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Bob & Frank's Most Excellent Adventure
On the road with Bob Glatz, Dr. Frank Rively and others...





July 18, 2009

Somewhere along the way I should have made it clear that we were often "out of service" from a cell and wireless computer card perspective.  I'm certain Bob, Frank, Dean and others had calls and e-mails that went unreturned due mostly to our location.  Bob clearly found that his iPhone 3G and AT&T are incompatible with much of the remote U.S. West.  Please accept our blanket apology for our failure to timely communicate along the way.

In Bob's haste to complete the last blog entry and get Dean to the St. Louis airport, we missed an opportunity to make an important point.  Dean and Bob shot their 40th Grand American together last year.  Frank is not far behind in terms of Grand appearances.  We all started shooting as kids.  Dean and Bob had the good fortune of supportive parents and a local gun club that would "fund" a squad of junior shooters (who were also pullers and scorers) for a singles event at either the Ohio State Shoot and the Grand.  The competition became very important to us, and the friendships grew over the years.  The competitive program at the Ohio State University was also very  important, and Dean and Bob expanded and deepened our shooting friendships with the likes of John Evick and Fred Smith (now deceased), both of whom became lifelong friends.  John still shoots the Grand every year with Bob, Dean and Frank.

My important point—the friendships made as a kid through trapshooting continue today some 30-40 years later.  While we didn't all shoot together every year while we were building careers and  families (for example, some years I registered less than 1,000  targets), we remained close friends and we never lost our love for the sport and the competition.  When you think about your support for the ATA's youth programs, think about the friendships sparked by less organized programs in the past and consider the potential impact of your support on our Association and the future of the sport.

Thanks for reading.  It has been a pleasure to have you along on our 

Most Excellent Adventure.


Bob for Dean, Bob and Frank





July 17, 2009

Mount Rushmore, Deadwood, the "Great Deadwood Flood,"

Crazy Horse and the Badlands

We left Billings on Monday morning and made our way to Deadwood and the Days of 76 RV Resort.  We arrived mid afternoon and quickly set up at the only camp site with 50 amp service.  We took a quick drive through Deadwood and then headed off on the 50-mile trip to the Mount Rushmore National Memorial.  The Memorial is very impressive in person and even more so as you consider the dimensions of the sculpture.  Each eye is 11 feet wide.  Washington's nose is 21 feet long (all other noses are 20 feet long). [Dean using factor label techniques calculated that a faithful reproduction of Frank would have to have a nose 24.4 feet long.]  Washington's mouth is 18 feet wide and all heads stand 60 feet tall.  Nearly four hundred workers labored on the project between 1927 and 1941 when the project was abandoned.  The total cost of the project was $989,992.32.  The sculptor was Gutzon Borglum.  The day-to-day work was supervised by Borglum's son, Lincoln.   Borglum died the year the Memorial was "abandoned.”  The term "abandoned" is used as the original plan called for more extensive carvings.   Bob met one of the last living drillers known to have worked on the sculpture.  He was there for a book signing.

From Mount Rushmore we drove to the Crazy Horse Memorial—the world's largest mountain carving.  I would guess they are 60+ years into a 125-year project (Bob's guess only).  The first blast was on June 3, 1948.  The completed sculpture will be 563 feet high.  Crazy Horse's head is 87.5 feet in height.  The project is funded entirely by admissions and donations.  If you have small children or grandchildren, the project should be nearly complete when they are in their mid 70's.  

From Crazy Horse, we headed back to the RV in Deadwood.  We arrived just in time to get inside before the outbreak of an incredible thunderstorm.  We had lots of rain, lightning, hail and flood waters.  The water came up so fast that within minutes it was about to encroach our 50 amp electrical service.  Had it rained a few more minutes, we were in danger of the water making its way into the RV.  After the rain stopped, the water went down almost as fast as it rose leaving behind lots of ugly mud.  Frank pulled the Jeep up to the RV so Dean and Bob wouldn't have to sink into the mud.  Later that evening, we braved the weather and went into town for dinner and a bit of gambling.  We also wanted to see the place where Wild Bill Hickok was shot.  In death, Wild Bill gave life to the term "dead man's hand" (a pair of aces and a pair of eights).  It is interesting that we've not been able to determine what the fifth card was.  Deadwood is an attractive  little tourist town with lots of hotels, casinos and bars.

Tuesday morning Bob and Dean did laundry in the nearby city of Lead (next to the local gold mine).  You can find some very engaging folks to talk to in a small laundry in a mining town.  Frank stayed at the RV for some additional shuteye and to visit the local gun museum (in the campground).  He also collected the harrowing reports of other campers who narrowly escaped severe "wet" at the hands of the thunderstorm. When we left for the laundry, Frank was sitting on the couch looking at a map and muttering "why not Minot."  We don't like to disturb Frank when he is chanting so we had to wait until we returned to find out what all that was about.

When we got back, it was time to leave and Frank announced that "you only live once" and that he had decided to go to Minot, North Dakota for the ND state shoot for one day of shooting.  He would then drive down to Sioux Falls, South Dakota for a day or two of shooting before following us on to St. Louis.  He rationalized the unplanned detour with the fact that North Dakota was closer to Deadwood than it was to Scranton.  And, since the ND shoot didn't start until Tuesday, he could drive to Williston, ND and do laundry at Jeff Wagner's house?!?!  Anyway, we had a plan!  So, Frank took off for Williston and Dean and Bob took off for Sioux Falls.

Without Frank's keen sense of urgency, Dean and Bob were allowed to make a few stops along the way in Sturgis (home of the annual Harley Davidson mega party), Wall Drug and the Badlands.  Sturgis was a fuel and t-shirt stop.  Wall Drug was lunch and completion of Dean's Christmas shopping.  And, the Badlands gave Dean one more chance to wear his new cowboy hat and call all the tourists "pards" and the women at the gift shops "little missy."  Bob of course just focused on "the facts" and took pictures.

After the Badlands, Dean and Bob were off to Sioux Falls and the Crooks Gun Club.  The club is very near the intersection of I-90 and Hwy 29, so it is incredibly convenient if you are returning from a shooting trip to Wyoming and Montana to the Midwest.  The club has 12 program traps, and Dean and Bob decided to shoot singles on the first preliminaryday in a 40-mph sustained wind.  Despite the wind, squad mate Josh Hanson broke 99 and Dean broke 98.  The rest of the squad took the fifth amendment with respect to scores.  Scqad mate Bob Felber was late to the firing line as he left his shooting glasses, shells and virtually everything else but his gun at home.  He has been setting up the new South Dakota Hall of Fame and apparently was having a little trouble with multi tasking.

Following the singles, Bob and Dean made tracks for St. Louis arriving at 12:30 AM on Thursday.  As we write these comments, we are about to take Dean to the airport for his flight back to Columbus which will complete Dean and Bob's portion of the blog (we know you will be disappointed).  Bob is flying back to Whitefish, Montana at 7:00 AM tomorrow to concentrate on golf and relaxation for three weeks until time to fly back to St. Louis for the Grand.  Dean plans to shoot the Central Zone at Brittany with Dean.

The blogger boys wish to thank Trap & Field for providing this forum to allow our friends to keep up on our exploits for the last three-plus weeks.  It has been great fun.  For those of you who don't know, Bob and Dean shot together at the Ohio State University some 30 years ago.  They have known each other since the late 60s having both worked as trap boys at the Twin Valley Rod & Gun club in West Alexandria, Ohio  We were introduced to Frank (by Illinois shooter, Joe Loitz) at the ACUI College Championships in Peoria, Illinois in April 1978.  The three of us have shot together every summer since we first met.

Bob for Bob, Frank and Dean





Thursday, July 16

Mount Rushmore - Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln

Proof that we were there!


The flash flood of  The Days of 76 RV Park (from our RV)

Bob's foot (sandal tan) and the rising flood waters

Seriously rising flood waters!!!!!

Dean and his Walmart bagged feet - the morning after the "Great Flood"

The Badlands National Park

See the water line on the tires from the "Great Flood"





Sunday, July 12 at the Montana State Shoot –somewhere over the rainbow

Well, I mentioned in our earlier communication that Dean, Jeff and Taylor broke 199, 199 and 198 respectively in the singles championship.  Dean and Jeff tied with three others for the non-resident class AA singles title.  Jeff skipped the shootoff to prepare for the trip back to North Dakota.  After 100 targets, Dean and Jason Folvag remained deadlocked.  They decided to flip a coin so they could move on to the non-resident HOA shootoff.  Jason lost the flip and Dean became the non-resident class AA singles champ.  In the non-resident HOA, Jason and Dean both broke 683x700.  In the shootoff, Jason broke 40x40 while Dean missed two handicap targets.

Taylor Wagner won the sub-junior non-resident singles championship which was his eighth victory of the week including the HOA and HAA.  For the record, our squad won approximately 20 non-resident trophies during the last two weeks.  Of that total, Taylor Wagner won 15 (best we can calculate).  We know Dean won three, Frank won one and we think Jeff won one.  And yes, that means Bob was blanked, however he had a great deal of fun. 

Dean and Frank made certain that the non-resident doubles titles stayed with our squad for both Wyoming and Montana. 

We spoke with Paul Even this afternoon, the President of the Billings Trap Club.  Paul again pointed out the new blacktop path down the trapline and the other handicap accessible improvements that the club is making.  Clearly, the Billings Trap Club is upgrading the facility significantly.  The club provided complimentary ice cold bottled water for the shooters in coolers on every other trap.  The shoot was run very professionally and the trap help was excellent.  For the most part the weather cooperated.  The club is located across the street from beautiful Lake Elmo.  The club also provided each shooter with discount coupons from Cabelas and Sportmen's Warehouse, both located less than five miles from the club.  If you have an opportunity to attend a Montana state shoot in Billings, you need to give it a try.

 Tomorrow the core of our intrepid group leaves for the long trip back to the Midwest.  On the way Dean and Bob plan to shoot one day of the South Dakota state shoot.  Frank plans to head up to North Dakota to shoot at least one day with Jeff and Taylor before stopping by the South Dakota shoot on his way home. However, before doing any more shooting, we plan to spend a good part of Monday at Deadwood, SD, the SD Badlands and Mount Rushmore.  Dean also wants to buy a biker T-shirt at Sturgis.  We will continue to keep you in the loop for the next few days. Thanks to Trap & Field for providing our blog forum.


Bob for Bob, Frank and Dean 

Jim Litzinger - Winner of the Butte Medal


End of shoot rainbow

Unknown class AA shooter, Dean and Jason Folvag

Dean and Jason Folvag


New cart path built with grant money to increase handicap access


Billings Trap Club Clubhouse - Jim Litzinger (winner of Butte Medal)  in right corner of picture

Jim Jones, Montana ATA Delegate and Montana State Secretary





Highlights of Saturday, July 11 at the Montana State Shoot

Montana holds the first half of the singles championship on Saturday, the Montana Preliminary Handicap and the Butte Medal.  For those of you who are not familiar, the Butte Rod & Gun Club Medal is a 40-target, non-registered event that has been contested since before there was a Montana State Shoot.  The format is 15 targets from 20 yards, 15 targets from 22 yards and 5 pair of doubles. 

As far as highlights go, Dean and Taylor Wagner broke the first 100 of the singles championship (second half is Sunday morning).  Jeff Wagner broke 97 in handicap for the second day in a row to tie for the non-resident runner up in the handicap.  Unfortunately, Jeff did not have son Taylor's good fortune in the shootoff.  Taylor tied for the sub-junior champion with a score of 89 on his first test run of the 27-yard line.  Taylor was victorious in the second round of the shootoff.

I'm getting tired about talking about Jeff and Taylor, so let's focus for a minute on another member of the Wagner clan, Ashley.  Ashley is Taylor's 19-year-old sister and second-year honor student at Montana State who is spending the week with Taylor and Jeff.  Ashley who is a delightful young woman was one of the drivers on our 15-mile  trip to dinner Saturday night.  By the way, dinner was at the Windmill and was excellent.  On the way back to the gun club the SUV driven by Ashley carrying Taylor and ATA President Bruce Reed and his lovely wife ran a red light right in front of a local Billings police officer.  The other SUV driven by Frank Rively carrying Bob, Dean and Jeff managed to stop at the light despite the fact that Frank was driving.  Ashley was clearly in command of the crisis and apparently displayed the appropriate amount of tears to get off with only a warning.  Bruce Reed showed the excellent political skills that led him to the ATA Presidency by contributing nothing to the dialog.  Taylor kept Dad informed by cell phone as the second SUV lurked in a parking lot several hundred feet back.  Bob and Dean were never worried as they were certain the charming Ashley would sway the officer to see that the color of the light in her world was actually pink.

Dean and Bob skipped the Butte Medal and took off for the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument.  The site is a little more than 60 minutes from the Billings Gun Club.  The site memorializes a major battle fought on June 25-26, 1876, between the Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians, against the U.S. Army commanded by George Armstrong Custer.  The tribes were fighting to preserve their traditional way of life as nomadic buffalo hunters.  The U.S. Army was carrying out the Grant Administrations instructions to remove the Lakota Sioux and Cheyenne peoples to the great Sioux Reservation in Dakota Territory.  The battle takes place across some four miles of high plains desert.  The National Park Service has marked the approximate places where each U.S. soldier died.  Roughly half of Custer's 600 men were killed (including Custer) in the battle in one of the worst defeats of the Indian campaigns.  The Indians had 1,500 to 2,000 warriors and are thought to have lost no more than 100 in the battle.  While the Indians decisively won the Battle of the Little Bighorn, they would soon lose their war with the U.S. Army.  An interesting fact, the last survivor of the Battle was Charles Windolph who died on March 11, 1950 at the age of 98.

As you may remember, Frank had Rocky Mountain Oysters for the first time last week in Sheridan.  While Dean and Bob were checking out the Battlefield, Frank stayed behind and gorged himself on an oyster feast prepared by the gun club.  He believes his T factor has gone up tenfold.

An early read on Sunday's singles results—Jeff broke 100, Dean 99 and Taylor 98 for 199, 199 and 198 respectively.  Bob and Frank stayed in the 190's, but aren't talking.

Bob for Frank, Dean and Bob 

Gunner Cesnik (tractor driver and former Montana doubles champ), Dean, Brittney (real tractor driver) and Frank

Custer Battlefield Memorial

Custer National Cemetery

Custer battle painting in visitors center

Custer Battlefield Monument

More fallen soldiers

Wild horses on Custer battlefield

Location of Custer's fallen Indian scouts

Batlefield description





July 11, Friday at the Montana State Shoot

Montana held it championship doubles on Friday morning.  Dean broke 99 to tie for the non-resident doubles championship with South Dakota's Matt Barthelow.  This gave Dean an opportunity to avenge his HAA shootoff  loss to Matt from Wyoming.  Both Matt and Dean were perfect in the first round, but Dean edged Matt by one target in the second tie breaker to beat Matt 40 x 40 to 39 x 40.

As dark descended on Billings, Dean and Frank were called to the shootoff along with four others to settle the tie for the 16-yard class AA championship.  All six broke 100s in the program.  Stu Welton decided not to answer the call to shoot off presumably fearing our intrepid Eastern travelers (or opting for dinner instead).  In the shootoff, Dean missed his first target for a 24 while Frank waited until later in the round to miss two.  One of the other non-residents dropped out leaving two competitors to continue shooting into the darkness.  At this point in our blogging, the result is unknown.

In the handicap, 15 year-old sub junior Taylor Wagner (son of ATA delegate and VP Jeff Wagner) broke 97 in the handicap to earn his final yard to the 27.  This was Taylor's first 100 targets from the 26 having earned 1/2 yard from the 25.5 at Wyoming.    Note from Taylor Wagner,  “To my Minnesota squad mates: wish you were here..."  His dad, Jeff, also broke 97 in the handicap.

We'd also like to report that 17-year-old junior shooter Jesse Kittleson broke his first ever 100 straight in singles on Friday.  He followed the perfect singles score with a 98 in the afternoon handicap.  A great day no matter how you look at it.

Bob for Dean, Bob and Frank

Taylor Wagner and Jesse Kittelson who shot his first 100
in singles


Dean Townsend and Frank Rively

Foster Barthelow (of Grand American shootoff fame), Dean and Matt   Barthelow

Taylor Wagner's punch to the 27





July 9 and 10

Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Livingston, Montana

Hello, shooters and friends!  On Wednesday, we spent the day shopping and sightseeing in Jackson Hole and later commuting to Bozeman, Montana via the Southwest passage through Idaho.  Dean concluded his five day search for the perfect cowboy hat.  He also talked Bob and Frank into cowboy hats as well.  The group now knows more about straw and palm cowboy hats than we thought was possible to know.  No other major purchases were made, but we did look at almost every tee shirt and hat in Jackson Hole.  A few surprise purchases were made for our spouses, but I can't give away the surprises.

We had lunch at the famous watering hole called Billy Burgers dining on the signature specialties.  Later in the afternoon (on a shopping brake) we dropped by the equally famous Million Dollar Cowboy Bar for a little libation.  In the photos below note that the bar stools are actually western saddles.  We felt like real buckaroos with our new cowboy hats sitting on our saddles at the bar.  After a bit of last minute shopping, we parted ways with our junior partner, Carson Woods, and headed off for Bozeman.  Carson flew home from Salt Lake City.  Dean will now have to carry his own shells and gun.

We decided that there is no good way to get back to Billings from Jackson Hole, and we really didn't want to retrace our steps through Yellowstone at night (lots of Stimulus money being spent on the Park roads).  So, we opted for a route through Idaho Falls and up the West side of the Park through West Glacier and the Big Sky ski resort.  

Not long after we entered Idaho we encountered a large billboard that said "Notice to Tourists— Do Not Laugh at the Locals".  We all looked at each other and laughed, but I must admit, none of us fully understand the reference?!?!?    

We arrived in West Yellowstone, the West entrance to the Park around 8:00 PM just in time for dinner at Bullwinkles.  If you ever have the pleasure, try the onion rings, do.  Before we could go on to Bozeman, we had to make a quick side trip into the Park through the West entrance.  This allowed Frank to complete his "Grand Slam" of Yellowstone Park entrances equaling Bob's record set the day before.  Dean still has two more entrances to go with the toughest and most scenic yet to conquer (the Northeast entrance through Cooke City).  The ranger at the West entrance warned us to be careful as lots of animals cross our chosen path at night.  As if on cue, an electric highway sign also warned us that there were "15 Bison Impacts" on our route last year.  We can only assume that since they didn't say that 15 Bison died, they might have been the winner a few times.  Needless to say, Dean and Bob kept a careful eye on the road as Frank drove.

The road to Bozeman was generally in great shape although we encountered some very late night road construction near the Big Sky ski resort.  A "flag lady" chatted with us for a few minutes while we were waiting for some large machinery to move.  She told us that there had been lots of bear sightings in the area including a grizzly cub that wandered around the construction site the night before and a black bear that was killed on the road a few nights ago.

The remaining drive to Bozeman was uneventful.  We arrived around 11:30 PM and immediately engaged in our nightly ritual of negotiating hotel rates.  It was Bob's turn on Wednesday night.  After negotiating for 50% off  the quoted rate on a standard room, he begged for the upgrade to a suite and got it.  Our goal has been to keep our average night that we had to stay in a hotel under $40 per person per night including tax and breakfast.  So far, so good!  We also checked our mileage for the trip to date.  Despite Frank's penchant for speed, we are getting a respectable 20.3 mpg on Frank's diesel Jeep Cherokee.  It is a great comfortable ride and tows like a dream as long as we remember to put it into neutral.

We spent a couple of hours on Thursday at the Montana Watch Company in Livingston.  We got an informative tour of the small factory where custom made watches are meticulously put together one piece at a time.  It was a great education and lots of fun.  We also viewed a few galleries and found a great quirky artist named Parks Reece.  Frank and Bob each bought some of his work and a book on his works through about 2003 which were personalized and signed by the artist who thoroughly enjoyed spending some time talking with us about our trapshooting adventure.  If you enjoy off the wall humor and art, see  www.parksreece.com.  After lunch at the Stockman we completed our drive back to Billings and later met Jeff Wagner and the Barthelow boys from South Dakota for dinner at Famous Daves.  We did kill some time prior to dinner at the new Cabelas and Sportsmen's Warehouse in Billings.  

We are now back in the RV on the grounds of the Billings Trap Club.  Dean and Frank are snoring away as Bob has blog duty tonight.  We hope to do something noteworthy tomorrow to report.  

Talk to you tomorrow!

Bob for Bob, Frank and Dean

Dean and Carson in Jackson Hole with ski runs in the background

Bob and Dean at elk antler arch in Jackson Square

Dean, Bob and buffalo

Jackson Hole city stage coach

Carson and cousin Big Foot

Dean, Carson and Frank on their saddles in the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar

Dean resting after buying his cowboy hat - manager shows her





Championship Singles Saturday July 4


Today was a beautiful day in Sheridan, Wyoming.  The day started with the Wyoming state meeting at 8:00 AM followed by the singles championship.  We did have our daily afternoon rain storm that stopped shooting for about 30 minutes, but before and after the brief shower, the weather was spectacular.


The club hosted a pig roast on Saturday night before the shoot offs.  It was a great dinner thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.  After dark, we were able to see several local fireworks displays from the road to the gun club.  The displays were as good as anything we have seen in major cities.


We also got a chance to view a parade of muscle cars in downtown Sheridan between the 100s today.  I've included a few photos of cars in the parade for your viewing pleasure.


Of note, Wisconsin shooter Cheryl DeMulling broke her foot in a freak accident on Thursday morning.  She broke 198 in singles today winning the non-resident lady singles title while shooting in a temporary cast.


Dean Townsend and Jeff Wagner broke the first 100 of the singles championship, but Dean missed two and Jeff missed three in the second half.  Dean and Jeff also broke 100s in the Friday singles class championship.  Frank thumped Bob 195 to 194.


The campground at Sheridan has electricity, but no water.  They do have a unique shower trailer made from an old travel trailer.  I'm told it works well.  While we are some 400 feet from a water source, folks in the campground are very neighborly about dragging around a very long hose and filling the water tanks of campers.  The lack of water at the camp site really hasn't been much of a problem.


Frank's note; At the WY state ATA meeting Saturday, ATA VP Jeff Wagner made a proposal that we be made honorary WY residents based upon the previous night's Rocky Mountain Oyster feast. The proposal was approved with thunderous applause and cheers from the WY residents.


Check out the pictures below.


Bob and Frank


Jeff Wagner and Veteran Doubles Champion from Friday's class doubles with 100 x 100.

Dean Townsend, Dale Stockdale and Tim Reed

A small sample of the Wyoming trophy package

The Glatz Winnebago and the Wagner Monaco


The View from behind the gun club of the Big Horn Mountains

Saturday Afternoon on the Firing Line

Club House and Ready Board


Our Friendly Server at the Sheridan Club House

The parade of cars...





July 4, 2009


The Day 3 blog was absent due to a slow day of activities. It was 

rainy and windy and we did not shoot. There was a lot of story telling 

and trivia questions about ATA history.  We also spent a bit of time 

having Taylor Wagner search for a metric adjustable wrench which led 

to us explaining that he needed a metric hammer to fix his Perazzi. He 

now knows we are full of bull and will never trust us again.


Tonight we have a guest blogger—Dean Townsend:


The Eagle has landed!!  He was late arriving to Billings due to weather delays in Denver.  Thanks to my limo driver, Carson, for waiting the extra two hours to take me to Sheridan.  As I write this, it’s cloudy and cool with spotty showers at the Wyoming State Shoot.  Executive Committee member and 

squadmate, Jeff Wagner, started the day with a 99 in the doubles and managed to break the first 83 handicap targets before missing.  He ended with a 98 in the caps and is currently tied for non-res handicap champion in the Phil Kiner handicap event.  Jeff also finished the day with a 100 in the class singles event.  Son Taylor Wagner won the sub-junior non-res trophy in both the doubles and handicap today.  Frank and I both shot well today. Bob not so well. Bob was extremely glad Frank missed a 16 since he would have been hung since we shot a four-man squad.


I strongly suggested that Bob either buy a new gun or take a page from 

Rick Kalsow's book and begin playing the Lewis classes... Thanks to 

the Sheridan County Sportsman's Association for running a smooth 

tournament.  Tomorrow they have a "pig roast" planned for all shooters 

and their families.  Trapshooters seem to be the same everywhere: 

friendly and passionate about our lifetime sport, and eating good food.  More to follow...


Jeff Wagner suggested the squad have dinner at Sanford's. He had been 

telling us for two days about trying "Rocky Mountain Oysters." He then 

delicately explained that they are cow testicles. Proud to say that we 

all tried them and think they taste like chicken, except Frank who 

thinks they taste like calimari. 


Dean from the Wyoming State Shoot





July 1, 2009

Greetings from Wyoming on Day 2 of Bob and Frank's Most Excellent Adventure

Today was the first day of the 2009 Wyoming State Shoot.  The preliminary day program was completely customizable for each shooter.  That is, each shooter could register as many targets of each discipline as he or she wanted to shoot.  All targets were $18 per hundred and competitors got a chance to adjust to the targets, fields and background before the real business of the state shoot gets underway.  

Unfortunately, both Bob and Frank had work to do so they could clear their schedules for the remainder of the week, so neither got the chance to take advantage of the warm-up day—excuses made early, just in case!  Carson Woods arrived around Noon today.  As mentioned yesterday, Carson flew in to Salt Lake City and drove to Sheridan.   On his way, he stopped at Deadwood, Mt Rushmore and the Badlands.  While not competing, Carson is hanging out with the guys for a much needed break from the grind of the insurance business.  Carson drew the short straw and will drive to Billings,MT tomorrow night to pick up Dean Townsend who is flying in from Columbus, Ohio.    

Carson and Bob visited the Sheridan Visitor's Center this afternoon where we met a very helpful local staff.  These folks are really sold on Sheridan as the best place to live in the West.  In fact, they showed us facts, figures and independent research to back up that position.  We left with a lot of information on shopping, dining and sightseeing tips (and, a couple of brownies).  Of particular note is the Sheridan Rodeo the week of July 3-12.  This is a major regional event that kicks off on Friday, July 3 with a concert by country stars Blake Shelton and Bucky Covington at the Fairgrounds.  We definitely plan to catch the concert.

We also plan to attend the annual community Fourth of July celebration at the Big Horn Equestrian Center in Big Horn and the KARZ Rod Run.  The Rod Run features 125 hot rods, muscle and classic cars and trucks on historic downtown Main Street in Sheridan. When will we find time to shoot?!?!

Sheridan runs a "Trolley Ride Into History" from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM Monday through Saturday.  This one hour, $1 tour does a circular, narrated trip around the historic downtown area and is a great way to see what Sheridan has to offer in terms of shopping, dining and sightseeing.

Frank's add.: Bob auditioned to drive the trolley, but they turned him down due to a history of slow driving.

While Frank was finishing up some work, Bob and Carson stopped for happy hour at the Mint Bar.  The historic bar opened in 1907 and has operated either as a bar or a "speakeasy" (during Prohibition) ever since.  The Mint is an authentic gathering place for cowboys, ranchers and dudes (like Carson and Bob).  The Mint has an incredible collection of deceased wild game.  Of particular note is an 8 foot 4 inch long Texas sand rattlesnake skin with a 37-button rattle.  Karla (our expert mixologist) reports that the live snake weighed over 80 pounds and was tracked on horseback for two days before it was killed.  Bob wouldn't have tracked that thing with a tank and a full complement of rockets!!!

After one drink, Carson and Bob continued happy hour and meeting Frank at the Sheridan Inn.  We again camped out in the Buffalo Bill Saloon.  In addition to a great selection of beer and wine, the Inn also boasts a great dinner menu.  Frank had the Walleye and Bob and Carson had the Caesar salad.  Carson is on Weight Watchers and Bob is on the Red Wine diet.  While in the bar, we met an extended family from CT on their way to Yellowstone.  Frank and Carson were particularly impressed by the Twins (Alexis and Ashley) who had just graduated from Fordham.  Alexis is off to medical school in September and Ashley is doing graduate studies in something to do with museums.

Frank's observation; Since Frank and Carson have both broken 100s in doubles they know how to handle twins. Bob, not so much.

We also got a chance to listen to a weekly jam session with several locals who get together to practice in one of the ballrooms at the Sheridan Inn. 

As Bob writes this blog entry, Frank is helping Jeff Wagner park his RV.  The shoot starts for real tomorrow.  In addition to the sights and sounds of Sheridan, you might actually see some scores reported here tomorrow.

From Wyoming,


for Frank and Bob 

The friendly staff from the Sheridan Visitor's Center - try the brownies!!!

The Mint Bar - Opened in 1907

See the local cattle brands on the wall behind the Timber Wolf

Karla, the expert mixologist of the Mint Bar

Carson Woods at the entrance to the Buffalo Bill Saloon

Lori, the bar manager at the Buffalo Bill Saloon

Carson and Judy Taylor, the Director of Sales and Catering at the Sheridan Inn

Frank with Twins (Alexis and Ashley or Ashley and Alexis)

Frank with the proud Grandmother of the Twins

An art photo titled - "Paying the Tab" (we added $150 so we would look like big spenders)

Carson, Frank and Bob behind the bar at the famous Buffalo Bill Saloon

Authentic Local





July 1, 2009


Hi, All,


This is the first report from Bob and Frank's Most Excellent Adventure.  


Well, we arrived in Sheridan, Wyoming after a week at the Ohio State shoot at the beautiful Cardinal Center.  The trip from Marengo to St. Louis was approximately 450 miles and uneventful.  After spending the night in St. Louis and taking Judy to breakfast, Bob and Frank set off for Wyoming in Bob's RV towing Frank's Grand Cherokee.  After several hours on the road, Frank asked Bob how far we planned to drive.  We never could make up our minds, so 21 hours later we pulled into Sheridan having driven straight through, except for brief stops at a Cracker Barrel in Kansas City and a Mickey D's in Sturgis, South Dakota.  Along the way, we listened to most of a recent seven-disk series from Bob's financial guru and life coach, Harry Dent.  We are now so excited about how we plan to handle the Great Depression ahead. 


Editorial Comment: Bob drives 65 mph and Frank averages a bit over 90.  Bob gets 7.3 mpg and Frank is averaging 6.3 mpg.  Bob does his best to sleep when Frank drives!


Frank's edit: Both speeds are exaggerated on the high side. Bob seemed to be trying to arrive two days late.


We arrived (1,176 miles from STL) at the Sheridan County Sportsmen's Club this morning at about 10:30 AM.  It is a beautiful 14-trap layout (12 program and two practice) which is extremely easy to find with only one left turn off Interstate 90.  The club also has an outdoor rifle and pistol range.  The road to the club was actually reconstructed this morning (courtesy of the county) after we arrived confusing us when we returned from shopping in the afternoon.  The first person we met was Bob Prill who directed us to our camping spot and gave us the 411 on all the local eateries and attractions.  Prill is the President of the local Heritage Society that is in the process of renovating the historic Sheridan Inn (see photos), once partially owned by Buffalo Bill Cody.  We had lunch today at the bar at the Inn and viewed the various exhibits.  We could almost visualize one of Bill's men riding his horse up the wide steps into the saloon in the customary manner to announce that "drinks were on the house."



Frank's opinion: Lunch was excellent, the ambiance better, and the people very friendly and helpful.


After lunch, we toured Sheridan's outdoor art exhibits.  It is really quite an artsy town.

check out the artsy earring


After our art tour, we visited the King Rope store and museum.  The King Rope Company has manufactured riding and roping "stuff" for eons.  Bob and Frank were both confused by everything we saw and retreated to the local Walmart Super Center to buy a BBQ grill and provisions for the week.  


After we returned to the RV we decided to take a nap after which we planned to plan our dinner activities. Our naps were interrupted by a strong storm that nearly tipped over the out houses in the camp ground.  After securing our new grill (on sale for $15) and the RV awning, we decided to stay in and cook hot dogs in the convection oven and write this blog entry.


Did I mention that the last person we saw when we left Ohio was Taylor Wagner, son of North Dakota ATA Delegate, Central Zone VP and friend.  He was also the first person we saw in the camp ground in Sheridan.  Did I mention Taylor broke a 200 x 200 in singles in Ohio and won the non resident sub-junior HOA!  


Well, that's enough for today!  We'll write again tomorrow. Check back, and thanks to Trap & Field for providing the forum for our blog. Check out our pictures.





for Bob and Frank


PS— Dean Townsend will join us on Thursday night.  Dean had to stay home and mow grass and feed cats, so he is flying in to Billings on Thursday night.  Frank wouldn't pick Dean up at the airport, so Dean (our esteemed Central Zone Member of the Central Handicap Committee) recruited Carson Woods (former ATA Marketing Guru) to fly to Salt Lake City and drive to Billings to pick him up and deliver him to Sheridan.  Fiction should be so improbable!!!!






We're Here

Frank on deck

Bob on deck

Club house


Wild Bill






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