It's been a long time since I've written but I'm going to try again.
Go West young men and women to End of Trail, the World Championship of Cowboy Action Shooting. Some of the Wartrace Traveling Regulators heard this call and headed out to Phoenix, Arizona. This is the first year EOT has been in Phoenix and we didn't want to miss it.
Reno Mustang had the mules shod, cleaned up the harness, greased the wagon axles and started loading it down. Dodge City Dixie had their boots cleaned and polished, all the ammo checked and boxed and ready to pack. Once they had the wagon loaded down Reno drove it over to my place and dropped it off on Thursday night. Tennessee Williams and I (Randy Saint Eagle) loaded our gear to get ready to leave Saturday morning. My boots weren't clean as I forgot to drop them off with Dixie but we got everything loaded.
Saturday morning Dixie, Reno and Tennessee came over and we hitched the team to the wagon and headed west! We were making great time until we got to Arkansas and all the wagons were backed up. We spent about 2 hours to go about 10 miles. Once we finally got clear of this we were on our way again trying to make up some time as we were going to Elk City Oklahoma before we stopped for the night. It took us 17 hours to get there but we made it. We headed out the next morning and 16 hours later we pulled into Phoenix, Arizona.
Monday morning we loaded all the guns back in the wagon headed to the Ben Avery Shooting Facility Once we signed in for the match we contacted Rattlesnake Slim for help in finding where we could park our trailer for the week. After that we walked around to see the amazing job the Arizona Territorial Company of Rough Riders had done to transform this plain public range into a facility to host the World Championship of Cowboy Action Shooting. We spent the rest the rest of the day checking out the vendors and I dropped off a pair of Bisley Vaqueros with Shotgun Boogie to be short stroked.
Tuesday we got our guns and carts ready and checked out more vendors and the Stages and just relaxed a little.
Wednesday morning we had to be at the range at 7:30 for Warm-Up Match Safety Meeting. We shot stages 9-12, cleaned our guns a little to get ready for the start of the Main Match, Posse 20, on Thursday. After getting some lunch checking out more vendors and the stages we were going to start on stage 8, followed by 5,6 and 7. We checked out the vendors again before the Opening Ceremonies started at 5:15.
Thursday Morning started the Main Match which was shot in 3 waves, 4 stages each day for 3 days. We started on the 2nd wave at 10:30 for our Safety Meeting and then started shooting on Stage 8. We shot the 1st wave on Friday starting on Stage 12 at 8:00 and the 3rd wave on Saturday starting at 2pm on stage 4.
Dixie and Reno each had a rough start on the first stage Thursday with a few misses each, 5 second penalty for each miss. Tennessee and I managed to shoot "Clean", no misses or penalties, the first day. After we finished shooting on Thursday and got everything ready for Friday Reno and I had a Territorial Governors Meeting and Dixie and Tennessee went to the Swap Meet.
On our 1st Stage Friday morning I got in a hurry and had a miss and a procedural for 15 seconds worth of penalties so I thought any chance I had of finishing well was over. Tennessee made it to the 3rd Stage and had a Procedural, 10 second, penalty. Dixie didn't have any "P's" but had some more misses and we should have all followed Reno's lead, he was "Clean" for the day. After we finished we had plenty of time to check out some more vendors, visit with old friends and make some new ones. I also had time to pick up my pistols from Shotgun Boogie and try them out. They are really smooth and I can't wait to get home and run a few stages with them.
Saturday we had a long wait before we shot on the 3rd wave and got to watch a few folks from the 2nd wave finish up. We had a very light drizzle just as we started to shoot but it didn't last long enough to get anyone wet. These 4 stages were my fastest 4 of the match. Stage 2 was my fastest of the match.
By the time we finished Saturday my hip was so sore I had to get my cane out of the trailer just to be able to walk. Tennessee and I closed out the match shooting clean for the day but unfortunately Dixie and Reno were still plagued with misses. It was all over but the crying now so we had to wait another day to see how we finished. None of us were feeling good about our chances.
Sunday Morning we checked out of the Motel, headed to the range, packed and hooked up the trailer and prepared to watch the Top Gun Shoot-offs. After they finished we headed to the Main Tent for the Awards Ceremony and we were getting anxious to see how we did. They start with 10th place and end with 1st in Category so once they get to your Category the tension builds every time they don't call your name. Reno Mustang was 7th Silver Senior Gunfighter, Dodge City Dixie was 3rd Ladies Silver Senior. I was getting really nervous when they called 4th, 3rd and 2nd and didn't call my name, I was almost in shock when they called my name as World Champion Silver Senior Duelist! We were all nervous as they started Tennessee Williams Category, but when the got to 2nrd place and didn't call his name we all yelled loud enough to take the top off the tent because we knew he had won and was the World Champion Duelist. Tennessee also finished 59th Overall out of 723 shooters that started the match, quite an accomplishment for his 1st trip to EOT!
I have to say a huge THANK YOU to Dodge City Dixie and Reno Mustang, without them none of this would have been possible. I hope that we can all go back next year and have even more fun than we had this year.
Happy Trails until we meet again!