Saturday, December 17, 2011


In keeping with the Western and historical themes of our Moroccan Reunion Convention touring, we had a dinner scheduled one night at Fort Hays Chuckwagon Supper and Show.
Chuckwagon (Internet)
First, I had to learn how the chuckwagon differed from other covered wagons that roam the western frontier. I  found two links; one is linked in first sentence of this paragraph and the other is here.

Dancing With Wolves
Buildings (Internet)
Poor photo
Our group had reservations at Fort Hays Chuckwagon Supper and Show, 5 miles south of Rapid City. It is well-known as some of the scenes from Dances with Wolves, were shot there.

Fort Hays(Internet)
Horrible photo
There are a number of chuckwagon type restaurants in the general area, all of which have a show featuring folk, western and/or mixed music and comedy, after the dinner is served.

The Wranglers
[Photo Husband]
Young Teenage Fiddler
Fort Hays has on its campus several buildings used in Dances with Wolves, as well as other early western frontier turn-of-the-century buildings:tin shop, rope shop, blacksmith shop, sawmill, penny press.

As you walk into the dinner theater you are confronted with long rows of sturdy wood "picnic-style" tables. See this link for some very good photos. I had considerable difficulty maneuvering my prosthetic legs under the table as there was not much space for me to do it. The placed was packed. But our esteem Road Scholar acquired the front two rows of tables--great for the show, and also the first served.
When the dinner bell rang (and it was a loud sucker!)we were provided a tin (aluminum) plate and lined up in a long queue table row by table row to the"chuckwagon" kitchen.

Young Teenage Vocalist
The first item on the plate was a huge baked potato which the food handler smashed on to the plate. Better hang on to the plate because that potato is mashed in one strong smack. There were the expected baked beans and choice of sliced beef in BBQ sauce or baked chicken, along with chunky applesauce, biscuits w/honey, coffee or lemonade, and spice cake.

Young Teenage Vocalist
I did not see anybody getting seconds of anything but coffee or lemonade! I was somewhat uncomfortably full.
When all our plates were empty and cleared from the tables, the show began. As expected the music was decidedly country and western, but a variety of other music was sandwiched in to please all of us.

The Wranglers- Grandpa
I was impressed with the skills of two female teenagers in the 14-15 year old range: a fiddler who nearly set the bow and strings of  that bow and strings on fire, and a lovely soprano songbird.

The hall was filled with tour groups, including an USS Hawk ship reunion and our Moroccan Reunion of military and US civilians who had lived in Morocco. Some special requests were taken, and patriotic music included. The show concluded with I Love the USA.

We all stood when a gigantic US Flag was unfurled.
The Wranglers - Vocalist
(Photo - husband)
Yes, all in all, it was a evening to remember!

PHOTOS: by NitWit1, unless otherwise identified.
The Chuckwagon Supper and Show
NOTE: Internet photos: I have not often used Internet photos because they are very low resolution photos which save time in loading a web page. Some of them are so low resolution when you enlarge them you think you may need glasses, or new lens!
In the case of Fort Hayes, the crowds were so dense There was no where to get a photo unless I climb as utility pole! Not an option!

This is another place we might have enjoyed having more time
to explore.


Lorna said...

I so enjoy my vicarious trips with you. And I have to confess, I love fiddling music and fiddlers

faye said...

Sounds like a good evening..
similar to the Stampede at Dollywood.

I bet a few years back and you would have gone up the utility pole for a
photo. ...

Arkansas Patti said...

Thanks for bringing me along. I am not the least bit stuffed though.
When you see young talent like that, you can't help but think of what may lie ahead for them.
Loved Dances with Wolves though it did make me ashamed to be white.

Dimple said...

Thanks for coming by, and Merry Christmas!

Nezzy said...

You are so very kind lettin' us tag along. Looks like the place to be for a fun-filled time sweetie.

God bless ya and have a most bright and beautiful Christmas my friend! :o)

Amber Star said...

Your trip was so exciting and interesting. Thank you for sharing. For some reason this past week I looked up chuckwagon on the internet and found a diagram with that wheel looking thing on the side for water. I'd never seen that before. Glad I wasn't a cookie on the trail. Read somewhere that Goodnight and Loving only used their trail for a couple of years. Everyone else used it later. They went south to avoid Commanches on their way to New Mexico.

Cheryl said...

What an amazing evening...this is something my husband and I would love!