Neither of us has fished for many a moon. In fact, Jim
recently gave his fishing poles to one of his sons who moved near water in
Maryland. I like this quote because it emphasizes how important leisure time is.
Our primary sporting passion is a little more active than fishing, but we're
learning to enjoy the quiet, contemplative moments, too.
It's good to NOT be busy all the time.
This week we're pretty laid back, spending more time around
the campground, visiting with friends like Brent Craven before they headed back
home, catching up on e-mail, letters, and this journal, enjoying more stores in
Sheridan, and making plans for the rest of our trip
Of course, there have been some stressful moments, too -
like realizing we screwed up by not making reservations earlier at Chatfield
State Park south of Denver, the closest campground to the beginning of the
Colorado Trail. We weren't sure when we'd be leaving Dayton or when I'd feel
like running again after a 100-miler, so we waited until after the Bighorn race
to call Chatfield. We wanted to stay there from Thursday to Monday, but they're
full this weekend. Oops! So we made reservations for just Sunday and Monday and
have some extra time to kill here in northern Wyoming.
Just as well. Even though I didn't finish a hundred miles,
I need rest this week to heal my injured leg muscles. They still hurt on Monday
and Tuesday. I was able to get a professional massage with Eric Frey at Wyoming
Rehab in Sheridan on Tuesday the next day my legs (and sore neck) felt much
better. Eric's very good at finding tight, sore muscles, working out the kinks,
and recommending stretches to loosen them up. He's an exercise physiologist,
licensed massage therapist, school teacher, volleyball coach, and
almost-chiropractor (still studying). Busy young man! Thanks to Dave Westlake
for the recommendation.
Since tight leg, back, and hip muscles may be a major
culprit in my cramping, I plan to find more massage therapists as we travel to
Silverton and Leadville this summer. I've been pretty lucky with friends'
recommendations all over the country when I've needed medical care.
Jim's also been researching the longer-term effects of
rattlesnake venom and the equine antivenin he received. He had a follow-up
visit with Dr. Snyder on Tuesday. All the swelling and itching are gone now, so
she recommended he take a lower dosage of the Prednisone until it runs out. If
it recurs, he has another prescription. Let's hope that's the end of that
Another saga just won't quit.
Jim thinks "Murphy's Law" (if something can go wrong, it
will) is too negative, but I think it's pretty appropriate for the FLAT
CAMPER TIRE we noticed this week. Yup, that's three of four original tires on
this camper that have bitten the dust during this trip (the fourth one died last
Fortunately, this one didn't blow out on the freeway
somewhere. For that, we are thankful.
Monday we were outside talking to Brent and Sue Weigner,
who were camped next to us for several days before and after the race. For some
reason, Jim and Brent both noticed about the same time that one of the tires was
flat. Jim couldn't believe it. He'd just checked the tire pressures the day
before, and that particular one held 66 of the 80 pounds it was supposed to
have. How could it just go flat overnight?? (The others held 72-77 pounds,
so they had also lost some air.)
We slid in the slides and put away breakables so Jim could
pull the camper forward a couple feet to remove the flat and replace it with a
brand new spare:
Notice that wooden "wedgie" under the forward tire? That's
one of Jim's ingenious inventions. He built it from spare pieces of lumber
before the trip for just this purpose (and other work needed on our vehicles).
That ramp is much handier and probably safer than a jack for changing the camper
tires, and can be used in other ways. Right now it's under one of the
stabilizing jacks at the back end of the camper.
Apparently the flat tire was damaged when the one in front
of it shredded in Missouri
three weeks ago and came loose from the rim.
Workers at a tire shop in Sheridan found a small hole on the inside wall of the
tire, which looked like someone had rubbed it with an abrasive. Jim just left
the tire there. There isn't a Goodyear dealer nearby who can deal with factory
warranties and we have a spare anyway. Just not worth the effort to try to get a
After he changed the tire, Jim joked that he
was glad I had more to write about in the journal! I'm glad he kept his sense of
We know even less about horses than fishing, but we are
interested in history and antiques. After reading about King's Saddlery in a detailed Bighorn report
from last year, we decided to visit what has to be one of Sheridan's most
interesting stores, just a few doors down from the Sport Stop.
You can see the front of the store in this photo from the awards
I was totally fascinated with this store and museum! You've never seen so many
old saddles in one place before.
We learned that the Kings are internationally renowned for their tropy saddles
and rope business. This is a working store, not just a museum. The main store
supplies tack, boots, hats, ropes and lariats, tooled leather items, Indian
jewelry, and many gift items.
I was impressed with the beautifully embossed leather items I saw in one of the
workrooms, thinking one of the binders would make a wonderful scrapbook album
for this part of our trip. I was astounded to discover a 12x12 inch tooled
leather binder would cost me $750.00!!! Some of the tools are below:
The museum, housed in a large two-story building behind the store, is a treasure
trove of cowboy memorabilia gathered by Don King during his many years in the
saddle-making business. This is the entrance to the free museum:
I can't believe they don't charge a fee to see the huge collection inside. There
are hundreds (seemed like thousands!) of old saddles, wagons, chaps, spurs,
antique guns, Indian artifacts, wild game animals, and collections from every
facet of the western lifestyle. I'm sorry we had only about 20 minutes to peruse
the museum. Following are some of the photos I took inside:
We wish we'd had more time to read about the items in the museum. We'll
definitely visit again.
There are many other museums and battlefields in the area that we
haven't visited this trip but plan to see on future trips to this race.
Here's one more Sheridan photo. It costs only $1 to ride
the trolley around downtown:
Next up: photos from a big driving loop around the Bighorn