CO State Championships Main Match

It was clear skies heading to the range Saturday morning after a spectacular fireworks display over Fort Collins last night for Independence Day celebrations.

We could see the mountains, a gorgeous sight with some small patches of snow still on the tops of the “Fourteeners”.

Second day of shooting was done on Saturday ending up with 4 misses for me and a clean match for Jackaroo! Well done man!

Thank you Posse 5, great work! And to all those who helped out with this shoot for some 165+ Shooters, good match, thanks Pawnee Station and to The Full Moon Saloon for shutting down their bar to host a bunch of cowboys n cowgirls for fun, frivolity, banquet and games on Saturday night.

This morning, Sunday, was another hot start to the day with many throwing their name tag in the bucket and being drawn to see who’s going head to head in the Top Gun Challenge. We had a crack at it but small mistakes mean it’s anyone’s game for this! Congratulations to Painted Filly who came in for our round when I dropped a shot and to Shaky when Jackaroo was ahead then fumbled with his last two rounds, theirs was a very close match!

When it was all said and done, the final winners of the Top Gun Challenge were Lefty Jo and Gateway Kid! Yee haa!

Out of the 165 odd shooters there were 11 of them that had a clean match including our Aussies, Jackaroo and Sam Balin.

When it all came out in the wash, there were a lot of very happy shooters – myself and Jack included.

Jack finished 1st Place Senior, Cat Tracker 2nd Place and Colorado State Champion, 3rd Place Mountain Mike (?). Yay! An unexpected win for Jackaroo as he truly thought he had mucked up on a few stages that would have cost him a placing.

In Lady Wrangler category I finished 1st Place, Turquoise Queen 2nd Place and Colorado State Champion, 3rd Place Ivy Wild.

While I was taking photos of others and not paying attention, I heard Red River Wrangler announce they were going to read out the top 10, (thinking top 10 combined) when I sat back down they were going through some ladies names and next thing I know, Lefty Jo is standing with her hand extended and me wondering what the hell she was doing when they called my name as 1st Lady overall!! Wow, very much a surprise!

So a good weekend finish for both of us. Had a ball!

AND I need to mention that the 2014 Colorado State Champions are Cobra Cat and Lefty Jo! Our very hearty congratulations to two fantastic people.

Cheers

Kat xo

P.S. An outstanding year for Cobra Cat, Cowboy National Champion, World Champion and now State Champion. A true young gentleman to boot – just sayin’! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

4th July, Independence Day 2014

Here we are Independence Day in the United States, July 4th.

Now despite my being Australian, I like to think I have an affinity with America due to the fact that today is also my birthday and the second I have spent in the States.

I decided we needed to have patriotic outfits for the Colorado State Championship shoot given it would be over the July 4th weekend and of course Jack was up for it!

So here we are in our costume for today.

Today was first day of Main Match, having shot side matches and Wild Bunch yesterday including the very interesting side match – Annie Oakley – where you shoot the rifle over your shoulder lining your sights up using a hand held mirror, closest to target wins. Was not easy but a lot of fun!

Our Posse for the weekend consists of Aspen Filly, Aspen Wrangler, Blazen Vaquero, Dog Man, Dynamite Mary, Hurricane Camille, Hyman Old Cowhand, Jackaroo, Kathouse Kelli, Smokewagon Bill, Sonora Blaze, WB Earp, Sadie Marcus, San Juan, Trego Kid, Tahachapi Hornn, Union Jack. A great bunch of people, everyone’s working, shooting good and having fun.

Most people were wearing red or patriotic Stars and Stripes in any form or combination of red, white and blue! Was great to see!

Aspen Filly and Aspen Wrangler.

And myself with Turquoise Queen.

So one day down, second day main match tomorrow followed by a dinner at the Full Moon Saloon and side match awards tomorrow evening. Shoot out and awards on Sunday.

Stay tuned!!

Kat xo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cave of The Winds

Before we left Manitou Springs/Colorado Springs this morning, we headed for Cave of The Winds, up a winding road – with no guard rails!

Spectacular views from the top into the gorge below and beyond to Manitou Springs township. There is also the Bat-a-pult, a zip line that runs across the gorge, forwards AND backwards. Crazy kids! And a climbing gym of sorts which looked really cool and Inwould have done that had it not been so freaking cold and no tights or gym shoes to do it in.

The cave, well it was a cave, spectacular in its own right bit some stalactites obviously now lie dormant due to the lack of knowledge back in the day as to how they grow. BUT still some very good sights and did enjoy going through it. The guides have a wealth of knowledge from the very early days of locating the cave and beyond.

Temperature in the cave was 12C/54F but I can tell you it certainly felt warmer than the outside temp when we started.

The cave was discovered in 1881, reportedly by two 10 year old boys and upon hearing the moaning (the winds blowing across holes in the rock structure) told others in the town of the 'haunted cave'. Explorers looked into it more and over the years many including tourists would crawl through the cave on their bellies with candles for light taking hours to see the cave but unfortunately 'taking souvenir's' leaving some of the stalactites and stalagmites unable to continue to grow over the years.

All in all, a nice tour taking about 40minutes, some steep and very narrow access passages within.

Cheers

Kat xo

http://caveofthewinds.com

P.S. Thankfully it's warmer again in Fort Collins and looking forward to Warm Up and Wild a Bunch at Nunn, CO tomorrow!

 

Manitou Springs

I jumped the gun a bit, we won't be in Fort Collins tonight we are heading for Manitou Springs on the western edge of Colorado Springs. Jack worked out for us to see the Cliff Dwelling Museum, Cave of the Winds and Pikes Peak Cog Railway.

We visited the antique stores in Walsenburg this morning after breaky at George's Drive-Inn Diner. Found a nice shaped key for the 'liquor cabinet' for future wearing of my Victorian 1886 Reception gown and found a pair of shoe clips for another gown.

Ever wondered where the saying “when your numbers up” came from? Well in Walsenburg all is explained. It was from the mining era and when the miners did not return that had been caught underground in a blast etc.

Coming in to Manitou Springs, the historic district is absolutely beautiful and looking forward to exploring this place. I could just imagine how picturesque it could be during winter and the snow!

We managed to get onto the Pikes Peak Cog Railway on standby for the 1.20pm ride. The cog railway system is actually a Roman invention. It pulls up the mountain quite well considering the elevation. Manitou Springs sits at 6,412ft and at Pikes Peak, finishing at 14,115ft at the summit. At the beginning of the trip it was a little cloudy and 64F/17.7C we had a slight snow flurry on the way up with it gradually clearing to blue skies and sunshine.

After the switching at Minnehaha it hits a 25% grade incline.

Pikes peak at 'The Half Way House' where you could stay for $10 a week and had a post office and a one lane bowling alley in the hotel. Was there in the early 1900's however was burnt down in the late 1800's early 1900's.

The small power plant (a hydro electric plant) used to have a caretaker living in the house, you can just see the plant through the trees, it still serves 200 homes in Manitou.

Pikes Peak is the 31st highest of the 55 'fourteeners' in Colorado. 1.4mill acres forms Pike National Park.

It was a $5 trip in 1895. The original idea for the railway after Zalmon Simmons made a 3 day trek up the peak on a mule to enjoy the views and to see how his invention of insulators for the telegraph were going for the Army Telegraph to the summit. He thought it was so beautiful that no one would want to ride up on a burrow and within 3 years had funded the idea and had the railway built. There've been running the train for 121years now and is still the original tracks. The first train run to the top was August 16, 1890.

At a certain point the trees will not grow, it's due to turbo frost where the ground is always frozen and all you can see is bare hill AND it's claim to fame is the hill in the Sound of Music where Julie Andrews twirls around atop of it. (The hilllllls are alive, with the sound of music – although my version in my head is the Moulin Rouge version)

There is also a gold mine situated here but you can't see it from the tracks, it is owned by foreigners and produces $800,000 worth of gold a day! It is one of the biggest gold mines in the US.

There is only one naturally occurring lake on the side of Pikes Peak. The others are all man made. This is the longest and highest cog railway in the US. The top of the train as it pulls up is 3 stories higher than the bottom. And we are now at 12,129ft at Windy Point. The grass only grows 1-3″ every 100 years. Guess you wouldn't have to mow very often! Lol!

And we thought we had fun just making a dam larger in Canberra, try making one at around 13,000ft! This one is man made. Would have been a job just getting the machinery up here!

Check out the snow too, and a few mountain goats just hanging out!

We finally reached the summit and got a short break for their world famous donuts, recipe perfected at that altitude apparently and I must say the chocolate vanilla cappucino was divine! We felt a little bit 'floaty' due to the altitude but otherwise fine. Fantastic experience and highly recommend it!!! 42F/5.5C with wind chill of 36F/2.2C.

The braking system for the trip back down is good and if the driver goes a little too fast the computer kicks in with the assisted brakes. Phew! Nice to know, although the girl doing the commentary said “if that doesn't work we have two springs at the bottom to stop us – Manitou and Colorado.” Comforting? Not! Lol!

The cloud really rolled in as we were leaving and as the next train pulled up, so we caught a lucky break, maybe it will be sunny at the bottom now.

Found a spot to sleep, Pikes Peak Inn, within walking distance of the shops, shops and more shops and restaurants. We stopped at The Keg Bar and Grill and had a Boulder Beer – Shake Chocolate Porter for me, yum! Hints of chocolate and caramel, like a Guinness thickness. Jack had a Buffalo Gold Premium Ale.

Wandered a few more shops that were open, haa! And just had to take a pic outside the hemp shop, don't worry it's only an unlit cigar Jack has.

Wandered back down the road and we are at the Stagecoach Inn for beers and dinner and only have to stumble spittin' distance to the motel. We have jazz in the park across the road while we sit here as well.

What a great day!

Kat xo