida

      Man, I'm winded, Wayne. Felt like I was pushing that stagecoach right alongside the driver. Whew! What a ride.

    • Wayne Brown profile image
      Author

      Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

      @Truckstop Sally...Thank you so much. I wanted to give the reader the sense of excitement of racing along on the stage with hombres in chase and all the factors which came into play with that. It is so much a part of the total equation that is the Old West. WB

    • Truckstop Sally profile image

      Truckstop Sally 6 years ago

      WB -- Thanks for another great adventure. I love the lines: But we love what we do or else we would have quit it long since / I’ll take drivin’ any day; don’t surround me with a fence

      It is important that we do what we love and surround ourselves with positive influences. Love the song video too.

    • Wayne Brown profile image
      Author

      Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

      @Pamela99...That'll be two dollars maam! LOL! Glad you like it! WB

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

      What an exciting poem. You did capture the danger and excitement of being on the stagecoach.

    • Wayne Brown profile image
      Author

      Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

      @samiaali...glad I could get you up on the coach for a while! Thanks for the good words! WB

    • samiaali profile image

      samiaali 6 years ago

      This was a wild and wonderful ride WB! I loved it! :)

    • Wayne Brown profile image
      Author

      Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

      @dahoglund...Thank you sir...I was hoping to put you up on that coach with the driver and feel the excitement of the times...hope I got there! WB

    • Wayne Brown profile image
      Author

      Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

      @WillStarr...Tried to capture a bit of the stagecoach action in verse...Glad you liked it! WB

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Interesting and exiting bit of poetry.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      You captured the excitement and danger of the old stagecoach days.

      Well done!