Let me start by introducing myself. My name is Buckshot, and I am an old gunfighter that has been in the Vegas area for a very long time. There are not many gunfighters left, let alone old ones, for apparent reasons. I have survived hemp neck ties, been blown up in outhouses, and shot in the streets, and I am still around.
When a fella reaches my age he starts thinking about meeting his Maker (that ought to be interesting), and wants to leave a legacy. The only thing I have to leave is a little wisdom and knowledge that was passed on to me, and I would like to pass it on to you. Please remember that I am a man caught between past and present, and most of the facts are pretty close to true, but minor details may not be. These are things I have been told by scholars, Indians, miners, mountain men, and dying men.
Being a gunfighter means I have been on the move a lot, usually in the desert. In the beginning I shared the land with the Paiute and Moapa Indians, a few miners, and desert varmints, mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes, bighorn, fox, rattlesnakes, lizards, tarantulas, scorpions, hawks and quail.
The desert is a very busy place, but usually at night. Most critters sleep all day and feed all night. Just check out all the tracks in the sand sometime. The stories they will tell are fascinating. The desert is a wondrous place full of life and hidden beauty; you just have to know where to look.
When going into the desert there are a few things a man needs. In the old days it was much Cactustougher. For instance, I have pulled a lot of cactus out of myself and my horse with two sticks using them like chopsticks, or even a couple of rocks, but now days we have a leatherman tool. This is priceless in the desert. Shoot, it will help you do anything except saddle your horse. I have a pair of pointed ones and they have helped me pull many a cactus out of me and dozens of others. What a great invention!!! I have a few suggestions for what you better have with you if you are in the desert and things go wrong.
First a hat, good boots, a leatherman, a mount that can go on little food and water, matches or some thick glasses, as much knowledge as possible on the plants and wildlife, and a canteen full of water. No whiskey! If you have these things, you could spend a couple days walking in the desert and make it to safety. Remember, always travel at night.
For the next few months I will be sharing my legacy with you in personal stories with some survival tips included. Stories like: In the 1800s there was a non-alcoholic drink called Sarsaparilla. It was made from the root of the Sassafras plant. The old cowboys couldn’t read or write so well, but they knew it was made from a root and looked like beer, so they just called it root beer. As time went on the name sarsaparilla was changed to root beer.
I will also be telling you tricks to using the desert to help you survive if you end up in a bad situation. Eating the cactus will help keep you alive because there is a lot of moisture and vitamins in the cactus. Next time I will share how to identify and use the plants and animals to your advantage, if by chance you are caught in the desert in a bad way. The things I will share with you have saved many a desert dweller. Until next time… happy trails, think fast and shoot straight!!!!