August 2009 Journal

The Arches National Park

Canyonlands National Park

Gemini Bridges Road and Dead Horse Point State Park

July 31, 2009

Friday

Went from Gallup to Enchanted Trails, Albuquerque. Very tired.

July 30, 2009

Thursday

Left Undisclosed Location and drove to Gallup. Stayed at USA RV Park instead of the KOA. Much nicer, easier to get in and out of, and less expensive.

July 29, 2009

Wednesday

Then we went on an undisclosed watercraft

The Redhead shows her appreciation of photography

and visited an undisclosed canyon, in the rain

Since it was raining, there were waterfalls where normally there aren't

More neat canyons

Back at Undisclosed Location we took a trip

following the leader

Climbing

more climbing

more climbing

Now another person or two knows where we are

Really nice castle in the sky. Makes you wonder how they got it built.

 

July 28, 2009

Tuesday

Most of the targets at "Undisclosed Location" are not for public viewing. The whimsical, meaning CAS, targets are okay to view.

Now at least 12 people will know where we are.

July 27, 2009

Monday

Drove to undisclosed location:

First we disconnected the trailer and took it up the hill with, well, you can see what was towing

 

 

 

Then we took the bus up the hill, obviously too narrow and twisty for the bus/trailer combination. For that matter, no one in his right mind would go up in a bus by itself

 

Yep, that's some hill

 

Twisty, perfect for a Pro Rally road. Oh, I forgot, I don't do that anymore, and this is a 40 ft. bus

 

Rock wall on the left, check, tight turn, check, sheer drop of 1,000 ft. on the right, check. What the !@#$@%! am I doing here !

 

 

Oh, no, Mr. Bill!

 

Nice place to park

July 26, 2009

Sunday

Took the day off and did the first chapter of "Wild Bunch for Dummies," the online version. I'll do a Cowboy Chronicle version, too. Ready to go to undisclosed location tomorrow. The Redhead is ready to go to Albuquerque tonight. She's been a good sport, but she's tired of this. Very few casinos in Utah.

July 25, 2009

Saturday

The River Road

From Last Night:

Lodge and red cliffs at Red Cliffs Lodge

This Morning's Run

The view into Negro Bill Canyon

The Redhead took a picture, and it was her idea. That's me in Negro Bill Canyon

The Colorado River. This area was used to film "Ten Who Dared," a Disney movie about John Wesley Powell's trip down the Colorado in 1869 starring Brian Keith, in the 50s. Amazing I don't remember it since I saw all Disney pictures then.

 

Fisher Tower, a sight in several westerns

The historic Dewey Bridge, built in 1916 to carry a wagon, 6 horses, and 9000 lb. of freight. It was the longest suspension bridge in blah, blah, blah. Restored in 2000. Looks like the restoration didn't last long. A biplane flew under the bridge in a movie once. It'd be kind of hard now.

Onion Creek Road ends in Choke Canyon, and used in the movie "Choke Canyon," no, I haven't heard of it either. Scenes of "Rio Grande" were filmed in the canyon.

I lost count of the time we crossed Onion Creek. Nothing deep.

Scenery from HWY 128

Just another view from HWY 128

July 24, 2009

 

Friday

Worked on the trailer this morning, not "in" the trailer, but "ON" the trailer. Some external screws had gotten loose, and the protective box over the left hand door latching mechanism had gotten bent up over time from running over it with the left tires of the ML. It IS designed for tires to go over the edge of it, but, along the way too much pressure has been put on it. So I took it off and straightened the pieces out one by one. I had put the big vise up while in "gun cleaning" mode and put a little clamp on 3" vise up instead. I didn't want to remount the big vise, so I tried straightening things out with the little one. Amazingly I was able to straighten everything out to useful shapes (not interested in cosmetics). I flattened the plate on the workbench using that sophisticated tool, a hammer. It all works, but working on that ramp in the heat, over aluminum tread plate, was hot and blinding. Glad to get back into the air conditioning.

Worked in the a/c on the computer and made some phone calls.

For dinner we went to the Cowboy Grill at Red Cliffs Lodge. Red Cliffs Lodge is a good ways up on highway 128, the river road. It's on the banks of the Colorado River. It's a pretty good sized dude ranch with its own windery (The Redhead bought 6 bottles, so it must be good), the Castle Creek Winery. And it is the site of several early movies done in the area. Rio Grande, The Comancheros, and Thelma and Louise, among many others were filmed on or near the ranch. The first movie done there was in 1949, a John Ford movie,Wagon Master, staring Ben Johnson and Ward Bond. I had never heard of it, and I like John Ford movies. It is not available on DVD. Amazon.com has used VHS copies, but, of course, I don't have a VHS player.

Thus they have a little museum, Moab Museum of Film & Western Heritage. It has a history of the movies made there, photographs, and memorabilia.

We loved the place, from the decor to the location to the history. The ranch, formerly the White Ranch, is over 100 years old, near the scene of an 1881 Indian battle. Then the movies: "Rio Grande, Son of Chochise, Warlock, Commancheros, Cheyenne Autumn, and many more used the ranch and it's magnificent scenery for filming. John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Ben Johnson, Rock Hudson, Henry Fonda, Anthony Quinn, Lee Marvin, Richard Widmark, James Stewart, and Richard Boone have all worked on location here at the Red Cliff's Ranch.

"More recently Geronimo, City Slickers, Thelma & Louise, along with other movies and over 100 commercials have all used the Moab area as a location."

The food and service were considerably better than at the Sunset Grill. My steak was a lot better than the filet, and The Redhead was quite happy with her prime rib. The shrimp cocktail had 10 shrimp, fresh, and a much better cocktail sauce. And the Margarita was huge and ell frozen. The Redhead had the Outlaw Red, one of the wines from the winery, a Cabernet/Merlot blend she liked.

Fantastic drive there and back with the red cliffs on both sides.

July 23, 2009

Thursday

Breakfast at The Pancake Haus. Not good. Won't go back.

We drove the road to Gemini Bridges. It's a Jeep trail that was marked as passable in a SUV. FYI, it is, but I would say lots of ground clearance and 4WD are mandatory. No problems with the ML. The route starts on 191 and ends up on the road to Dead Horse Point State Park. The first part is scary, going up the side of a hill, rough, steep, and narrow. We were glad we were going up, meaning the mountain side, rather than down, meaning the sui-side. No guard rails, sheer drops, rocks, long way down. The view would have been better that way, but The Redhead would probably need hospitalization. I wasn't too thrilled with occasional glances to the left and seeing straight down to the main road below. Pretty, but scary. Despite my efforts to desensitize myself, including parachute jumps, I still don't like heights. I'm only afraid of 3 things, falling, fire, and redheads.

Dead Horse Point and the Gemini Bridges Road get their own page (click on the photo):

July 22, 2009

Wednesday

The Cowboys TV episode "Tupelo Flash shoots Black Powder with Captain Baylor" was on. I didn't make a total fool of myself. My hat looked good. Actually, so did the silver mop and the mustache. Very little of what we did was used. The "magazine format" of this year's episodes prevented that. One segment was "Guns of the Old West", and another was "Tupelo's tips," That didn't leave a lot of time for teaching black powder to the masses.

When I was describing the various products available, when I got to American Pioneer Powder they cut that out and went to me saying, "I use all of these," pointing to the various BP and BP substitutes in front of me. The APP people will probably be pissed, but, as The Redhead said, "it's not your fault." APP 3f was prominently displayed at least.

I did shoot mostly Goex wholly black for the demonstrations. Tupelo said we were shooting Ten-X factory ammo when we were shooting Ten-X cartridges and Goex shotgun shells. I was using Ten-X cartridges because their rounds smoke more than the ones I make (which still smoke more than the smoke standard). Goex 65 gr. Cowboy loads definitely smoke more than my 45 gr. loads. The cameramen, not accustomed to black powder, zoomed in a little too close to get the full effect of the smoke. Some of the SASS Wire wags complained that it didn't sound like black powder. It's impossible, I believe, to put the real sound into your TV at home because you would lose all your hearing and sue the TV manufacturer, Cowboys, and Tupelo. He's the one with money.

Got the EOT article off to Tex and Cat, then the September column. The holster article is still due. It's a bitch.

Drove the river road almost to I-70 then came back. Great views both ways. Don Hubbard of Military Order of the Purple Heart had recommended it. He lived in Salt Lake City several years while working for the VA. Good recommendation.

Had dinner at the Sunset Grill, the mansion uranium millionaire Charles Steen built overlooking Moab. Decent food. Good view. Go about 8 PM in the summer and you can watch the sunset. We were too early, but neither of us wants to drive at night, especially down the road up to the Sunset Grill.

July 21, 2009

Tuesday

Went to Canyonlands National Park. It gets its own page. Click on the photo:

July 20, 2009

Monday

Went to The Jailhouse Cafe for breakfast--excellent food, expensive. Then went to The Arches National Park (Click the photo for more pictures):

July 19, 2009

Sunday

Left the primary ROAs with Aspen Filly to finish engraving. She finished one cylinder, and it looks great. She'll have them at Outlaw Trail.

One of those RV stories that is funny if you weren't there

Reattached the trailer, put the ML in and headed to Moab for the week. Not sure this is a good idea. It was 111° when we got there. There are several RV parks in Moab, but, as usual, most of them don't fit us. One of the nicer ones, Spanish Trail, can fit us, but trees cover the big rig sites, so no satellite access. Another one has a north side for peons and a south side for 10 year old or newer class A's and idiots who want to own their own site in Moab, Utah. The peons can't go to the south side, and if their pets don't make it to the pet bathroom areas, they can be thrown out into the snow, er desert heat. This left the OK RV park that's just OK. The lady in charge directed me into a space we couldn't get into using the route she led us through because of a dumpster in the way, and we wound out with the coach in front of the sewer opening and water pipe and the trailer behind it. She was screaming at me. The Redhead was screaming at me, and a neighbor came over and started berating me and making such demands as "you've gotta build a ramp over the sewer outlet." Out of what? And what about the water pipe? 3 people were giving conflicting orders at once. He was highly insulted when I thanked him for his advice, but there were too many colonels and one private, me, and I felt I needed a bit less supervision. I thought I was back in the army again. I started trying to move back and forth to get past the sewer/water and back out of the site, and the lady in charge sent, I think, her son, who apparently once drove a truck. He gave the usual trucker's incomprehensible directions, spinning his finger out of my line of sight and yelling that I was doing it wrong. That way I knew to go the other way. I would turn the wheel 00.10 inch one way, and he would yell that it was too far. Eventually we got it out of the site and into a site without a dumpster blocking a wide turn in. Then we were too far from the sewer hookup. The Sani-Con doesn't have an extension hose (yet), and we need to be 21 feet from the sewer. Backed the rig up, straightening the trailer, and we got hooked up. The Redhead only threatened to take a taxi to the airport once during all this, showing remarkable restraint considering. Even the dog was pissed at me, and the cat ignored me.

But then the cat always ignores me. He's a cat.

July 18, 2009

Saturday

Shot the afternoon shift. Things went faster this time. The schedule had been optimistic yesterday, and we had finished a half an hour late. The afternoon shift was close to an hour late. They cut out the top gun shootoff and moved the evening schedule forward half an hour. Our posse spent less time picking up brass (partly because much of the brass went forward and ended up downrange). Brass was hard to find in the gravel anyway. We finished by 5. This was important because Happy Jack had to be at the Elks Hall for the costume contest early. Copper Queen is head judge. I had one miss on the last stage, 3 in all, a couple of quick stages, some not so quick, pretty much as usual. No train wrecks, though.

Went to the party in the Confederate Colonel's uniform. Won best dressed man. Also won Frontiersman. Dixie Belle and J. T. Wilde were state champions. San Juan was first silver senior, beating Evil Roy. Wicked Felina was top lady silver senior. Renegade Rene returned to CAS after 7-8 year absence (that damn work thing), 2nd in Lady Wrangler or Cowgirl, don't remember which.

The Elks Club bar had white Zinfandel for white wine and terrible Margaritas. Decent food for a SASS awards banquet, though. Awards didn't take too long, 1st-3rd in each category. 11ish, I believe, when we got back to the bus.

July 17, 2009

Friday

Shot the morning shift, facing east, no wind. Thus the first two stages were v-e-r-y slow waiting to see through the smoke. Got better after that. Shot the backup guns. Aspen Filly showed me great ideas, and I let her run with it. She worked in the morning while I shot. That evening she showed me she had gotten one back strap done. Nice!

The gravel took the rear tires off the gun cart. Cowboy Murderin' Maude sent two of the county workers (!) who had been directing traffic and such to help me get it to the truck. In the shop I got the tires back on and used 6 cable ties (one per spoke) to tie the tires to the wheels.

The side match awards were given out at night, and we were all held hostage for door prize drawings that should have been handled at registration. Sorry, but a Royal Wade Kimes CD isn't a prize for a drawing, it's a door prize and should be given out at registration. Slept through most of it, but they woke me for my "prize."

According to The Redhead, who was awake, they only gave out 3 places for one category of Wild Bunch. Let's see, we had categories because????

July 16, 2009

Thursday

One more vehicle with tire problems—the guncart. The left front tire came off the rim. It required semi-dismantling the guncart and putting it on its side, lubricating the tire and getting it back on the rim. Jeez.

Shot several side matches, all with no luck. Shot the Wild Bunch side match. Happy Jack was the guy in charge, so SASS Handbook rules were used, to the consternation of about half of the contestants, who had something illegal or another.

Shot Traditional. First stage was just a disaster for all, but second and third stages were good. Shot them clean.

Several people over for Margaritas, including Aspen Filly, who measured The Redhead for her dress, and who worked with me on ideas for the engraving on the guns. She is some artist. She does engraving others don't do. I showed her some mementoes I'd like on the guns. She'll have some sketches tomorrow.

July15, 2009

Wednesday

Went to town shopping. No danger of our moving to Price, Utah. Very surprised to find some good prices at the state liquor store. Gran Marnier was cheaper than The Redhead had seen recently.

I went down to Castle Gate, the Cowboy Action Shooting town built by the county(!).

It gets its own page of photos (click on photo):

July 14, 2009

Tuesday

The 13th continues

First the good news: S & S Truck Specialties finally arrived, close to 10±, armed with 2 retread tires. S & S is a nice young couple with a couple of trucks in the truck roadside assistance business. The 2 retread tires were because there are no Michelins in the correct size this side of the Rocky Mountains. 2 were in case the cut on the side of the outer tire was more than superficial. The guy from S & S didn't know either. Not knowing how long it had been that way, I figured it was less likely to blow before we get back to Albuquerque than a retread. After much conversation I got them to pull the affected wheel off.

The tire valve was bad, due to, the tire buster thought, the long extension with the weight of the Pressure Pro sensor on it. Who knows?

Anyway, that they had. He took the tire off, inserted the new valve, and reassembled.

While this was going on, a large,officious man stormed up and screamed, "Our picnic tables are not tire racks!" The tire was leaning against it barely. Before I could react, he was gone. The nice young tire buster apologized. I wouldn't have. I can think of twenty or so ways to ask that the tire be moved that would be less rude, and damn few that would be more rude.

This was the third rude person working for the Grand Junction KOA who had been rude to me. Third time's a charm. His body is somewhere in the Utah desert.

We did get out before noon. Our share of the bill was about $130. Good Sam Roadside assistance took care of the west.

Got to the North Springs Shooting and Recreation Range near Price, Utah and Hell on earth, home of the Castle Gate Robbery, the Utah State Championship.

105°F

But it's a dry heat.

I'm sure The Redhead is thinking (a) it's cooler in Albuquerque, and they have casinos or (b) we're not that far from Las Vegas. The KOA there has 50 amp sites, nice workers, and access to 560 casinos.

The RV Parking is a wide spot in the road, graded for drainage. Our RV spot is about 15 ft. lower at one end than the other, 5 ft. higher on one side than the other, and we had to disconnect the trailer and park next to it. Using my vast experience at unlevel spots, I used up every 12x2x24 piece of pine I have, and I still had to level manually, getting semi-close to level.

Generator on, slides out, start the TV dish--

and the generator quit. Went through the codes and tried restarting three times before we got it going again. Thoughts of finding the route to the quickest big RV park with 50 amp service on the way to Albuquerque went through my head while we went through the troubleshooting instructions.

Then the satellite internet dish wouldn't lock on. The Redhead worked on that for half an hour or so, and it started working. Verizon works fine out here, and it is F-A-S-T!

Then we discovered only one receiver of the DirecTV set is working. That can be fixed, but not while recording or watching anything, meaning not till we're done with the night's viewing, Tuesday being a good night for oddball TV.

The Redhead is not happy with this trip starting with a week of 30 amp service in stultifying hot weather–far from a casino.

Sunset at the North Springs Shooting and Recreation Range near Price, Utah

Perhaps you can tell how far from level the sight is laterally. It's as bad longitudinally.

July 13, 2009

Monday

DEFINITELY a day people who read this just for RV stuff should read about

Headed west to Grand Junction. This means I70 and a climb to over 10,000 feet. Then a descent. First we lost our engine brake. This occurred just before we were stuck behind a truck with a heavy load that went down the 7% grade for 70 miles (slight exaggeration) at between 10 and 20 mph. The trailer brake controller went dark at the same time.

This is when having a motorhome with the same brakes as a truck capable of a GVW of 80,000 lb. is a good idea. Some brake smell, and, at one point, the front air bags low air pressure light and buzzer came on, then the rear. Not much I could do as I couldn't coast, and I couldn't get around the 20 mph truck because of a long line of tailgaters passing in the left lane. I can't blame them for passing. We were, after all, doing 20 mph or less for miles down a 7% grade.

Finally the road leveled off enough to pump the air back up, and eventually I got around him.

Pulled into a rest area. Fixed the trailer brake controller using my fantastic mechanic skills, meaning it lighted up again after I traced wires, checked the fuse, and generally couldn't find anything wrong. Called Cummins in Grand Junction to see if they could fix the Pac Brake tomorrow. Nope, end of the week. Well, that's out, but we won't be going back this route anyway. We can get it fixed in Albuquerque.

Finally arrived in the KOA in Grand Junction long after The Redhead had reached her fatigue limit. I reached mine when we pulled in behind a big motorhome/toad, and an idiot in a yellow shirt came out and ordered me to move my rig. Had I another place to go, I would have. Instead I killed him and buried the body in the desert.

Anyway, as I moved the rig—after the motorhome/toad moved, the tire pressure monitor went off. The right side inside tire on the bus was losing air and was below 76 lb.

Parked the bus, put the jacks down, tried, in vain to make the TV satellite dish work through the heavy tree growth to the south of the bus, put the slides out, and attached to cable TV. Noted a plastic radiator protector on the driver's side bottom was coming apart. It's a cheap molded plastic with a weak point at the front. Apparently it just fatigued. The only fix I can think of is duct tape. That requires removing the ML from the trailer to access, assuming they don't have any at the KOA store.

Called Good Sam and arranged for a tire service to come, allegedly, in the morning, with 2 tires. They don't patch or plug motorhome tires for liability reasons. As I don't want a blow out, I can't argue. The 2 tires is because the outside tire has a cut on the sidewall that may or may not be significant. They pay for the service call. I pay for everything else.

Had to watch TV with commercials. Awful.

July 12, 2009

Sunday

Went to the team match prepared. Took the Marlin and the '73 in .45 Colt, with Winchester factory cowboy ammo, 250 gr. bullets. Teams are drawn using badges. Had a good one, all .45s. The others had 200 gr. bullets, though.

When I shot chunks flew off the 4 x 4 target pole. We won first place, the second year in a row for me.

Aspen Filly had my ROAs ready. I had her put a MACV emblem on the wide part of the grip frame:

Is she good or what?

At Hell on Wheels last week Aspen Wrangler noted I was painting the empty chamber with a red Sharpie. He suggested Aspen Filly could engrave a circle around it so I wouldn't have to do that.

So she did, with a couple of sunbursts to make it really visible to my weak eyes. She even made it all go black. Pretty neat, right? This chamber is the one marked on the side by the last 3 of the serial number, which she did in the same font Ruger uses. I do still have to paint that nipple with the red Sharpie.

More engraving by Aspen Filly is in my future plans.

 

July 11, 2009

Saturday

Shot the last 5 stages. Missed one on the last stage. Really glad I'd missed one on the first stage, or I would really have been pissed about missing on the last one.

VERY HOT. Went to the banquet as COL Baylor instead of General Lee. No beard. Still very hot. Results, let's see, 2nd in Wild Bunch costume, 1st in Wild Bunch 1911 Open, 2nd in Plainsman*, 1st in Military Field, 1st in Military Formal, 2nd in Frontiersman**.

*Sheriff Pack Wolf won. When Plainsman "closed," he hadn't shown up. The book said Plainsman would be shot as a posse. We waited some time before starting. I presume he showed up later, and they let him shoot.

**Yusta B. won. I didn't know he was there. He wasn't on the posse roster. I never saw him all weekend. That was a surprise.

Didn't win any of the millions of dollars of stuff given out that night.

July 10, 2009

Friday

Shot first 5 stages, posse 1, so we shot 1-2-3-4-5. Good group. One miss on stage 1, then clean. I've decided to miss once on the first stage so I don't have to worry about shooting a clean match.

The gimmick of shooting at catsup packages from McDonalds pinned to a board for a bonus was gone. Probably just as well, even though I got it both times, pistol and rifle.

One bonus, a 3" x 5" buffalo at 150 yards, painted red,thankfully. 10 second bonus. Got it, as most of the posse did.

Okay, it was a little bigger and closer than that. I could see it, more or less.

At May Farm that night we had casino night. The Redhead played poker. I just sat and talked with people. Just as well. She won $12,000, which got us 12 tickets in the drawings. You put your ticket in the bucket for the desired prize. Most weren't worth having, but a custom made walking suit by Aspen Filly, value $700, was on the list. I put $10,000 worth of tickets there.

She won. Fortunately I hadn't seen another Aspen Filly item, $100 off on $200 engraving. She's engraving my #1 pair of Ruger Old Armies, bit by bit.

July 9, 2009

Thursday

Rocky Mountain Regional Raid

I just noted that in the last couple of years this event was a Black Powder Regional/Black Powder Shootout/Whatever SASS is calling their Black Powder championship events now. Now it's not. It's just a club's annual match.

Shot Plainsman in the morning. Sweetwater Bill assured me they had gotten the message last year and had moved the rifle targets in.

Wrong. The people setting up the event don't shoot Plainsman, and the targets were at about 400, 700, and 2,000 yards. Eventually they moved them in, but it wasn't pretty. One more time: A Plainsman match isn't a long range match (unless Bad Gene Poole is putting it on and has his 200 yard barrel). You put it on the same stages that are used with main match guns. Yes, we do shoot .45-70s at 15 yards. Most of us have light loads for such ranges. If we don't start getting people who know how to put on a Plainsman match to do them, I think I'll find a better use of my time.

In the PM we shot the Wild Bunch match under Bat Masterson's rules. He has a category for everyone, from guys shooting 2 DA revolvers to bald, one eyed guys shooting Savage pistols and Thompsons. Fun stages, though. I shot 1911 Open, meaning I can shoot the guns I shoot at EOT and several Regionals. We shoot from Condition 1, meaning cocked and locked, which I like, but we re-holster, which really isn't safe.

The socializing at May Farms (about 390 miles from the range, over Jeep tracks and military vehicle test trails, was lightly attended, but we had fun.

July 8, 2009

Wednesday

Got everything ready for the match.

July 7, 2009

Tuesday

Got 2 new Carlysle E-rated (10-ply rating in the old system, though radials don't work that way) tires mounted and balanced at a Discount Tire in Aurora while The Redhead and I enjoyed a IHOP breakfast. Then we went to Buffalo Bill's grave.

Yep. It looks like a grave.

At least Buffalo Bill is really buried there, and we didn't have to climb a mile to discover that they don't know where he's buried, as is the case with Doc Holiday

A small museum was attached. This is one of Buffalo Bill's show outfits.

Another one

 

A '73 Winchester rifle with a shotgun butt stock. If they would make it then, why won't Uberti make it now?

Here you go, big bore pistol lovers, the ideal concealed carry Trapdoor Springfield, apparently converted by Indians

Another show jacket

Had dinner at Cafe Berlin, some of the best German food we've had in the US. It's in Denver in "lower downtown," or is it "lower uptown"?

July 6, 2009

Monday

Drove to Strasburg KOA.

3 miles from the KOA the left rear tire on the trailer blew, wrapping the belt around the axle and bending some metal underneath.

But I was prepared. I had gotten the set of 3 warning triangles. I put them out to keep the idiots from running over me. They aren't just the usual warning triangles. The bases have 3 pounds of C4 in each one. Let some SOB run into them. I placed the last one so I'm outside the blast radius when working.

And I'd gotten the neat ramp to run the front tire up on so I don't have to use one of my many jacks.

There's only one problem about it. I stationed The Redhead, with her Midland Walkie-Talkie (from Tame Bill). I took the air brake off, told her to watch, and let my foot off the brake.

"STOP!"

Yep. The front tire had run right over the ramp, leaving it jammed under the shredded rear tire. So I got out one of the many bottle jacks, raised the tire, and put the ugly spare on. Put the jack and other tools back, retrieved and disarmed the 3 warning triangles, and went to the KOA. Called Kevin Barber (303-918-4782), and he came over to straighten out the bent metal. He left and returned with a come along to complete the job.

I took the ugly spare off before he came and mounted the new spare after he left. It's one of the E-rated tires from Discount. I took off one of the older D-rated no-name tires from the other side and mounted the ugly spare there. I put the shredded tire and the older D-rated no-name tire in the back of the truck, called the Aurora Discount and reserved 2 E-rated Carlysles for tomorrow.

I've had it with tire blow outs. At least with E-rated Carlysles from Discount, I can replace them at the nearest Discount for $32. And they're less likely to blow.

It's a terrible sign of the time that Americans don't make decent trailer tires anymore, and neither do any other first world countries. For that matter, neither do any second world countries.

I've lost count of tire changes.

July 5, 2009

Sunday

Well, with the horrendous last stage I was still fastest Frontiersman, but lost on rank points, 3rd behind Fingers McGee and Brasspounder.

Won Plainsman.

Only 5 clean shooters were listed. They had almost 300 shooters. What does this tell you?

Evil Roy and Dixie Belle, perennial clean shooters weren't.

Cobra Cat won first overall. Dixie Belle won first lady.

July 4, 2009

Saturday

The Return of Noah's Flood

Apparently I pissed God off. I was winning, but just barely, until the last stage. I wound up shooting in a pouring rain, so bad I could barely hold on to the pistols. 66 seconds. There it went.

To top that off I was dressed as John King Fisher. A photo of that look (at EOT) is below:

You've seen it before. But I keep putting photos of it in here because Jack Houston, who made the chaps, says they're the ugliest he's ever made. Another first place for the ugly chaps.

The chaps survived under the Fish slicker.

No problems keeping the Rugers running, though. Sometimes experience pays off.

Went to the banquet as General Lee, with the new beard. Awful boots, though. Painful at best. They have the new spurs copied from the ones in the Confederate Museum, though.

The banquet had about half as many people as last year, maybe less. The costume contest had less than that. Won both best shooting contest male and formal, best dressed military.

VERY tired by the time the magician had gotten through his excruciatingly long escape act. Then a western band. Then, finally, the drawing for the Run-n-Iron prepped '97. Didn't win, of course.

Took both of us and the Boot Tree from Hell to get the boots off.

 

July 3, 2009

Friday

Shot in the morning. Did okay. 2 misses. Great posse. The Cat family pretty much took over. Cobra Cat and Lightning Cat ran the timer most of the time. I had no problems to speak of. I gave the posse the "if you think it's a miss, it's a hit..." lecture, and emphasized that if one spotter or the timer operator said he saw an edger, to consider what he said. Ultimately the benefit of the doubt goes to the shooter. "We're all in this together." Everybody worked. Great group. If I had the names of everyone, I'd list them. I'll work on it.

July 2, 2009

Thursday

Shot the warm up in the morning. Targets are just as far out as last year.

Shot Noah's Ark Plainsman match. Noah's Flood occurred on stage 2, putting water over our boot tops. I was timing someone when it started. Utterly soaked afterwards, of course. Due to delays the match was cut from 4 stages to 3.

Then had to go to a posse marshal's meeting. Apparently they were desperate for posse marshals. The posses are very small, 14. That should be fun.

Stages are very simple. Simple, not to be confused with easy. Paced off several pistol targets at 12 paces or more and a rifle target at 27, a few as short as 25. One pistol target was at 6 paces. They said they moved the targets in. That's the one. The rest were closer to 10. Average shotgun target was 10-12 yards. This wouldn't be a problem if they were bigger. They weren't.

After I dried the guns out and sopped a gallon or so out of the gun cart we went to the Plains Hotel for the meet and greet. Had dinner there. Nice.

July 1, 2009

Wednesday

Arrived at Hell On Wheels, the High Plains Regional. Parked in space 46 at the top of the hill. Actually, as I soon discovered, it is, if you're pushing a gun cart, uphill from space 46 to the range and uphill from the range to space 46.