Leaving the cowboy state of Wyoming and our gracious hosts, Wild Horse John and saginaw Sue this morning, we are headed for Sidney, Nebraska as our first stop.
Sidney is the home to the very first Cabela’s store – it’s always a good time waster going into a Cabela’s!
Not only one of the best fishing, hunting and outdoor stores but awesome displays of taxidermy adorn each one. Bit like a museum!!
It all started in 1961 for the Cabela’s and now 57 years on, they are still going strong.
Back on the 80, passing through lush green farmland, we are heading across Nebraska and will soon head south to Kansas.
Whilst a fair bit of the first stretch was seen through the back of my eyelids, we passed familiar places such as Fort Cody Museum, Golden Spike at North Platte, past Gothenburg, famous as one of the Pony Express post’s!
The temp has risen to a rather warm 98F (36.6C), even the cows are standing in any water they can to cool off.
Entering the ‘sunflower state’ we continue South to Hays for the night.
2019 Hell On Wheels got underway last Thursday in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
This year it is hot, the stages are utilizing every square inch of the bay – meaning you are going to have to get moving between positions – the glare of the quartz dirt is full on but the stages themselves are good sequences.
Thursday was Warm Up’s and side match day, with an adhoc Doily Gang clinic put together with Shamrock Sadie, Lefty Jo, Honey B Quick and myself for 6 lovely ladies!
Friday its an early start as we head to the range for a 91F day (33C) and 6 stages. We are done by lunchtime before too much of the heat sets in although with all the running around we are really feeling it anyway.
Jack is shooting black powder this match, so plenty of smokey fun for him.
Saturday morning again an early start although its only in the 80’s, more running, fun and laughter. The final 6 stages are done and we will see how it all turns out Sunday. Thanks to a great posse – Grizzly Grumps, Murky Mick, John Sawman, Trudy Hart, Outlaw Josey Wales, Paladin Pete, Pinewood Kid (we missed you Pinewood Rose!), Sandhiller, Panhandle Kate, Sentry, White Raven, Pick, Tin Lizzy, Velvet, Slickbald, Jack and myself.
Saturday evening we spent time with friends – Charlie Wagon, Pearl Starr, Clancy, Wild Horse John, Saginaw Sue, Jack and myself – at Accomplice Beer Company at the historic Cheyenne Train Depot. Pouring your own beer and only paying for what you’re pour, sensational place!! A great concept and not the first time we have been here. Of course, Clancy, Pearl Starr and myself had to have a ‘Margarita Sista’s’ token margarita whilst together.
Sunday morning and we head for brunch with Wild Horse John and Saginaw Sue before heading to the range for awards. Once again with 13 Aussies in attendance we faired quite well against the competition.
Stats: 208 shooters – 14 or 15 clean shooters – Grizzly Grumps, Murky Mick, Mystic Meg, Coyote Baz, Clancy won from prize draw – Senior Duelist 2nd, Sam Balin – Lady Gunfighter 1st, Sister Sarah Carnegie – Frontier Cartridge 1st, Henry Moon – Gunfighter 2nd, Deadly Downunder – 49er’s 1st, Charlie Wagon – Lady 49er’s 2nd, Clancy – Senior Gunfighter 1st, K C Woody – Senior Frontier Cartridge 2nd, Jackaroo – Lady Wrangler 2nd, Pearl Starr – Lady Wrangler 1st, Kathouse Kelli.
Hell On Wheels 2019 overall champions for the Men’s was Cobra Cat and for the Ladies, Kathouse Kelli.
Yet again, we had fun and enjoyed it. Now its time for packing, checking, shuffling, re-packing etc.
Its now Thursday night and should be catching some zz’s as tomorrow we have the early start!
However, let me quickly catch you up.
Yesterday, Wednesday – Started out the morning with the Doily Gang Clinic, instructors this year, Shamrock Sadie, Lefty Jo, Honey B Quick, Iron Maiden, Sassy Dancer, Cooncan and myself Kathouse Kelli.
Was a great clinic, we had 2 shooters each to offer transition tips for pistols and more with long guns as well. Shot a couple of stages for critiquing and all in all, think they were all pretty happy to say the least when we were done. Thank you ladies for coming and glad we can offer something back to the sport for all.
From there it was grab some pictures of stages ready for main match. Go take a few runs at speed events. Pearl Starr and I then spent a couple hours in the LOCAS tent and in the down time helped Shamrock Sadie with a ‘craft task’ for later in the week.
Open ceremonies were held late in the afternoon. Alvira Sullivan Earp carried the flag for Australia! Legendary Lawman for Canada. Bloody Mary for Denmark. Chrissy Carson for Netherlands. The Kiwi Kid for New Zealand and in his uniform for the United States of America, Cash Cassidy.
With the anthem sung, the Wild Bunch, Match Directors, 111 first time attendees recognised it was on to the announcement of new Regulators. The 2018 Class of Regulators included many great recipients with none other than my very own Jackaroo!! Way to go man.
Two more from Australia – RC Shot, Mrs H, our Oklahoma friends – Flat Top Okie, Missouri Mae, Dutch friends – Dutch Bear, Justice Anne, Texas sweetheart – Sopapilla Sue and many more!! Congratulations to you all!
As the beer flowed, the Margarita party started at Hot Tamale’s and then it was time for sleep as Main Match was due to start today.
Now we arrive into today, Thursday – First day of main match. Jack and I are in Posse 21 with Red Haymaker our illustrious posse leader, Pepper Shot, C N Double, Captain Clark, Cowboy Jon, Deadly Don, Estancia Kid, Fast Fingers, Garrison Joe, Gilly Boy Hellbender, Huachuca Slim, James Colt, Lil Rob, Longcolt, Mick E Mouse, Old Frenchy, Sharpeye, Sunshine Belle, Jackaroo and myself. A big thanks to Nacho Momma for keeping score for all of us!
Four stages on the mid wave – 9, 10, 11, 12 were shot today with some degree of difficulty and success, blue skies, sunshine and a hell of a lot of New Mexico dust! Once we finished we shot the Posse shoot and we have a pretty good running time for that at the moment!
With weary feet, smiles as wide as you can get, we head to have lunch then back to the Motel for rest, relaxation and cleaning dust out of guns, nose etc. Haa haa haa
Coupled with a chat with Clancy, the occasional beer and a bit of hand sewing to finalise costume it is now getting late. Oh and a bit of cream puff for dessert. (groan after creammmmmm)
It is time to hit the hay, for the posse rides early in the morning with first shots down range at 7.30am.
Night peeps! Here’s to another awesome day tomorrow. Make it count! We are all still in the game! It ain’t over, til it’s over!
We are 3 days in to being here at End of Trail, the cowboy action World Championships!
Saturday afternoon after domestic duties we headed to the range to register and pick up our shooter packs. We found Charlie Wagon and Pearl Starr and of course a bit of nonsense ensued.
Sunday Jack, myself, Pearl Starr and Clancy went to Albuquerque to shoot a club match with the Rio Grande Renegades. A good little side match as an extra warm up to the start of a very busy week.
We had a few little hiccups (and a not so good, somewhat broke pistol) but all in all a great day, thanks Rio Grande for having us!!
We had dinner with Cooncan and Bertie Winchester, our friends from Kansas, at Pizza Barn along with a good portion of the cowboy community!
Monday and we are set to begin with warm ups, shopping at vendors, catching up with heaps of cowboys and cowgirls. We did 4 warm up stages and then called it a day to go drop my pistol off for fixing.
Tuesday and its all smiles! Now there are more cowboys arrived and everyone is having a blast looking for matching numbers. In our packs this year you were given a Posse pin in addition to your shooters badge. The Posse pin has a number on the back and this is where it gets interesting. So you go and talk to new people, you try to see if they have the same number as you, when you find 1-9 other cowboys or cowgirls with the same number you go and put your name in a draw to win a custom knife and sheath from Action Shooting Network.
More warm up stages! A little more shopping! Wild Bunch Awards!
A shout out to the SASS team for putting together a polished ceremony again. Whilst Jack and I didn’t shoot Wild Bunch this year we still went to support Charlie Wagon just in case he should buckle. We are happy to report however that our Oklahoman, Elwood James won a few side match awards and finished 7th in Mens Modern!! Way to go EJ!! AND outstanding costuming for awards my friend!
Congratulations also to Mens Modern winner – Last Chance Morales, Mens Modern Senior winner – Evil Roy, Ladies Modern winner – Idaho Sixgun Sam, Ladies Modern Senior winner – Second Fiddle Sue, Mens Traditional winner – ?? new guy, his name escapes me, Mens Traditional Senior – ??whoops, did it again, and Ladies Traditional winner – Lady Jane!
Overall winners for Wild Bunch were, Last Chance Morales and Idaho Six Gun Sam.
Congratulations to all participants!!!
Tomorrow is another fun packed day. Til then, these weary feet must make there way to bed.
Silverton is certainly a lot quieter of a morning before the first train arrives. Locals were up, the famous Blair Street (which is still dirt, is being rolled for the day and some shops begin to open in readiness.
After breakfast at The Brown Bag, we took off again on another cloudless sunny blue skied day winding further into the mountains.
We made a quick stop at Molas Pass and were pleasantly surprised that at 10,910ft it wasn’t as cool as we had expected. The views were just incredible and Jack stood still long enough for me to get an uninterrupted panoramic pic.
Continuing our way down the mountain into Durango, we encounter a mountain goat just wandering ahead of the tow truck. Horns blast and the goat decides to move but thinks it would be smart to venture back in front of us. He eventually gets out of the way with the truck behind us giving him a good blast also!
We arrived into Durango and first things first, located a boot repairer to fix my shooting boots. I didn’t think it would get done but when I finally located Mervin, with the help of the young guy from Browns Shoe Fit, he was more than happy to have them and would ensure they were done in speedy time.
The rest of the afternoon, we spent wandering in and out of shops and pubs, looking at remarkable old hotels and buildings before checking in at the motel.
We spent the evening with Singin’ Sue, Shanley Shooter, Wooden Nichols and Marilyn for dinner and entertainment at the Bar D Wranglers Chuckwagon.
These guys are an absolute hoot, very funny, amazing entertainers and the greatest voices and harmonies to be found. Totally over fed, totally entertained. Was an awesome evening.