"What Torture It Must Have Been"

Travel by Coach Along the Overland Trail

A Poem by Chuck Mack
June 11, 2001

Written after visiting abandoned stage stations along the Overland Trail in Wyoming, June 2001

What torture it must have been to ride stagecoach across country on the Overland Trail.
If you are a dreamer it might sound like fun,
but you have all of the modern-day luxuries to greet you at the end of your dream run.
But in those days of long ago when man's dream was to connect east with west,
traveling by stagecoach was by far the best.

So with this thought in mind the Overland Trail was born,
with big Concord stages to conquer the route.
Crudely built stations along the way
provided bare necessities for weary travelers of that day.

After bouncing all day on that high back wooden seat,
the stage station that grew closer with each turn of the wheel
to those weary travelers must have seemed such a treat.

When the stage passengers' day grew to an end,
those old stage stations weren't quite up to today's Holiday Inns.

But this was days of long ago and people were tougher then
not accustomed to much luxury and such,
so those stage stations which only a few remnants remain
most probably to the stage passengers of old
were a welcome haven from summer's heat and winter's cold.

I love to visit the remnants of those old stage stations along the Overland Trail
or any other old stage stations I can find.
There were other stage lines that crossed the land.
When I visit the remnants of an old stage station I turn loose my mind.

I love to sit on a rock, then close my eyes.
Soon the thunder of hooves I can hear
as that big Concord stage grows ever so near.

In a cloud of dust at the station it arrives,
the passengers all thankful for their lives.
It seems just a few miles back
the stage had endured a renegade Indian attack.

No time to enjoy the comforts of the stage station today!
With a quick change of horses the stage is once again on its way.

But there were days when the stage had a leisurely run
and I will admit that amongst all the torture there could have been fun.

So I will just keep visiting these old stage station remains,
find a rock on which to sit
and daydream in a manner that I see fit.

But gosh I'm ever so glad that even today some remnants of these old stations remain.
In each one of them history can be found
and if you are a dreamer like me, lots of fantasies abound.

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