*While I tried to describe the layout of the Rock Creek Station State Park as accurately as possible, the character descriptions and conversations are pure TYR fiction. The only person described that was, in reality, at the Rock Creek station during the time of the Pony Express was James Butler Hickock, and he took care of the horses.*

He stepped out of the car and stretched road tired muscles, then looked around him. The park was nice, clean, tidy, well laid out, even if the signage wasn’t very obvious. He had still found it.

Logan had landed the previous day at the Kansas City airport and, after picking up his scant luggage and rental car, he had moved on his way to St Joseph. Then he had spent the rest of the day roaming through the many small historical museums, especially the Patee House and Pony Express Memorial. It was at the Pony Express Memorial that he had seen the pamphlet for Rock Creek. Just holding it had caused a strange tingling feeling in his fingers. He remembered a bit from his father’s father, his grandfather’s, story.

“Your great, great grandfather was a Pony Express rider. He was the first of our family to live in the white world. He rode first out of Sweetwater, near Kiowa land. Then he rode out of Rock Creek in Nebraska territory…….”

Rock Creek. His great, great grandfather on his father’s side had been stationed at Rock Creek, in Nebraska. He had turned to the woman at the counter and gotten directions. According to the hours on the flyer, he would never make it before closing, so he took a room and spent the night in St. Joe, rising early to make the drive.

He had continued to learn there. He had become an accomplished dancer, had spent hours working on costumes making them as accurate as possible, and had been honored many times. He had gone on to college and earned a degree in Native studies, and had already published twice, before graduation. He had landed the perfect job right out of school and was due to start in the fall.

But he still craved knowledge of his personal family. His grandfather had died just before they had moved, and Logan often didn’t remember all of the stories about his family members. His mother knew the stories from her side, but not those from his father’s. It was these he had begun to trace.

He had started with his father, talking to his cousins and childhood friends and progressed through his grandfather and finally his great grandfather. Strangely enough, due to numerous combinations of Kiowa and white marriages, Logan figured he was exactly half Kiowa. He was now tracking his great, great grandfather.

And his research had led him to St Joseph, Missouri and the Pony Express. And St. Joseph had led him to Rock Creek.

He stretched once more and walked down the sidewalk to the Visitors center, his long black hair blowing in the slight breeze. His movements were graceful and confident. His looks were classic-dark skin, high cheekbones, a small bump on his nose, a lop-sided smile. He was one of those that stood out wherever he went, but never knew that he did.

Logan entered the building and stopped at the counter. He paid his park registration fee and walked through the museum area, stopping to watch the film about the history of the Rock Creek Station. He asked the woman at the counter questions about the sight, and the riders stationed here. His anticipation grew and he eagerly headed outside.

As soon as he stepped out the door he could see log buildings. But according to the movie and the flyer he had been given, these were not the Pony Express buildings. These would be what they called the West Ranch. He moved out to the wood chip path and followed it down hill, studying the ruts in the ground left by the wagons of the Oregon Trail. He examined the plant life along the path, knowing the names without needing the labels there. Knowing what his ancestors had used each plant for. Some had said that had he lived in a different time, Logan would undoubtedly have been a medicine man or other tribal leader.

Logan continued on. He paused to examine the buildings of the West Ranch, then followed the trail across the footbridge. He was now at the East Ranch. At the Pony Express Station. A strange feeling came over him, starting from the ground upward, as he walked on.

He moved over to the fence surrounding the barn, his hand moving over it as he passed. He went through the gate and entered the barn, examining the stalls and staring out the back entrance. This area was fenced also. To his left was the corral.

He stood there for awhile, barely noticing the whispered words, ghost voices of people from the past.

...Lou!Not here. Teaspoon might come in…

…Teaspoon’s in town and the others are asleep…

Logan moved out of the barn, passing the bunkhouse. Instead he went up to the house. Using the flat rock in front of the door, he stepped inside. He looked around casually, looking up the stairs into the loft, running his hand over the table. The ghost voices had followed him.

…Aw Rachel, I…

He stepped outside and sat on the stoop, studying the bunkhouse across the small yard. He must have sat there half an hour before he stood and walked across the yard.

He stopped short and studied the building. His whole body was tingling. As if in a dream he entered…

…and walked into a bunkhouse full of activity.


“Come on Cody. Save some for the rest of us.”

“There’s plenty there, Jimmy. But you could use a few more manners Cody.” Rachel was passing a bowl of potatoes as she turned to look at him. “We just started supper Buck. I’m sorry we didn’t wait. I didn’t think you were gonna make it.”

Logan was confused. The woman was looking at him. He watched as another version of himself stepped forward, moving to the empty spot at the table next to a bald boy. It was him, but it wasn’t. Logan was still standing in the door. The man that had sat down looked just like him, the same facial features, the same hair, the same height and build. Even the clothes were similar to his, only of a coarser weave and cut. But it was definitely his style.

“That’s okay.” The look a like said, accepting the platter of chicken. He placed a piece on the plate a young woman with short hair handed him and continued to fill his plate from the bowls circulating around the table.

By listening to the conversation Logan figured out that the woman at the head of the table was named Rachel. The boy with the long blond hair was called Cody. Next to him was a boy with long dark hair. His name was Jimmy. There was an African American named Noah, a wavy haired boy named Kid and the girl next to him was Lou. The bald boy was called Ike. And they called him Buck.

Ike turned to the duplicate Logan and moved his fingers. The young man was mute! Even more surprising, he was using Indian sign language.

“It wasn’t bad.” Came the reply from the one addressed as Buck, Logan’s clone. Ike’s fingers moved once more. “No, no trouble at all. I just ran into a windstorm, but I took cover amongst some rocks. It didn’t last long, but it put me a little behind.”

“Cody! You have the manners of a goat!” The young woman, Lou, shrieked. She jumped up from the table and began to mop lemonade from her clothes with the towel Rachel handed her. Rachel grabbed a second towel and began to clean off the table. The others at the table seemed oblivious to Cody’s actions, apparently used to such interruptions.

"Sorry Lou, but you know that sometimes my hands just kind of, well, do their own thing.” Cody replied to her outburst.

“But usually a woman is involved.” Jimmy mumbled.

Lou glared at him as the others chuckled softly, finding the comment funny, but not wanting to irritate Lou any more than she was.

“Sorry Lou. You know what I meant.” Jimmy said when he realized how his previous statement could be taken.

Lou sat back down, sending lightening bolt glares at both Cody and Jimmy. But she quickly calmed down and was once again joining in on the conversation.

The dinner table conversation was loud and raucous. Logan imagined it to be what dinner would be like in a large family. As he watched them closer, he realized that that was exactly what this was, a large family that had been pieced together, but that meshed together as a whole. It was obvious that these people cared for each other a great deal, looked out for each other, and protected each other.

Logan studied the one called Buck. He was definitely a mixed blood, something that Logan knew had been scorned during history. Even in the present time, some held a bias against mixed blood of any kind. And yet he was accepted at this table. Logan spotted a silver bracelet on his twin’s wrist. The markings were Kiowa.

Logan watched as Ike poked Buck in the ribs and pointed across the table at Lou and Kid, who were obviously a couple. Cody and Jimmy spared back and forth, with an occasional comment from Noah. Rachel just tried to keep the whole meal under control.

An older man joined them, literally walking right through Logan, to sit at the other end of the table. Conversation turned to that of the law and a new wanted poster that had arrived. Logan noticed that the new addition wore a Marshall’s badge. He was addressed as Teaspoon.

But it wasn’t long before the table was once more out of control.

Logan couldn’t help but notice the love here. Even the arguments were of a friendly nature, or at least they ended that way. He saw the looks of pride on both Teaspoon’s and Rachel’s faces as they surveyed the young people at the table.

Logan focused on the face of Buck. Logan knew that Buck was truly happy, but he also knew, somehow, that Buck was also insecure. There was an underlying fear that he would not be allowed here, accepted here, some day. That this happy family would one-day fall apart and each would go his separate way. He was afraid that he would never find this kind of love and acceptance again.

Logan’s reverie was broken by a sound at his elbow. The vision disappeared before his eyes.

“Excuse me Mister.” A young boy said as he stood in the doorway. Logan stepped aside to let the child in, then left the building. He knew in that short time that he had changed. He had found his great, great grandfather in that room, on this land. He felt his spirit all around him. Even more strange, he had the man’s memories, knew his feelings. He was now one with this man from so long ago.

Logan took his time walking back to the visitor center, pondering what had just occurred. He glanced at his watch and was surprised to see that he had been here for hours,

The Visitor’s center hostess was watching for him and called him in from the doorway, afraid that he might leave without coming back inside.

“I found this in the storage room. I remembered seeing it before and thought about it when we were talking earlier. I just thought you might like to see it. You seemed interested.”

She handed him an old sepia print, faded and worn with age, but still clear enough to show what Logan now knew for certain.

“These are the riders stationed here during the Pony Express days. Look at this one here. He looks a little bit like you, but then the image isn’t real clear.”

“He does look like me.” Logan replied as he examined the image of his face and that of the man he had just seen in the bunkhouse. “Thank you for finding this for me.” He handed the print back to her and turned to leave.

“Please don’t forget to sign our guest book. We like to know who comes to visit.”

Logan stopped and signed, then waved to the woman as he left the building, entered his car and drove off. The hostess looked at the book to read the name of the nice young man.

It read: Logan Cross……..Kiowa Nation/ Rock Creek/ Los Angeles, CA

Email Lyn