Camping in the Snowies

Camping in the Snowies

Thursday, August 20, 2015

On the Loose in Bambi Luci Part III: We finish our summer in Wyomingand Nebraska

August 19, 2015

We did indeed go to the fiddle contest in Greeley, Colorado on Saturday August 1st. Dave and I got there just as the Means family was pulling in. The contest was held at the Weld County fairgrounds and had the usual categories of small fry, juniors, novices, adults, seniors and open divisions as well as a miscellaneous instrument contest. Dave entered the Senior division and placed second. No belt buckles this time. Warrie and Jacob Means entered the miscellaneous event, playing banjo and mandolin respectively. Jacob won second place and Warrie third. Sherri and I enjoyed visiting and people watching. 

On Monday we camped at the VBar Guest Ranch where Dave had a good time playing with Chris Stearns Mackey and Bill McKay. There is no poor campsite at the Vedauwoo campground where we enjoyed a few hikes and sunny days relaxing while Dave got ready for the Wyoming State Fair fiddle contest. 
The fiddle contest is held on Saturday of the first weekend of the fair in Douglas Wyoming. 
I always enjoy walking around the fair, walking through the horse barn, and watching families grooming and riding their animals. The goat show captured my attention for a while as I watched the doe goats in the show ring. I walked through the rabbit tent and saw lots of cuddly bunnies large and small. My favorite event to watch is the herding event for dogs where a dog, getting verbal or whistled cues from its handler, attempts to herd three sheep through obstacles and finally into a pen. If it is not accomplished in five minutes or the dog bites one of the sheep, they are dismissed from the arena. 

             The flag flying over the fairgrounds

                      A funny statue located near the sheep and goat barns

The two day fiddle contest is a nice event hosted and run by the fair at the McKibbon Cafeteria. The cafeteria is not used for food service on the first weekend. During much of the fair it is used to feed 4H'ers who are staying in dorms nearby and showing animals or exhibiting their 4Hprojects. 
A stage is set up with microphones and an announcer moderates the contest. Chairs ring the stage and storekeepers tally results that are gathered from three judges who are sequestered but are able to hear each contestant's three tunes for each round. One round is played on Saturday and the final round is played on Sunday. In addition to the usual events, a  "No Holds Barred" contest pleases the crowd with special fiddling or other antics. Dave played the tune Flop Eared Mule in five different ways for this event. A favorite accompanist is chosen by popular vote. 

    Dave with his first place ribbon for the Senior contest. 

Dave and Kelly Wells with first place ribbons in twin fiddling. 

Dave accompanied by Warrie Means, the favorite accompanist. 

An interlude of entertainment with Warrie and Dave singing. 

From the fair we left Wyoming for Fort Robinson State Park in Nebraska to camp and meet up with my sister Sandy. She and I were interested to find the homestead cabin of our great-great grandfather, Miner Davis which is located in this area. After much searching and phone calls to cousins who had been there, we finally found the cabin at the end of a very long two track road which followed a small creek. 

    My map for finding the log cabin. 

   Miner Davis's log cabin restored with cement between the logs and other improvements. 

Note the mortise and tenon joinery and forged triangle dinner bell. 

       Closer detail of the logs and chinking. 

            Branding irons. 

     Sand bank behind cabin that we saw in earlier photos. 

  Sandy in the front yard of the Davis cabin next to a hand hewn log chair. 

Dave, Sandy and I enjoyed the buildings and grounds of the State Park, especially the Veterinary Museum which was the equine hospital when the fort was a Calvary base and Olympic equine training center. Sandy visited and took pictures of many of the buildings. The three of us spent time on the veranda of the main lodge and visited with a man whose ancestor was a Buffalo Soldier. 

      Now used as the main lodge of the park. 

      Dave waiting for us to be ready to go exploring. 

                       A view from the veranda. 

From the park we travelled east on Highway 20 to Atkinson. We parked the Bambi at the Wheel Inn RV Park and enjoyed full hookups. The wi-fi was slow but we were able to get faster wi-fi at Sandy's place. My brother Robb came from O'Neill to have dinner with us one evening and we were able to get together for visiting and fiddle and guitar playing two nights with good friends Jay and Joyce Kelly. 

From Atkinson we headed east and south to Lincoln camping at the Camp Away RV Resort near downtown Lincoln and near the Fallbrook home of our son Matt and wife Jennifer and grandkids Katie and Daniel. 

Katie and Daniel first day of school 2015. 

All six of us were able to have dinner at the Legacy Estates with Bonnie Brinkman. It was good to see her and help with a few errands. 
The heat and humidity prompted us to stay with Matt and Jennifer. We got a break from tiny surroundings of our trailer and enjoyed their nice home and wonderful green grass, flowers, shrubs and trees. The Bambi was safe in a shady spot at the campground probably enjoying a break from us, too!

Dave plays along with Daniel. 

We relished lots of good visiting, a meal at the neat Prairie Plate farm to table restaurant out in the country, seeing and hearing our grandchildren and Jennifer practice piano, family meals around the table and relaxing, we said goodbyes on Thursday evening and returned to the trailer.  
We will head west to Hastings to visit our son Ross for two days and make the westward trek on Interstate 80 to Laramie. 
The next installment of "On the Loose" will chronicle the visit with Ross, a farewell jam with friends and our journey back to Arizona. Stay tuned.