Hot Springs, Arkansas, home of the Mountain Valley Vigilantes and hosts of 'Shootin' In The Shade' Annual match (which was also the 2014 Arkansas State Championships).
Hot Springs is known for it's many bath houses and healing waters, it was developed as a bath house town in the 1800's. Their 8 historic Bath Houses maintained by the National Park known as Bathhouse Row on Central Avenue. (See pic below and bottom right corner is The Arlington Hotel – where Al Capone often visited!)
A few have Native American names I noticed and a little bit of research tells me that they of course knew of and used the healing waters for many years and so some of the bath houses were named after different tribes.
Labour Day weekend is also their Blues Festival so it was a very busy little town! Despite an occasional shower of rain.
Check out this marble statue in the middle island of the street.
This huge hotel, bath house looks like it is unfortunately being torn down.
And I had to get a pic of this cake shop! What an awesome name! Love it.
The MVA's range is set wayyyy out in the forest amongst beautiful trees in the Ouchita Mountains, great facades and facilities. Whilst it was extremely humid, there was plenty of shade!
So we had set off Thursday catching up with our Okie mates along the road in Alma at the Catfish Hole and later for drinks, dinner and stories (lies we would say, hey TR?!).
Friday was the Professionals match which we shot with our usual Wild Bunch guns and then the afternoon was filled with practice, speed events and a ladies 'High Tea' where Velvet Glove, Cheeka Bow Wow, Mimsy and Ima Dunnit shared secrets, shortcuts and ideas for costuming for all ends of the spectrum and budget.
Main match commenced Saturday with 6 stages under our belt and a few misses too!! The targets are smaller than we're used too and you will see by the pic's are out there! So a little more precision was required.
The evening ended with the banquet held in Hot Springs at The Regency, filled with cowboys, Victorian Ladies, Saloon Girls, Silver Screen men and ladies and Military. The band if I recall was called '1, 2, 3' and Fast Fingers Green once again picked a couple of tunes with the band!
Annie Shadows took 3rd Place, Mustang Toni 2nd and myself, Kathouse Kelli 1st Place in Best Dressed Soiled Dove.
A great night of laughing, chatting and dancing.
Sunday morning and a low mist looked like we might get rain today for the final 4 stages (we got some rain during the last 2 nights) but it stayed away until just before the awards where there was a short heavy shower and then it cleared for the drive home.
So times weren't blinding fast for this match but the stages were quite good, a nice mix of transitions and we did have a great Posse. Once again we shot with some familiar faces and met some new people with Boomstick Jay and Elle Wood, Buffalo Bill Matthewson and Longbranch Kitty, Dusty Dee and Rusty Rider, Copper Rose and Printer Doc, Kid Koo, Kowboy Koo, Rotten Shot Laura, South Paw Mike, Yell County Kid, Outrider and our Posse Marshall Dewey Cheatem. Dewey's twin cherubs came and helped pick up brass today, cute and very well behaved kids.
So this is what I remember with awards for us and some of our friends.
Senior Category – Jackaroo 2nd Place, Snake Oil George 4th Place (1st I Reckon, 3rd Place and Arkansas State Champion Just Charlie)
B Western – Flat Top Okie 2nd Place
Wrangler – Scott Wayne 3rd Place (1st Place C S Brady, 2nd Place Slick McClade)
Elder Statesman – Tail N Kid 2nd Place (1st Place Arizona Ranger, 3rd Place and Arkansas State Champ Piney Woods)
Silver Senior – Ambler 1st Place, Fast Fingers Green 3rd
49ers – Naildriver 1st Place and Arkansas State Champ
Frontier Cartridge Duelist – Bois D' Arc 3rd Place
Lady Senior – Tacky Jackie 3rd Place (Copper Rose 1st Place and Arkansas State Champion)
Lady 49er – Missouri Mae 1st Place (Mustang Toni 2nd Place)
Lady Wrangler – Kathouse Kelli 1st Place (2nd Place Ivory, 3rd Place and Arkansas Champion Cheeka Bow Wow)
A few more placed but without scores yet, can't remember their categories.
In closing, Top Overall Lady was Missouri Mae and Top Overall Man was CS Brady. Top Arkansas State Champions were CS Brady and Velvet Glove. Congratulations to all winners for this match and to all shooters in attendance.
Now it's time to head back to Oklahoma!! Night y'all!
PS 1st Place in Ladies Traditional for the Professional Match with 2nd Place Garbage Gertie 😉
PPS for more information on the Mt Valley Vigilantes, take a gander at the following. Cheers!