What A Great Week!

Although kind of hectic, we had a good week of visiting.

Tuesday evening Wild Horse John and Saginaw Sue came down, spending Wednesday with us and leaving Thursday morning.

We headed out Wednesday morning to Stockyard City, perusing the wares of a few stores, picking up Jack's boots and what else do you at the stockyards but dine at Cattlemen's.

Cattlemen's has been around since 1926, being one of the only Cafes that stayed open after sundown. They served many working at the stockyards and the meat packing facilities. Christmas Eve 1945, saw Hank Frey (then owner of Cattlemen's) and Gene Wade have a game of craps. When Hank ran out of money he put up Cattlemen's against Gene's life savings if Gene could roll a 'Hard Six' – two 3's!

Of course he did and the 3 3 brand is prominent on the wall in the Hereford Dining room in recognition of Gene's good luck that night. This story of Cattlemen's (my bits are just a shortened version of their history) is featured on the menu.

What can I say, THE best steaks, great sides and fresh rolls. It is always filled with people and often a wait line to get in. Tables are waited on by staff in black and white, while linen napkins adorn the tables with silverware and glasses. Cattlemen's Double Deuce beer is exceptional, with its Weissbier flavour.

 

As we rolled out the door and headed for the car it was decided that we should take our Wyoming friends to the Land Run monument. They hadn't seen it on previous visits to OKC and I knew there was at least 1 new installation to this great monument.

 

I will have to look back at previous photos to see just how many are new but I'm guessing there is at least 2 or 3 that I felt we had not seen before.

 

Further culling, more sewing and frustration ensued the next couple of days with some successes and not but Saturday we are headed for Leonard, Texas to play with the Texas Ten Horns.

Six great stages, themed around The Christmas Story, where little Ralphie wants a Red Ryder lever action BB gun. Good fun, great lines from the movie and a couple chances to win a BB gun and free shoot at the Great Spaghetti Western next year. Well done Ten Horns and well played!

Mary-Lou July caught up with her cousin Bubba November and suffice to say they had a blast. If nothing else they amused their own posse and themselves. Haa haa haa. Jingle your own dang bells! 🙂

 

After the stages we went in to Lea's for the Christmas party and Dirty Santa, heaps of fun had by all. We have made many great friends down there and will miss them all – another day filled with great memories.

To our hosts for the evening, Hairtrigger Hayes and One Chance Fancy, thank you again for having us. We thoroughly enjoy your company.

Thanks again, to you and yours

Kat xo

 

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Thanksgiving And Chisholm Trail

When an invitation was issued for Thanksgiving in Texas (after a great weekend with Texan friends) and a pending trip lining up perfectly with Thanksgiving yesterday, there was no better way than to combine both.

The Kendrick family and friends were a great bunch! Somewhat rowdy, drinks flowing, plenty of food – sounds like our family gatherings in Australia. Feeling right at home, thank you Anne, Fred, Niki, Amy, Lorin, Misty, Colin, Chris, Kelly, Kimberley, Elaine, Debbie and Gene for making us feel right at home.

 

With appetisers, huge turkeys and side dishes galore it was time for snoozing on the floor or couch in front of the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins game. Dessert followed before we left for Anne's place and watched the highlights of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

After a hearty breakfast this morning we headed back to Oklahoma via Bowie, Texas. As we stopped to take pictures of the big Bowie knife, police are helping wrangle a wayward steer across the top end of the park, without too much success it seemed. Was a funny sight, watching them run across the park!

 

Our actual intent for going this way instead of the I35 home was to go through Duncan, OK and visit the Chisholm Trail

I'm sure many a hardworking cowboy spent Thanksgiving somewhere in the Chisholm Trail corridor during the cattle drive era. Enduring long rides, vast open spaces of grasslands as they drove the cattle forward through Texas, Oklahoma and on in to Kansas perhaps the chuckwagon cooked up the odd turkey or two as a treat for them.

Not quite there, we made a short stop at Comanche to look at their Centennial Plaza. April 1, 1866, 1,800 longhorn cattle were driven through to the railhead of Kansas on the trail mapped out by Jesse Chisholm the previous year.

 

Over the coming years some 4,000,000 head of cattle moved over the Chisholm Trail (US Highway 81 corridor).

We arrived at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan to a beautiful bronze statue of a cattle drive out front with a path laid out for 'The Beginning of Trail' following the trail through rivers, creeks, ranches from Brownsville, Texas through to Abilene, Kansas.

 

Into the Center we went into the Campfire Theatre, an animatronic introduction of Jesse Chisholm talking round a campfire with a cowhand named Tex.

 

Jesse Chisholm was a trader of furs, the first cattle drive followed his wagon wheel ruts to Abilene. From there it become a common route forged in history as cattle were driven from 1866 through 1875.

The Campfire was very well done but then we went into the main theatre for 'The Chisholm Trail Experience'.

An experience it was! Sight, sound, smell, feel! I kid you not, a great little short film – As the cottonwoods sway in the breeze, so too can you feel the breeze. As the rider comes through from behind, you can feel the hooves as he passes by. During the roundup, you can smell the dirt and whilst the cattle freak out and stampede during the storm, so too do you feel the thundering of hooves, the rain on your face and lightning effects!

The displays are exceptionally done and the two beautiful galleries house some significant pieces of artwork and sculptures. At present there is a special photograph exhibition 'American Farmer'. His works are gorgeous, he has definitely captured the character of each farmer.

 

Of course we visited the gift shop and then headed North to Kingfisher. Kingfisher is home to another Chisholm Trail Museum. There is one in Cleburne, Texas also.

CLOSED

Dang it! Trip out here another day during the next couple of weeks then.

Off the trail for now.

Kat xo

 

Parker’s Crossroads

We left Tullahoma, TN this morning and it has been raining overnight. Not long into the trip and it's raining on and off.

Not far from Jackson and not our intended tourist stop for the day, we pulled into Parker's Crossroads for a quick look. Part of the Tennessee Civil War Trails, this where Union Troops led by Col. Cyrus L. Dunham fought Confederate Gen. Nathan B. Forrest's cavalry on December 31, 1862. This is where Forrest gave his famous order to

“Charge them both ways!”


 

Forrest had been dispatched with his 1800 men to sever U.S. Grant's rail communications in West Tennessee. After a successful two-week mission across the region, Forrest then headed east toward the Tennessee River.

 

Five miles northwest of Parker's Crossroads they stopped for a couple of days. Union Gen. Jeremiah C. Sullivan saw a chance to capture Forrest. He sent two brigades to trap the Confederates.

The morning of the 31st, after learning that Forrest's troops were at Flake's Store, Col. Dunham's brigade of 1500 men left Clarksburg and marched South toward Parker's Crossroads.

Dunham's men got to the crossroads first and formed a line of battle at Hick's Field, a mile northwest. Forrest's artillery and dismounted cavalry went into action on the northwest perimeter of Hick's Field, causing Dunham to retreat back towards John Parker's house at the crossroads, where they reformed a line, paralleling the Lexington-Huntingdon Road.

When Forrest flanked this position, Dunham changed his front northward,M suffering severe casualties from Forrest's artillery. Pushed south by the constant bombardment, the Union line took refuge behind a split-rail fence.

While unrelenting artillery fire held Dunham in place, Forrest ordered an attack on the Union rear. Dunham about-faced most of his brigade and charged southward but his forces were surrounded. With the battle seemingly over, Forrest parlayed with Dunham for surrender. Suddenly, Col. Fuller's entire Ohio Brigade arrived from the north behind the Parker house, where it captured 300 Confederate horse-holders.

Forrest was now caught between the two Union brigades. He thundered, “Charge them both ways!”, gathering 75 men and charging into the left flank of the Ohio Brigade. The swift counterattack disrupted the Union attack and Forrest escaped, heading to the Tennessee River Ferry crossing at Clifton.

(The above has been written from the Parker's Crossroads brochure)

All in all, here were 3000 Union soldiers (237 casualties) 1800 Confederate soldiers (500 casualties).

Forrest led a number of brigades through several battles during a a four year period from1861-1865. He later became a member of the Ku Klux Klan in 1867, just two years after it was formed and was elected its first Grand Wizard.

He remains today as a highly controversial individual. Ya think!?! A very interesting story behind this Civil War General indeed.

So there's a little piece of history in brief for today's trip.

Kat xo

Parker's Crossroads

Gen. Nathan B. Forrest

Civil War Battlefields

 

Greeley Stampede

Monday afternoon we headed off with Wild Horse John and Saginaw Sue to the Greeley Stampede in Colorado. The grounds were jumping with carnival rides, vendors and bars. John had organised great seats with a good view to the arena, the chutes and the bull riding when they made the arena shorter.

 

It was a well organised smaller rodeo with some great action throughout the course of the evening with events like Bareback Riding, Saddle Bronc Riding! Steer Wrestling, Tie Down Roping, Team Roping, Barrel Racing, Bull Riding and I think the highlight was the little kids doing the Mutton Bustin'. Hilarious! They would bring in a sheep, bucking and carrying on, grab a kid (rodeo riders in the making), get the kid situated on the sheets back and have hem hold on for dear life for as log as they could. One little cowboy in his lime green chaps rode the sheep just about the full length of the arena and of course won.

 

The rodeo announcer interviewed him after and as they say, kids have no filter when they are little and just tell it like it is.

Announcer: 'where did you get those chaps from?' Mini 5yr old cowboy in the sweetest voice: 'online'. The announcer was a little lost for words and then 'would you like to win a new pair of boots?' Mini cowboy: 'yes'. Announcer: 'would you give Miss Rodeo Colorado a kiss for a new pair of boots?' Mini cowboy: 'no!'

Haa haa haa, priceless, needless to say the boots were his prize for winning so he still got them and I think Miss Rodeo Colorado was just a little heartbroken lol!

 

The 5th generation of Beutler's (3rd, 4th and 5th generations to be precise) Bennie, Rhett and 11 yr old Jake rode the arena and Jake helped out rounding up stray steer's throughout the steer roping and the finale with the bronc's. The family from Elk City, OK are stock contractors and provide the horses and bulls for rodeos across the nation.

 

Had a blast, thanks very much John!

Kat xo

 

End of Trail 2018

It's that time of year where cowboys and cowgirls come together for one of the biggest weeks of shooting.

 

The World Championship of cowboy action shooting is the agenda at Founders Ranch, New Mexico. Five countries – Australia, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand and United States of America competed for the top honor's in both Wild Bunch and Cowboy matches.

This year, as previously reported, we decided to forego Wild Bunch and headed to Cortez prior to this week.

Monday: picked up packs, caught up with friends and readied ourselves for the week ahead. A pleasant surprise was my picture on The Independent for Cowboy Days in Edgewood/Moriarty. Thanks to Cat Ballou the photo BT Blade took of me during Wild Bunch last year was used for their front cover!

 

Tuesday: we did 6 stages of warm up and attempted to get acclimatised to the altitude whilst running uphill or across some of the stages.

Tuesday evening we had a great trip up Sandia Tramway with dinner beforehand at Sandiago's grill with the Range Riders (from Australia) – Pearl Starr, Charlie Wagon, Judge Ruger, Tumbleweed Wagon, Sarah, Stan Wellback and Dallas Roarke.

 

Wednesday: Doily Gang Clinic was on, instructing with Honey B Quick, Shamrock Sadie, Lefty Jo, Two Sons. We had 18 ladies attend the transitions clinic, some returning for the 2nd or 3rd time and others their very first.

Plainsman, shotgun clinics and side matches were on. Cowboy swap meet, vendors are open and the crowds are starting to increase.

The evening kicked off with the opening ceremonies, Tumbleweed Wagon carried the flag for Australia.

 

The Wooly Awards were announced with Texas Jack Daniels receiving one as 2017 Governor of the year and The Territorial Marshal's with match directors Missouri Mae and Flat Top Okie took 2017 Match of the Year for Red Dirt Rampage.

 

The class of 2018 Regulators were announced! Congratulations to each and every one!

 

Thursday: first day of main match and we had the late wave start. It's hot, dusty but ready for action! Stages 1-4.

 

Friday: second day of main match, mid wave, stages 5-8, shopping with vendors and we're still having fun!

 

Saturday: it's the final 4! With the cooler very early start we were soon done and all up to the total scores to see where we all finished. We had a great posse – Posse 25 with posse marshal Chickamauga Charlie, Polly Penny Bright, Coffee, Shotgun Boogie, Hell Hound, Rephil, TinTin, Slow Hand Don, Dutch Bear, Justice Ann, Coal Train, Buck Garrett, Chantilly Shooter, Hot Rock, Hud, Hawkeye Kid, Pearl Starr, Charlie Wagon, Jack and myself.

With the posse shoot done, it was lunch, ice cream and head back to get ready for the banquet.

 

I attended the costume contest and was 2nd place in the new Steampunk category. Congratulations to EZGZ in 1st place. Congratulations to all other category winners and placings! There were some fabulous costumes!

 

The beer flowed, the music played and some showed off their dance skills.

The top 8 Wild Bunch men's and ladies were announced, as was the top 16 cowboys and cowgirls. Clancy and I were the only two Australians to make the shootout this year for cowboy match and RC Shot for the Wild Bunch shootout as an alternate.

 

Sunday: the shootout gets under way. Congratulations to Idaho Sixgun Sam and Last Chance Morales for winning not only the shootout but overall top lady and man for 2018 Wild Bunch.

The cowboy shootout is run and final finish was Holy Terror for the ladies and C.S. Brady for the men.

Jack finished 10th in his category with 1st place going to Long Swede, 2nd Hell's Comin, 3rd Silver City Rebel, 4th Angry Tom, 5th Lucky Thirteen, 6th Texas Mean Gene, 7th Fast Eddie, 8th Kansan and 9th El Lazo. Congratulations Silver Senior's on your placings!

 

In Lady Wrangler category, 10th Wild Cattle Kate, 9th Ms. Laurie Darlin, 8th Ex Sighted, 7th Young Lady, 6th Ruby Jewel, 5th Idaho Sixgun Sam, 4th Legally Loaded, 3rd Clancy, 2nd Echo Meadows who cheekily offered to hold my World Championship trophy again. Lol! Congratulations ladies!

 

Out of 22 Aussie's 14 placed, 2 received Spirit of the Game awards, 2 placed in costume and if I remember correctly, 6 or 7 got clean matches.

Overall winners this year were Matt Black and Holy Terror. Congratulations to two fine young shooters!

 

For everyone who attended End of Trail 2018, may it have been with goals achieved. Whether your first ever or multiple entry, I sincerely hope you enjoyed the experience.

Kat xo

 

Stampede At South River

This year The South River Shootists hosted the 2018 SASS Georgia State Championship – Rooster Cogburn and the Lady.

The South River Gun Club in Covington, Georgia is a fabulous facility for multiple shooting sports, a club house and great amenities. It was nice to meet Len (president of the club) and Dun Gamblin' as they roamed the range during the weekend.

The cowboy range is spectacular. Tree lined berms, shade structures, umbrellas on unloading tables, shade over loading tables. The facades were all done with Rooster and Eula, throw in the odd horse, nitro box, wagon etc. Every range has fine gravel base and the paths down to the ranges are all asphalt making for a pleasant guncart expedition.

The weather cooperated (who'd have thought!?!?) and other than a fine misty shower or two it held out for the whole match!!

Thursday we shot 4 stages of Wild Bunch Posse'd with Cardboard Cowboy, Foxy Filly, Bo Dacious, Doc Kemm, Doc Who, Knot Hardly Dunn, Shamrock Sadie, Three Gun Lady, Silver Pistols, Slippery Stew, Doc Southerly, Kontankerous Tee, Rolan Kraps, and Schofield Twin. We then went our separate ways with Jack doing 6 stages of Black Powder while I spent the afternoon doing warm up stages. A big thank you to Reno Mustang and Dodge City Dixie for letting me rest my guns in your guncart!

 

That night Georgia Gypsy and Pale Ale Rider invited us into their home. Along with some other cowboy's and cowgirl's we enjoyed some great German food by Chef Gypsy. (she is an actual chef!) We thank you both for your fabulous hospitality.

Friday and we are into the main match with 6 stages today followed up with ice cream social, couples and team shoot. A great day, a few fumbles, a miss for each of us but tomorrow's another day as we say. Great Posse, everyone worked, some newer shooters as well – Jack and I, Shamrock Sadie, Knot Hardly Dunn, Double Tap, No Limit, Mt Zion Gypsie, Mt Zion Yellowboy, Maverick Fitzpatrick, Tucker T Fudpucker, Fancy Fillie, Buckshot Collins, Hambone Hannah, Doc Kemm, Doc Who, Dollar Down, Gatlin Glennie and Ranger Law.

 

Saturday comes around and we have the final 4 to do. With that out of the way we had lunch and headed down for the shoot off. An 'anyone can enter' shoot off, Shamrock Sadie and I decided to join the Open category ie: we shot wih the men and if we both hadn't fumbled with shotgun reloads we would have made it past our first rounds!

 

Good fun and it freed up the other ladies to enjoy a shootout. Congratulations to Sue Render and Red River Ray for winning the shootout!!

Back to the motel and it's time to get ready for the banquet and awards. The banquet was held at the Georgia International Horsepark in the Carriage Room. What a beautiful facility with a gorgeous rose garden, bridge, pond and a summer house/pergola – perfect for the LOCAS picture.

 

Had the opportunity to enter the costume contest this time wearing my silver and purple saloon outfit I won first place. Congratulations to all the other winners and spectacular costumes!

 

The banquet had a full service bar and staff attending to a beautiful buffet dinner. The food was amazing.

Into the awards and the match hosts certainly go all out with their awards, prize draws etc. Jack and I won the couples shoot. A buckle with a timber insert laser engraved with the logo etc.

Wild Bunch – I managed a clean match and was the only one who did. haa haa haa cracked me up! So a neat clean match pin, I won Ladies Traditional and Ladies Overall. Jack won Senior Modern, well done man!

 

Black Powder – Jack's rifle played up on the final stage of Wild Bunch which turned out to being a lost firing pin. He went to use the rifle on his first stage of the Black Powder match (thankfully rifle was first) and it wouldn't do anything. Believe it or not he found the pin up on the stage where he last shot for Wild Bunch too. As is the cowboy way, another shooter then says 'here, use mine, here is some ammo' and Jack is able to continue to shoot. Thank you Palmetto Traveller for loaning Jack your rifle. Jack placed 3rd in Senior.

Main Match – Jack finished a credible 2nd place in Senior category! Congratulations to Double Nickle 1st place, Mustang Dave 3rd place, Rooster Ray 4th place and Georgia State Champion and 5th place, Dungannon Gunner! Congrats gents.

 

I won Lady Wrangler with congratulations going to Georgia State Champion and 2nd Place Dixie Pistols, 3rd place Alchemist Belle, 4th place Cotton Tail, 5th place Pinky Pistols! Congrats ladies.

 

Congratulations to Georgia State overall men's Christian Mortician and Maggie Darlin' over all ladies. Christian Mortician and myself men's and ladies overall match champions!

 

The Top 20 also received a pin – for me, 14th overall.

Thank you again to all involved with the match, volunteers, sponsors to the match, etc. Stampede at South River was a great match and I would recommend it to anyone! It's a must do match!

Kat xo

 

Georgia On My Mind

Tuesday we hit the road travelling through Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee and into Mississippi. We made an overnight stop at Olive Branch and today are hitting the road for Georgia.

As Elvis crooned across our airwaves yesterday Jack said we would make a stop at Tupelo to Elvis' birthplace and Museum. Yippee!

This morning we made the stop in Tupelo, Mississippi to visit the Museum. No photos are allowed in the Museum which features times during the Depression when times were tough for Vernon and Gladys Presley. There are many photos, memorabilia, clothing worn by Elvis and more.

Elvis Aaron Presley was born January 8, 1935 (his twin brother was stillborn) in the tiny little two room 'shotgun' style house at this very site.

The small church Elvis and his family attended was a block over on Adams Street. When the church needed to build a larger facility it was used as a house and later purchased by the Museum in 2008 and relocated here to its current site on the house and Museum grounds.

 

He grew up with the church services and the gospel sounds that would set Elvis on a path of music, beyond the weekly gatherings around the radio listening to the Grand Old Opry.

It was Reverend Frank Smith who taught a young and shy Elvis a few guitar chords. He was encouraged to perform during services, often with his parents. The Reverend would walk and play which statements attribute this to Elvis performance style.

Also noted in the Museum was that Elvis used to entertain himself with simple toys and Captain Marvel, Jr comics. Speculation maybe? They also suggest his signature hairstyle and perhaps the TCB (taking care of business) lightning bolt could have been attributed to these comics.

 

In 1938, the family lost their house when Vernon was sent to prison for forging a check (cheque) where he served 8 months of a 3 year sentence. Gladys would work to keep food on the table.

As Elvis continued school, taking his guitar with him at times performed for friends. His teacher entered him in a state contest where he placed 5th.

In 1948 the Presley's moved to Memphis. This became a turning point in Elvis' career where he began performing with other boys who played music. He still had the intention of being part of a Gospel quartet.

In 1953, he paid $3.95 to make his first recording 'My Happiness' and 'That's When The Heartache Begins'. Then if you have ever done a Sun Studio's tour in Tennessee, we all now what happened after that and how Marion Kesker had saved the recording and later Sam Phillips produced many of Elvis' recordings.

The grounds to the Museum are spectacular with plaques of information during the years of pivotal moments, a bronze statue depicting a young Elvis in oversized overalls and a meandering walk both wheelchair accessible by way of ramps and paths or stairs to the top of the property to another statue called 'Becoming'.

 

This stunning statue shows a small Elvis and as a mature, larger than life flamboyant style as he had become.

 

Onwards and we cross into another state we have not visited – Alabama. We will pass the Talladega Super Speedway. Now comes to mind, besides NASCAR races of course, is Talladega Nights – Ricky Bobby, shake and bake – a very funny movie. We will make a stop here on the return trip to the Motorsports Speedway Museum and Hall of Fame!

 

From Alabama winding through the Talladega National Forest, we continued East heading across the border into Georgia.

 

We found the range, then the hotel and we are ready for an early start tomorrow. We missed the registration as we forgot we would lose an hour!

Kat xo