Thursday, May 3, 2007

Wagon Master!

The 1950 film Wagon Master, starring Ward Bond, is a classic western movie. Following up on the success of this movie, television created the series "Wagon Train" which also starred Ward Bond from 1957 until his death in 1960.

Ah, what great stuff. Good vs. evil, right vs. wrong. No convoluted plot that required a demented Phd. to explain. Ward had to take care of the greenhorns! The wagon train faced all kinds of danger but Ward as Major Seth Adams was the "old hand". He was there to make sure they made it. On his trusty steed, he was seemingly everywhere at the head of the column making sure they were on the right trail. At the back of the train, helping the unfortunate ones keep up. I can remember watching this series (before the family had a color TV) as a youngster. I can remember the excitement of the show and the satisfied feeling at the end when good triumphed over evil.

I thought about this the other day while doing a little planning for our Moab trip and realized that the wagons in Wagon Train were the four wheel drive vehicles of the day. And just like Wagon Train, the modern Moab on the Rocks train had it's wagon master as well. After all, a lot of us were/are greenhorns. We needed someone to look after us too. Someone to make sure we reached the end of the trail without mishap. For several years on this trip our wagon master has been......

Captain America!!!!

Captain America is one of the original founders of Moab on the Rocks. This year will be his tenth year of participating in the trip. At the beginning Captain America was a greenhorn too. He drove a jeep like everyone else. Somewhere along the way, Captain America lost his engine and two of his wheels and ended up on a mountain bike. Somewhere along the way he became the wagon master.

Being wagon master for Moab on the Rocks is no easy task! First of all the "wagon train" is out on the trail ALL day. That can be as much as 8-10 hours. We probably drive 20 or more miles in a typical day. We are mostly greenhorns. Tenderfeet, that without the guidance of the wagon master would probably end up in New York or Chicago before we realized we were lost. The bad guys, the unscrupulous garage guys, would probably ambush us and have us do a bunch of unnecessary repairs if we didn't have the wagon master

Captain America was up to the task though! He was everywhere. He was out front scouting and showing us tenderfeet the way. He was smack in the middle of the train making sure we kept moving in an orderly fashion. He was there making sure we made it through the treacherous quicksands.

Ward Bond and Captain America were kindred souls.

Rumor has it that Captain America has given up his trusty steed?

Rumor has it that this year Captain America will once again ride a Jeep?

How can he watch over his greenhorns in a Jeep? Can you picture Ward Bond doing everything he a covered wagon?

Captain America.....Say it ain't so!

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