It Was All They Knew

As I sit watching “Back to the Future III” for the hundredth time, I wonder how this modern woman, would be able to survive traveling back to Arizona’s Wild West. It is simple, I wouldn’t! Let’s not forget all those crazy notorious cowboys and women that might shoot you for looking at them wrong, but no air conditioning, asphalt roads and ice water, how barbaric. I am curious on how in the hell they survived the extreme Arizona heat in the summertime. I know that these dusty hot conditions were all they knew, but if they had a taste of what we have nowadays, they wouldn’t want to go back to the Wild West era.

I can relax on my comfy couch, flipping through the cable channels to find something interesting to watch on TV. Next to me you might find my cell phone, laptop and a glass of iced coffee all while enjoying the central air cooling down the house. The Wild West houses were probably made mostly of wood, stone and mud or stucco, with no air conditioning units on the roof. Some of their homes might have some type of fan blowing, but during the high humid months, those are virtually rendered useless. The windows would be left open so the uncomfortable hot stale air would blow through the house in hope to cool the occupants down. Yeah right, that would never happen, but it was all they knew.

Most houses didn’t have electricity or a fridge with bottled water and iced tea inside to quench your thirst. The drink of choice in most places was whiskey. If you wanted water to drink, you would have to stick your head in a horses’ trough providing that the horse was willing to share. If that wasn’t bad enough, try shitting in an outhouse when the temperature is over 100 degrees. If the smell didn’t get to you, the heat would. I don’t even want to know what they wiped their asses with, maybe sandpaper? But again, it didn’t bother them because it was all they knew.

Our Wild West peeps were living and pooping in sweltering structures, but it didn’t matter because their clothes didn’t keep them cool anyway. The dresses, pants, shirts and blouses were heavy and were layered with a petticoat or long johns underneath. The shoes and boots looked uncomfortable with either a hat or bonnet on their head for protection or just for looks. I am telling you that someone would have made a killing selling sandals, flip flops, cotton tees or tank tops and sun glasses to those Wild West folks. But I’m sure that riding a horse wouldn’t have gone well with flip flops. I also wonder how many of them suffered from heat stoke wearing all that thick clothing during the summer months. I’m sure that it was uncomfortable, but that was all they knew.

Let’s talk about their modes of transportation. They either bounced around on a horse for miles or rode in a wagon with wood wheels over the rough terrain being tossed around like rag dolls all while traveling. They didn’t have paved roads to drive on with their factory made cars with rubber wheels. There was no air conditioning cooling them off or listening to their favorite tunes on the radio. Their way of traveling may have been a bit crude by modern standards, but they didn’t complain because that was all they knew.

Would I want to go back in time to Arizona’s Wild West period and miss out on all the things that I need to get me through the day…..hell no! (This is all I know.)


  1. I always wonder about the old Southerners that same way. Especially the slaves. They worked in over 100 degree temerature day in and day out with no relief. Whenever I think of almost any history, I know I wouldn't make it. I can hardly make it to my car from work in this heat.

  2. My too Max. I have the DVD's and watch the marathon of all three movies every time they are on cable.

    Jessica, I was driving from Phoenix to Surprise and for some reason it hit me, how did the pioneer people of AZ survive this heat? I had the air blowing full blast in my car and singing to the tunes on the radio. They never had that. I just wouldn't survive without all our modern amenities, lol.

  3. I must say I love my creature comforts!

  4. Tara, I totally agree. However if my camera came with me on the brief trip back to the Wild West, I could make a killing on selling the photos of the famous outlaws. Humm, naw, I will stick with the ghost towns of the present instead.

  5. We certainly take a lot for granted. I doubt I've have survive the hardships anyone endured back in the 1800's. No way; no how!

  6. Brenda; we all feel the same as way in hell would we survive, lol.

  7. Yeah, I'm in the Southeast with high heat and humidity. No air conditioning way back when would have done me in for sure.
    Good blog.

  8. Thanks Nick...the humidity is high for AZ in the months of July and August, but not quite as high as you are used too.

  9. I like the way you talk about this point. This was thought out and put together. A lots blogs talk about nothing exist on the net.

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