Iowa Past to Present Teacher's Guide: Chapter 6: Rivers, Trails, and Train Tracks, Transportation in the 1800s
Song: Butter field, over land dispatch buggy. I didn't expect the ride to be this bumpy. Rickety carriage pulled by donkeys, I can feel my lumps today. We've been bouncing for hours. Its hot and its dry, winds been a kickin' and there's dust in my eye; mules are attractin’ the prairie flies. And I hate to complain, but there ain't no roads and there ain't no trails. The man who sold my ticket ought to be in jail. There ain't no protection from the wind and the hail and not to mention pouring rain. What am I doin' riding on a butter field, over land dispatch stage? Its the only transportation to the railroad station and my destination is the train.
Bumpy ride, isn’t it?
Just wait ‘til the rides over with boy. Your muscles sore, your neck’s stiff, your legs ache, you’re arguing with the passengers; that’ll give you something to write about. It’ll be the worst ride you’ve ever taken boy.
The ride can be blamed on the road, if it can be called that. Roads in this country are nothing more than dirt trails. Iowa soil makes wonderful farmland, but when wet it is the most sticky, gripping mud I have ever seen.
Whoa… stuck! Everybody out!
I’ve seen entirely too much of it too. Since passengers pay for the privilege of riding by helping to free the coach from this same mud.
Push… get with it. Push!
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