10:13 to Lowman
Friday afternoon as I was coming round the mountain, off to my left I could see the range, a small encampment of travel trailers, the beautiful South Fork Lodge grounds and the South Fork of the Payette River running clear. The trees were in full fall colors. I thought, this has got to be the most picturesque range I’ve ever seen. As Magnolia Blu and I drove into camp, kids were running playing, I could hear gunfighters laughing and carrying on. I got that warm feeling we live for in this sport.
The Sawtooth Shootists were hosting the 10:13 to Lowman and the plan was to provide an “experience” unlike no other. This was to be a chance for friends and family to spend a weekend together in a remote setting. Curley Calhoun and Cool Hand Suz had spent months in preparation for the weekend and all the details had been seen to. This was gonna be fun! Friday evening as the crisp fall air moved in the folks around the camp were in high spirits in anticipation of the coming matches.
Saturday morning I stepped out of my tent to see a whole bunch of gentlemen and lady gunfighters gathering to get signed in, drinking fresh coffee and hot cocoa, huddling around the campfire ring, warming hands and buns. It was little chilly this morning. Cool Hand Suz and Magnolia were getting folks signed in for the 4X Last Man Standing main match. When all was said and done and all the signing in was signed. There were 17 lady gunfighters, 15 gentleman gunfighters and 3 yoots. Hee Dogee, what a way to start the day, more ladies than men. 2 of the Billie the Kid boys were competing in their very first match. Tank and Kid Rango were going to get their first taste of competition. Ole Curley had a lot planned for the weekend and during the Shooter’s Meeting he laid the plan out. I do remember him saying “we’ll have lunch when we hear the lunch bell ring”. Cookie O’Callahan and Jenny Lee of Grubbin’ BBQ had pulled in and had started smoking the days’ groceries? We did get a little rain on and off during the early rounds but no rain was gonna kill the spirit of the match. Idaho shooters are acclimated to diverse weather therefore making them dangerous wherever they compete. The match was moving right along when hark! I hear the lunch bell ringing. I don’t remember ever having better grub at a match that’s fer shore. Lunch was amazing, Thanks Cookie!
About’ 3:30 we halted the main match and moved right into what we called the “Eliminator”. This was a 1X Last Man Standing side match. It went quick too. Who’d a thunk an 8 year old would survive and win the Eliminator match. He shore did. Kid Rango was having the best birthday ever. The first trophy of the weekend had been won. Up next….Night Fire. The Night Fire match was just that. Curley had set up a few lights so revolvers could be loaded and unloaded safely as we were shooting right at dusk. 1X again and we was using powder behind wax. What a show, flames and everything. Buzzard Cooper shot his way into trophy number 2 and everybody had a great time and safety was looked after by everyone. Just as we were finishing up the night fire what do hear? Clangety-clangety- cliangety – Supper bell! Cookie and Jennie done prepared a feast. Hoo lawd, what a meal. Everybody settin around gnawin rib bones, smoked taters and corn, cheesecake…woof.., did I mention there was ribs? Lots of ribs. Excellent ribs! After supper Curley treated us to a “Call of the Wild” exhibition followed by a few tunes by Mississippi Marshal. Folks started headin back to their respective camps to get some rest fer Sunday. It had been a long day.
I peeked out the tent Sunday morning. I saw a thick fog covering the range, a light fall frost on the ground and Curley out there building a fire for everybody to enjoy. Day 2 was officially started. As everyone was getting coffee and warming by the fire Curley announced the days activities. We started off with the Poker Run side match. This was a 2 target competition starting with the revolver staged on the table and the shooter holding a poker hand. When the light comes on, drop cards, pick up revolver and engage 2 targets. Fastest cumulative time moves on. 1X Last Man Standing. Congratulations to Mississippi Marshal for making it look easy..Trophy number 3! Next up..Top Shot side match. Ole Curley Calhoun had 2 of them little 12 inch targets and set them at 15 ft. 5 shots to post your fastest time. The race horses were all worked up, trash talkin, twitchin and drooling and the like to get a chance to exhibit there swooftness and accuracy. Hands down, Tin Bender fell in the groove. He locked in and put a .382 to win trophy number 4.
By this time the sun had cleared the mountain and it was warming up nicely for the finals of the main match. Then it happened! .777 what? Tennessee Hustler shot a .777. Curley had announced Saturday that there was a special prize for the first person to hit a .777, called it “Hit it and Win it”. Tennessee Hustler won a danggone pie.
The final eliminations were very competitive and anybody’s match to win. Spud’s experience and speed took him to victory over Kid Rango and Tank. The boys got a lot of shootin in this weekend. Everybody got a lot of shooting in. Curley made sure we got our money’s worth for sure.
Miss B. Haven had been tough all day Saturday posting lots of .4s and started out hot on Sunday. Cool Hand was real consistent both days as well. Cool Hand Suz with her cool hand nerves hung in there to become the Ladies Champion. The same could be said for Buzzard Cooper and Tucson. They worked thru the competition to face each other in the finals. Buzzard Cooper just edged Tucson out to become the Men’s Champion.
The weekend was amazing. Beautiful surrounds in the Sawtooth mountains, Lots of good friends, LOTS of competition with monies raised from the side matches going to Happy Trails Children’s Foundation, wonderful food and an “experience” unlike any other in cowboy fast draw. The Sawtooth Shootist put on a classy, well organized, all inclusive, whale of a good time.
All of that said, we could have never had this wonderful experience had it not been for our gracious hosts, owner Dianne Junior of Gainesville, Florida and caretaker Hovey “Will” Willis of Lowman, Idaho. When we approached Will about the opportunity to use the grounds, he went out of his way to see that we got everything we needed to make the match a success. A special thanks to Dianne for allowing us to enjoy the grounds and a special thanks to all the shooters who took time to insure the grounds were left as they were found.
10:13 to Lowman is in the books, I ponder what’s next for the Sawtooth Shootists Society.
CFDA Life #26