Do you remember my friend, Chariot-Racing Betty? If not, you can read about her chariot races here and here.
If chariot racing isn't enough to establish the fact that life in Wyoming is a wee bit different than life in Indiana, Betty and her husband, John, also compete in packhorse races, most recently in the Don Scheer Memorial Packhorse Race in Dubois, Wyoming, on Father's Day weekend.
Doug and I didn't go to Wyoming for the races, so credit for the photographs in this post goes to Diane Probasco, Betty's partner in the Powder Puff Race, which is a ladies-only race. There was also an Open Division race and an Old Timers Race, in which the combined contestant ages must total 100 years or more. Betty's husband, John, and his partner finished fourth in that one.
Each team consists of two riders, two saddle horses, and a packhorse. The contest begins with a fully set-up camp, including tent, camp stove, two bedrolls, an axe, and a shovel. There is a specific configuration required for everything in the camp.
When the "GO" signal is given, the teammates begin tearing down their camp, packing the gear on the packhorse, and saddling the saddle horses.
Betty and Diane waiting for the signal to begin tearing down their camp
When everything is ready, the riders, with one of them leading the packhorse, must trot a seven-mile course, which brings them back to the starting line. The teams must then unpack and unsaddle their horses and take a 10-minute break, after which they again pack up and saddle up and trot the seven-mile course a second time. Then they must set up camp again.
Diane and Betty finished 2nd in their race.
Sometimes, having fun looks like a lot of work.
Update: Betty explained that only in the Open Division do the contestants have to ride twice over the course. The Powder Puff Race and the Old Timers Race cover the course only once.