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.
Day 1 of the Siege/Colorado State Championships kicked off this morning with the pledge, prayer and the firing of a bowling ball out of a canon. You can’t even see the ball when its in the air if you don’t pay close attention to the trajectory of it!
The skies are blue, the wind is light and we are ready for 6 stages. You need to aim! These targets are smaller and a little further out there.
Suffice to say it wasn’t exactly the greatest of days but I had some really awesome rifle runs! (Always take away the positive!)
We have a great posse with Babe Ruthless and Union Jack (our gracious hosts for the weekend), Burgundy Ballou and Ric-A-D-Split, Bijou Blade and Tolinka, Sixgun Louie, Sam Balin, Section Hand, Rufus Thornton, Lucy Trigger, Gateway Kid and of course Jackaroo and myself rounding out Posse 7.
There is lots of movement on these stages and a few you really need to think about but all in all they are good. Everyone is in the same boat!
Sixth stage done and its time to pack up, have lunch and socialize with others hearing their triumphs and woes of the day.
A great day was had on the sunny Gold Coast today with 22 shooters in attendance.
We had a couple brand new cowboy's that certainly held their own. Congratulations Marksman and Itchy Trigger! A couple who hadn't been for a while and Trailrider was up from Canberra and came out to play!
Tatanka, the Lakota tribe word meaning 'big beast'. For the American Northern Plains people, Tatanka meant life. The bison/buffalo, ruled the plains, clothed and fed many American Indian tribes and were revered by all, especially in sacred ceremonies.
Herds of buffalo existed from Alaska all the way down through the Gulf of Mexico.
During the 1800's they were hunted and killed mostly for the fur trade almost totally decimating the herds to extinction. By the 1860's it is said that less than 1000 buffalo were left and it was men such as Buffalo Bill, Pawnee Bill, Charles Goodnight and another 6 men (I had not heard of) that realised what lay ahead and purchased them for their own ranches.
At various points in time, cattle were introduced into herds of buffalo upsetting the DNA of true bison. Today there are some that have been bred from true stock with very little to no common cattle variety in them.
Today, over 400,000 buffalo roam freely in reserves and managed properties such as Yellowstone National Park, parts of Wyoming and Texas. Still a far cry from the once 30million plus!
So how come Buffalo Gal?
Now my Texas women friends pride themselves on all things Texan, and are very patriotic. The costumes I've been pushing to get finished lately from a few Texas ladies are in the B-Western styling keeping me very busy at the embroidery machine.
Lil McGill's latest is a recreation of a 1940's B-Western dress featuring flowers, scrolls and bison.
With a few pictures at hand of the original and paint chips of colours to match boots, I set out to pay homage to this spectacular gown. The buffalo proved a little difficult with not being able to find a design of a running buffalo closer matched to that of the original.
We don't want a football version of a running buffalo now do we! Lol! So the choice of a rather majestic looking bison standing in grass seemed appropriate.
After altering designs and reconfiguring flower sequences, I eventually had 17 different sections to this embroidery work, with 12 needing to be mirrored for left or right.
Some careful planning and lining up got it looking pretty darn close to the original.
The only thing I couldn't see in the pictures we had was something on the sleeve side. It looked like same colours so I could only surmise nothing new was added outside the theme. I eventually came up with the inclusion of bison tracks through the same floral detail.
With the buffalo complete around the bottom edge the dress is ready for the final larger one on the back. This had to be outsourced as my frames aren't big enough. Threads all numbered and bagged, 'Buffalo Gal' is headed for her final stage of embroidery. Only thing left to do from there is bling!!
“If you’re happy with the red, nod your head…if you’re happy with the red, nod your head…if you thought the cherry was best, then you really needed a rest…if you’re now lovin’ this red, nod your head!” 🤣🤣
Twit! When redoing work turns out for the absolute best. Not only was I not happy with the red, and clearly now I’m one happy seamstress, but after waiting and waiting for it to arrive back here I found I wasn’t happy with the colour of the zip and the machine hemming was atrocious too!
So new zip in, everything pulled apart and new piping done, everything back together, waistband back on, vest back together, hand stitching to hem, embroidery on right red done again, buttery soft deer skin leather cut (there goes a full day) and now the pièce de résistance – bling added to punched holes…ahhh onto the next.
You don’t get to see the whole lot until it’s wearer has it on! 😉
‘The Special Breed’ that’s what us cowboys and cowgirls are. The Gamblers, Deslaredo had written a spectacular poem of this and so it became the theme for the Trans Tasman this year.
The Trans Tasman – Duel Downunder is a southern, across the ocean, challenge between Australia and New Zealand and alternates at a range on either continent every other year.
The Gamblers again hosted the Trans Tas and it wasn’t long before everyone arrived for the match held over 14-17th March.
It was great for Jack and I to catch up with many that we hadn’t seen for some time.
We had been busy in the weeks leading up to the match helping with match confirmations, prep and more!
What a great weekend we had! It started Thursday with the Pat Garrett match and Posse 4 – Bones, Carter Moss, Coyote Baz, Deadly, Doit Daily, El Rio, Fox, Meggs, Mad Dog Morgan, Painted Mohawk, Rick O’Shea, Two Gun Kate, Trigger Happy, Willy Avashot, Jack and myself.
That afternoon was spent doing speed events before we retired for Ex Sighted and I to get into the scoring and the rain set in.
Main match started on the Friday and we had a great lot of folks on Posse 5 with Alvira Sullivan Earp, Big Bad John, Bones, Boots and Spur, Chiquita, El Hombre, Etta Place and Doc Cummins, Coyote Baz, Meggs, El Rio, Curly Wolf, J P Remington, The Deadwood Gunslinger, Legend Lyn and Short Shot (both from NZ), Lucky Luke, Willy Avashot (with Narelle kindly doing the scoring all weekend) Jack and myself.
Six stages done, rain again that evening, scores done and it’s an early night. Well, early to retire home with Charlie Wagon and Pearl Starr coming to stay for the evening. Rain putting a dampener on the hawk and knife throw side matches.
Saturday and it’s just a few spits of rain taking us into the final 6 stages of the match.
I wasn’t clean by any means which put me very close with the other ladies BUT managed to hang on and clinch it by just 1.30sec’s! 6th overall, 1st lady and 1st in Lady Wrangler, with a few side matches thrown in.
Jack finished with just a couple in 5th overall and 1st place Elder Statesman. Good one man!
A great weekend! Great gathering! Good fun that ended all too soon.