The Legend of the Shadow Horse Gang

14 May

For the past several years, I have joined a team of professors on a field trip course to New Mexico. Heck, I have been going for so long that I do not even know how many times I have been. This year, I have other duties at work that are preventing me from going, and it feels weird. It is as if going to New Mexico every May has been programmed into my DNA.

Tonight feels especially strange because they are leaving in the morning. I should be finishing up with packing around this time, but I am typing a blog post instead. Well, I will not have to get up at 5:00 in the morning. That is one positive thing. Another positive thing is that I will not be away from my family for 12 days.

However, I will still miss the experience of the trip. Four professors and a group of students build a community of experiential learning that cannot be matched in the classroom. I have said many times that there is nothing like teaching history at the place where history happened. Hopefully, there is nothing like learning history in the same way.

The group will head out in the morning filled with anticipation. Some people will not know each other, but they will by the time they reach Sallisaw, Oklahoma for the first night of rest. The students think that the first days of riding are just a way to get to New Mexico. However, they are wrong. The learning and the experience begin as soon as they leave campus.

Over the next couple of weeks, the group will do all kinds of cool stuff, but it all adds up to one thing – an experience that they would not have if not for Dr. Heifner, the man who puts it all together. It is also an experience that can never be repeated. We have had students go more than once, but each trip is its own entity.

After last year’s trip, I wrote about the Shadow Horse Gang, the name I gave to the group of teachers that go on this trip.BB-New Mexico 105

The ride of the Shadow Horse Gang is changing. A couple of them have retired. One feels like his time is coming to a close. I am sitting this ride out.

Dr. Heifner would like for me to take over the trip, and that is something that I would like. However, I will need to recruit new members to the gang. Our dean is taking my place on this run. Maybe he will like it enough to join. We have other teachers who would be great additions.

The trip is legendary around our campus, and I hope the Shadow Horse Gang is just as legendary. I have no idea what the future of the gang will be, but the legend will continue.

9 Responses to “The Legend of the Shadow Horse Gang”

  1. Marilyn Armstrong May 14, 2014 at 02:26 #

    That sounds like a wonderful experience and something I wish I could do. Sorry you had to beg off this year 😦

    • Rick May 14, 2014 at 02:34 #

      It’s a great trip. We see the area in a different way than the tourists see it.

  2. El Guapo May 14, 2014 at 02:34 #

    One day, the exploits of the Shadow Horse Gang may be the basis of a history field trip!

    • Rick May 14, 2014 at 02:35 #

      It’s a rough crew. Hide the women and children when you see them on the horizon.

  3. ambercanread May 14, 2014 at 22:23 #

    Man, if I didn’t get so carsick, I’d volunteer for the gang. I’d be the literary expert, I suppose! 🙂

    • Rick May 15, 2014 at 03:14 #

      Don’t worry about getting carsick. We take vans.

  4. jcalberta May 15, 2014 at 04:43 #

    Awesome! Sounds like a wonderful experience. Love that name too.

    • Rick May 15, 2014 at 14:38 #

      It’s a great trip. Students actually came up with the name.


  1. The Great Month of May | Surrounded By Imbeciles - May 31, 2014

    […] The Legend of the Shadow Horse Gang […]

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