The Louisiana State Championship of Cowboy Fast Draw is in the record books. It was a wonderful experience, and the City of Natchitoches was a gracious host. It's now in the record books and we look forward to the rest of the competition season.
We had weather. All kinds of weather. When we got to the park on Thursday to set up, we were under sunny skies, humid conditions, and warm temperatures. As we set up the ranges, before too long, we were sweating like cane-field mules. Water was a precious commodity, and we were losing it by the bucket-full. Before dark , the ranges were set and the shade tarps erected
Friday morning dawned off sunny and hot. We had plenty of shade and lots of iced water in 5-gallon coolers. We started with a warm-up match which lasted till about 1:00, 1:00, took a short break, then shot the Shootist category. For those unfamiliar, the Shootist category is for the long-barreled revolvers. Nothing shorter than 7.5 inches need show up on the line. It was hot and muggy all day. Even though the shooters brought coolers with their own drinks, the water coolers were a constant gathering place. We drank over 20 gallons of water from the coolers on Friday.
After shooting, a group went to the Mariner's restaurant on Sibley Lake for a meet-and-greet. We toasted old friends, greeted new friends, and ordered from a sumptuous menu. I went with the oyster po-boy, but I'm told that the stuffed flounder was delectable.
Saturday at sun-up, it was muggy and overcast. The weather man was calling for rain. We began the main match under threatening skies, and it soon became apparent that we were not going to finish the day dry. However, the little ran squalls were small and light. We got through seven rounds of competition before we called a halt at about five p.m. the leadership sat down to do a little in-progress review. As we talked, the bottom fell out and we watched it ran from under a cover.
Sunday morning, grey skies, a breeze, and temps hovering around fifty degrees. We started the bracket matches and everyone wished that they had brought a jacket. Poor Belle, during the bracket match, was so cold that she couldn't cock the hammer on her Piettta (and yes, her guns have lighter springs installed). She warmed up enough that during the next round, she was able to shoot, but with morning temps hovering in the high 40s, it was quite a contrast from Friday.
By mid afternoon, we were shooting the finals under sunny skies and pleasant temps. Congratulations to Whiplas, from Texas. He is our Men's Chapion. The lovely Plain Jane (ad nthere ain't nothing plain about Jane) is our Women's Champion. A young gal who calls herself Texas Diamond is our Annie Oakley champion, and a fine young fellow we call Dash is our Billy the Kid champion. Great competitors, all of them. We gave out a host of other prizes, too many to list here, but each of them significant. Then we hugged necks, shook hands, and started breaking down. In several hours, the trailers were loaded and we rolled out of Natchitoches, leaving nothing behind but our footprints and our loose change.
I'd like to thank everyone who made this a success. The list would be long, and I've thanked them personally. I'll put some pictures up later, after editing, but this week we hardly have time to wash our laundry, clean our guns, and get packed back up.
Next weekend, it's Texas State. Belle and I, along with Zach, will be on the road to Silsbee, TX, where the Big Thicket Bushwackers will host the Texas State Championship. Just about the time I catch my breath from this weekend, it'll be time to do it again in Texas.
Here's a couple of photos coming out early.
That's a group photo of the assembled gunfighters in Natchitoches, LA.
See y'all on the line.