Round ’em up for Old West activities
July 29, 2004
The Old West will roll into Truckee on Saturday morning, July 31, for a two-week stay that will include a wagon parade, a mounted shooting competition, cowboy poetry and the 30th Truckee Championship Rodeo.The Sierra Ghost Riders will kick things off with a parade of horses and wagons through downtown Saturday at around 10 a.m. The event is the culmination of a 50-mile, dirt-road journey from Border Town, Nev., that will kick off the two-week celebration of Truckee’s pioneer past and horseback heritage.This is the second straight year the group has traveled the historic stock trails past Stampede Reservoir and through Russell Valley, to get to Commercial Row.On Aug. 7 and 8 at 9:30 a.m., Ghost Riders and locals will get a chance to show off their horsemanship and marksmanship in the third Cowboy Mounted Shooting event at McIver Arena.One of the competitors, for the second year, will be local gunman and Truckee Mayor Josh Susman.”It’s pretty challenging,” Susman said. “First of all, it takes a certain level of horsemanship. The whole ordeal of being on a horse that is not used to gunfire is a little stressful.”The timed event challenges competitors, who are dressed in old western clothing, with a variety of targets for their twin .45-caliber pistols. The course tests both horse and rider in a succession of stops, turns and accelerations. Riders are judged on both time and accuracy. As Susman can attest, the competition is not for the faint of heart.”I was very fortunate and thankful last year that I didn’t fall off the horse,” said Susman, who competed in the novice category.On Monday, Aug. 9, at 6:30 p.m. Sourdough Slim, Fiddlin’ Jenni and Truckee’s own Larry Maurice will bring Cowboy Poetry to Truckee’s McIver Arena.Maurice, an award-winning cowboy poet and 12-year Truckee resident, embodies two great Truckee traditions – skiing and telling tall tales.”I’m a ski instructor for Northstar in the wintertime, but the rest of the time I spend cowboying,” he said.Maurice, who won the Will Rogers Award for Cowboy Poet of the Year in 2000, said “western verse,” is a combination of dark humor, storytelling and history.”As we start to get a little more urbanized it’s nice to see them maintain some of the older traditions,” Maurice said.Susman, a member of the notorious Truckee Railroad Regulators – local, town-roaming gunmen who will also perform at the event – agreed that the two weeks serve as a way to keep the past alive.”The Truckee Regulators mission is to preserve and enhance Truckee’s colorful history and past,” he said.Truckee’s 30th championship rodeo, held at McIver Arena on the Aug. 14 and 15, will round out Truckee’s western events.Check it outSierra Ghost Rider Wagon Parade (10 a.m., July 31, Commercial Row) – free.Cowboy Mounted Shooting (9:30 a.m., Aug. 7 and 8, McIver Arena) – tickets available at show for $2 adults, $1 children.Cowboy Poetry (6:30 p.m., Aug. 9, McIver Arena) – tickets available at the show for $15 adults, $10 children.Truckee Championship Rodeo (Aug. 14 at 4 p.m. and Aug. 15 at 1 p.m., McIver Arena) – tickets $10 adults, $5 children can be purchased at the gate or at The Best Western Truckee Tahoe Inn, the Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce, the American Mail Center.