Read more of Riley’s Ramblings in Andi’s Attic >>
Fort Alcatraz, early February 1877
God answered my prayer to get us off this island in San Francisco Bay. I’ve been praying extra hard ever since Tom Malloy tricked me into playing hide-and-go-seek in the prison cell blocks a couple of weeks ago. Can a fella get any dumber? I learned my lesson, that’s for sure.
Pa was real serious, and I mean his “don’t-mess-with-me” serious, when he promised Mama and me he would get a transfer off this rock. His superior officers couldn’t understand why he would want to leave his command post at Fort Alcatraz to simply become the captain of an army troop again. It’s very unusual to see a captain in command of a whole fort. Usually majors and colonels command. My best guess about that? Nobody wants to command this Alcatraz post, not even a sergeant. So they were happy to get Pa, a captain. Now that he wants off, he told the colonel at the Presidio, who is over both posts, that he would take anything.
So, where are we off to? Colonel Johnson arranged it so Pa could command a troop at Fort Bridger in Wyoming Territory. I found a map. It is a long way from San Francisco, California, to Fort Bridger, Wyoming. But there is good news. Since Mama is still getting her strength back from being ill for so many years, Pa says we will take the railroad cars! All the way from San Francisco to the fort!
Mama is really happy about the move. The doctor says the climate of Wyoming is much better for Mama’s health than the wet, soggy climate of San Francisco. I hear it’s really cold in Wyoming in the winter and very hot in the summertime. Plus, it’s windy most of the time. I don’t mind the wind.
The Best News of All!
Pa says I can take Midnight to Fort Bridger. Oh, I miss Midnight so much (about as much as I miss Andi). I’m can’t sit still thinking about riding Midnight with the wind in Wyoming. Pa says that in Wyoming there are miles and miles and miles of nothing but grass and flat spaces. Oh, won’t Midnight and I have a wonderful time?