Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma

Friday we left behind our Aussie friends, such wonderful hospitality and thank you ever so much for showing us just a few of the sights of Utah. Can't wait to visit again to see more. ❤ 🙂

Heading up through Arizona to Jacob Lake, we made a quick stop at La Fevre overlook – 6700ft. The snow is now rock solid ice but the scenery is sensational.

 

We saw a coyote through the next beautiful sections but given I was typing, missed the opportunity for photo. He was beautiful as he stood out against the snowy backdrop, looking back over his shoulder towards the other side of the road. I wondered if he had a mate close by or whether something had chased him.

 

Through Jacob Lake and now heading to Marble Canyon, we wound our way through the Kaibab National Park only to pop out the other side to red rock cliffs, desolate ground and straight roads again.

 

From Grants, I drove the rest of the day to Moriarty where we parked for the night at the usual stop – Sunset Motel. New Mexico turned on a spectacular sunset behind us as we drove through Albuquerque.

Out early this morning we stopped at Tucumcari for breakfast and hit the road again. It's 62F, sunshine, country music and highways.

 

Made it! We are back in Oklahoma, after another fabulous trip!

Kat xo

 

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Winter Range Wrap Up

The week began with Sunday being somewhat wet and miserable still with folks hoping it would dry out ready for Winter Range to start last Monday.

Heading out to the range later that day to register and pick up packs, it as sunny but cool and the waddies were desperately trying to create drains around vendor tents and pump water off ranges.

 

Monday and Tuesday were for Wild Bunch. Ten stages were done, along with some long range side match and speed. Our posse for Wild Bunch was Half-A-Hand Henri, Long Swede, Dixie Bell, Constable Nelson, Rooster Cockburn, Medicine Creek Johnny, Big Foot Billy, Deadwood Fred, Wolf Gang, Haole, Paniola Annie, Kid Rich, Shirttail Bess, Mad Dog Mark, Mar-Lynn, Matchlock, Ottercreek Bushwacker, Yellowstone Vic, Flyin' Shootist, Brushy Creek Bill, and Major Pain.

 

Tuesday afternoon was spent helping out with the Doily Gang Clinic, giving some coaching to ladies wanting to improve their transitions. I Posse'd with Dixie Bell and Whirlwind Wendy and we had 10 beautiful ladies to teach. I spoke to a few of them throughout the week and seems all are happy to have taken away something from the clinic and are excited about their matches.

Wednesday, it's warm up, side matches (which we didn't do this year), shopping, eating, catching up with more cowboys and the opening ceremonies. The fly over of 11 war birds lead by Lt. Col Scratch in his Nang Chang was spectacular and I bet those Cowboys that were chosen to go for a ride were absolutely loving it!

 

Thursday, Friday and Saturday were main match days. Four stages each and at the end of the 12, Jack and I were pretty satisfied with how we had shot our matches and would eagerly wait to hear the results. We had a great Posse, Posse 30! Alvira Sullivan Earp and Virgil Earp (our Aussie friends), Bois D'Arc and Tacky Jackie (Oklahoma friends), Chugwater One Shot, Coal Train, High Country, Honest Henry, J.B. Corn (and his lovely wife Aurora who kept all our scores for us), Just Marshall, Kerman Kid, Lazlo Scarr, Little Joe Dalton, Marshal Law, Pill Peddler, Sgt. StroDog, Standpat Steve, Valrico Kid and of course Jack and myself.

 

Friday night was Saloon night and this year they had craps tables, black jack, Texas hold 'em and the infamous Doc Holliday (we saw him when visiting Tombstone a few times) with his Faro table and regaling people with his stories. You handed your chips in, when you were ready to leave, in exchange for prize tickets of which I was lucky enough to win a voucher with Wild West Mercantile!

 

Saturday is of course the day of relief I guess, the match is done and everyone now gets to enjoy the Banquet and side match awards. Costume contest is on and I had the pleasure of being a judge this year. I stepped aside from my judging duties for Pea Patch to step in when a couple of ladies presented in costumes I had made for them. Costume Judges this year were myself, Goodness Grace, Cowtown Scout, Skinny and Capt.

 

The shoot off participants for Wild Bunch and cowboy were announced. Making it into the sweet sixteen with 3 other Lady Wranglers meant it was going to be a close match for us all.

 

This brings us to yesterday, I had one run in the shootout with fellow Lady Wrangler and my main competition Echo Meadows. She shot well and made it through to the next round after I left 3 plates up.

For the Ladies the shootout was won by Molly Magoo and for the Men's, Slick McClade.

So onto the awards and first up the SASS Wild Bunch presented the Wooly Award to the Winter Range Board for their 2016 match.

For Wild Bunch, the overall winners were Captain Sam Evans for Men and Texas Tiger for the Ladies. Jackaroo placed 9th for Wild Bunch Senior Modern and I finished 3rd in Ladies Traditional.

This year's Cowboy match had 111 people from 749 shoot a clean match! That's no misses, no procedurals etc! Outstanding effort and was achieved by three of the Aussie's – Frank James, Renegade Ty and Rooster Cockburn.

Out of the 10 Australians participating, 8 of them (sorry if you did too Renegade Ty but I didn't catch that one) placed in their categories. Constable Nelson, 8th Place in Forty Niners. Frank James, 9th Place in Senior. Alvira Sullivan Earp, 5th Place in Ladies Silver Senior. KC Woody, 7th Place in Senior Gunfighter.

Jackaroo finished 7th Place in Silver Senior and 60th overall! He shot a great match and wasn't too far off me.

I'm ecstatic, I achieved my goal for this match finishing 1st Place Lady Wrangler, 2nd Lady overall and placed 57th overall.


AND the 2017 Winter Range US National Champions overall with a huge congratulations goes to SASS Kicker for the Ladies and Deuce Stevens for the Men.

Here's congratulations to all the competitors who placed at Winter Range and we will see you again somewhere down the road for the next one.

Kat xo

 

All Done and Dusted

Just a quick one before I get changed up from shooting into Victorian loveliness.

It's been a great week of sunshine and clear skies, we couldn't have asked for more!

 

Around 760 shooters will now be eagerly awaiting the outcome tomorrow. It's been another awesome Winter Range and it will be what it will be. Good luck to all the shooters and hope you have achieved what you came here to do.

To all the new and first time participants I hope you have thoroughly enjoyed your time at Winter Range and for those who haven't been yet – never be afraid to go to a big match!!

Tonight will be side match awards, shindig, costume contest and announcement of Top 16 Mens and Ladies!

Cheers!

Kat xo

 

On To Phoenix

We are into Arizona and heading south, passing through Wildcat Canyon at around 7000ft and there are still some drifts of snow around.

Albeit a little dirty on the edges, it still makes for some very pretty scenery amongst the pine trees.

 

It's another long day on the road but we will be in Phoenix late this afternoon.

Breathing fresh, crisp mountain air.

Kat xo

 

Road Trip Commenced!

Yes folks it's that time of year again where some 760 shooters will mosie on in to the Ben Avery Shooting Facility for the US Nationals of Cowboy Action Shooting.

 

We are just outside of Santa Rosa, New Mexico having stopped earlier in Amarillo, Texas for lunch, still heading for Phoenix, Arizona. Now at 5000ft even the water bottles are feeling it! Lol!


Tonight we are in Old Town Albuquerque. After gathering supplies for the tonight and a bit for next week, we will head down into Arizona tomorrow.

Ran into Misty, Roxy and Amber in Edgewood Walmart. Walked straight past looking for something when they said hello, not once but twice before I realised! 🙂 how embarrassment!

We have 8 Aussie's shooting Winter Range this year and plenty of cowboys and cowgirls to catch up with!

Exciting times ahead! Stay tuned!

Cheers big ears!

Kat xo

 

Grand Canyon West Skywalk

This morning in Kingman we were going to do the Mohave Museum of History and Art but on entering we realised we had actually done it along with the Route 66 Powerhouse Museum in 2012.

So a couple of snaps of the murals on the outside of the building, and a Happy 100th Birthday Bonelli House – missed that one again – opens too late for us, and we are on the road heading for today's adventure.

 

We are close to the western rim of the Grand Canyon and seeing as we have talked about doing the skywalk in the past, there is no time like the present!

It is sunny and cool today, a little cloud but I'm betting by the time we get there we should have some sensational views!

As we pass Chloride, the backdrop of mountains is stunning and can see some dusting of snow still. I wonder if there will be snow still in the Grand Canyon? They had some the week before.

 

The weird looking cactus trees I mentioned were trying to flower yesterday? Joshua Trees and this is about 21 miles of a Joshua Tree forest.

 

Well we made it to the rim! Little bits of snow, sunshine and glorious views! First stop was Hualapai Ranch…..hmmm, I'm sorry but the cowboy buildings and facades were better at Winter Range. Lunch was good though and made use of the wagons to get a decent photo.

 

Onto Eagle Point and the Skywalk. WOW! Just love the scenery you find here. Standing on the very edge of the canyon it is hard to fathom the depth or get 4000ft into perspective. For me it was like standing at the top of an 82m tower crane, very cool! Jack enjoyed it because there were railings and felt comfortable at the feeling of enclosure.

 

You can't take photos on the skywalk and all belongings are to be locked into lockers before you go through security. Then you don the fabulous shoe covers lol, and can proceed to walk onto the glass skywalk.

 

Not only is the view spectacular but the great engineering feat that went into making this happen is truly outstanding. One million pounds of steel, 83 million pounds of glass – the 10ft wide platform can hold 71 million pounds, the equivalent to 71 fully loaded 747 planes!

 

A quick stop at Guano Point and before the next little ice storm hits it's back in the bus and head back to the main terminal.

 

There is a little ranch on the side of the road as you head out to the Skywalk and this sign was at the side of the road. As you head out there it says……

 

And as you are coming back it says…. (Bit hard to read – says long road ahead, come here instead)

 

Haa haa haa, anyway, on the road now to the next overnight stop in Boulder City.

 

Cheers

Kat xo

For more information about Kingman and it's museums or Grand Canyon West Skywalk, click on the links below.

 

Wickenburg, AZ

Packed in the rain this morning and headed towards Wickenburg. A stop we have made in the past coming to Winter Range when we've flown in to LA.

The Cowboy Cafe was on the horizon for brunch, when what do my wandering eyes did appear?! It's no longer there and in its place a saloon 😦

So it was the Twin Wheels Cafe that took care of us with bacon, eggs, toast and coffee. Great little cowboy cafe with bits and pieces, film photos etc on the walls.

Now if you have never been to Wickenburg before then you must make a visit to the Desert Cabelleros Western Museum. It's a must see. Didn't go there this time but visited in 2011 and 2012.

We also keep missing the 'Cowgirl Up!' – Art from The Other Half Of The West. This exhibition is on around 21st March and always out of sync for us to take it in.

 

The town of Wickenburg was named after and founded by Henry Wickenburg, a Prussian born prospector who discovered the Vulture Mine. Wickenburg is one of Arizona's oldest towns. It was a gold mining town in the 1800's and is now famous for its annual Gold Rush Days event and Team Roping competitions amongst others.

 

Anyway heading down the road it appears some of the weird cactus trees are starting to flower and then 10miles out of Kingman, yes there is snow on them hills! Last time we came through Kingman in 2013 it was hotter than hell and 108F/42C.

 

Stopping here in Kingman for the night. Have a good one!

Kat xo

For more information about Wickenburg, The Museum or Henry Wickenburg, check out the following links!

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Wickenburg

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wickenburg,_Arizona

http://westernmuseum.org