There's been quite a bit of activity here at the gun range that doesn't involve shooting just a lot of hard work.
The cowboy action shooters will be here starting this weekend for the competition known as "Winter Range", which everyone's looking forward to. And it's more than just a competition, it's a gathering, a meeting of old friends, and a sharing of the hobby that these folks love. I don't know how many people compete in this Winter Range but it's a bunch, and there will be hundreds more spectators such as myself that will go watch the different events for the week this competition is held.
The work has started already, there are cowboy shooter volunteers that have been here for a week or more at Ben Avery building an authentic [well sort of] what appears to be [if you don't look too close] something [at first glance in the dark] that could possibly be mistaken for an old western town, [if you're not wearing your spectacles].
This somewhat authentic old Western town along with large circus sized tents add to the ambience of the cowboy shooting competitions that will be going on until March 1. I like to watch the shooting competitions but since my gun hobby has been left way behind in the dust I'm mostly interested in taking pictures of the participants and their Western costumes
Some folks just throw on some jeans, a vest, a cowboy hat and call it done, but most of them go whole hog and either make or buy authentic Western duds that are picture-perfect for what was actually worn out West in the late 1800s.
Just like any other competition there's only a handful of these folks that have a chance of winning anything. Most of them are just here to enjoy the show, meet up with old friends and pretend they're back in the 1800s which I can definitely relate to.
Just like a lot of these folks I was raised on cowboy movies, cowboy TV shows and can still remember that Roy Rogers horse was named Trigger, and Dale Evans horse was Buttermilk. I find it odd that I can't remember what I had for breakfast but I can still remember useless things like that. It's strange how the mind works, I'm just happy mine works at all.
I figured in order to set the proper mood for the, barely but not really, authentic Western town that's springing up in the desert I adjusted the pictures I took this morning to help with the visualization of what the cowboy shooters are trying to get everyone to envision here at Ben Avery.
This is the original, well-maintained, Fort Sinclair from the 1850s. It was named after the neighborhood gas station and had a reputation as the most dangerous Fort in the territory because it had no side or rear walls which made it very easy to sneak up behind the Fort's defenders and shoot them in the butt. even though this was only a flesh wound it usually ended a Calvaryman's career.
This is the original Arizona Walmart, in those days it was called Coosiemart. It was well known throughout the Arizona territory for having the unheard-of amount of 27 items for sale, and allowing Cowboys to camp overnight in the parking lot. Indians raided the Coosiemart on numerous occasions and the employees were required to defend the store as best they could, but because of the stores no guns allowed policy the employees were limited to throwing stale muffins off the discount rack at the Indians.