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            THE WAITING GAME              
 
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 21
 
 
"If people concentrated on the really important things in life,
there'd be a shortage of fishing poles."
 
- Doug Larson
 
 

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 story!

MURPHY'S LAW?

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 year).

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 replacement.

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 humor.

KING'S SADDLERY

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 ceremony:

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 Mountains.

Sue
"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, Cody, and Tater

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2006 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil