springfield, missouri

springfield, missouri

The Stagecoach Journey, Part 3

18h ago
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Description

"The Stagecoach Journey" Rick Hamby, a cowboy from West Plains, Missouri had long dreamed of riding off into the sunset, galloping into the back country of the great American West, just as cowboys had done decades ago, before fences, highways, farms and ranches and towns. In the spring of 2001, he led a group of cowboys on a journey that had not been attempted in 140 years. They departed the public square of Springfield, Missouri for an epic journey to Tombstone, Arizona in a stagecoach. It would become a sixty three day, fourteen hundred mile trip following as much as possible the historic route of the Butterfield Overland Stage route of 1858, which was, before the Pony Express and the transcontinental railroad, America's first scheduled transcontinental mail service. In 1999, Rick Hamby found a historic, original Butterfield stagecoach behind a blacksmith's shop in northern Arkansas. He bought it on the spot, hauled it home to his ranch near West Plains, and he began to plan an epic journey. It became his quest to reconnect to the ways of the West, when people traveled by horse, wagon and mule power. Their 2001 journey made some 30 miles a day, camping overnight at ranches and county fairgrounds along the way. It was an exhausting and exhilarating odyssey. It was a succession of long days that began before dawn, and ended after sunset, with sleet, wind, dust, heat and occasional danger along the way. Before they left, they pledged to stop at schools and nursing homes along the way to share their adventure with young and old alike. And their generosity was met with welcomes everywhere they went. Ranchers and townspeople alike opened their doors and hearts to help feed the livestock, host beans and cornbread dinners for the stagecoach crew and enjoy short rides in the historic coach. "The Stagecoach Journey" follows the adventures, challenges, and rewards of the intrepid stagecoach crew as they head west from Missouri to Arizona. It's a heartwarming, picturesque, and entertaining documentary about their unique adventure as 21st century cowboys travel the path of their 19th century counterparts. Produced and photographed by Ed Fillmer, an Ozark native and former reporter for KY3 News, Springfield, Missouri.