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Spurs and the Great West

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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#1351 Post by nrobertb » Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:56 am

Another version of the ever popular railroad spike knife. At this point there are probably more of these made into knives than are holding down rails.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#1352 Post by nrobertb » Tue Nov 19, 2019 12:40 pm

The Gunnison River in Coolorado is formed by the confluence of Taylor and East rivers at Almont in eastern Gunnison County. Just past the town of Gunnison, the river begins to swell into the expanse of Blue Mesa Reservoir, a 36-mile-long reservoir formed by Blue Mesa Dam, where it receives the Lake Fork of the Gunnison. Just downstream it is dammed again to form Morrow Point Reservoir, then just downstream of that dam for the final time to form Crystal Reservoir. The reservoirs produce hydroelectric power and supply water for the surrounding areas for both municipal and irrigation use. The reservoirs are the upper part of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, one of the longest, narrowest, and deepest gorges in the world. Below Crystal Dam it begins to roar through massive cataracts and flows through the deepest part of the gorge. At the outlet of the canyon it receives the North Fork River, then downstream near Delta, Colorado, is joined by the Uncompahgre River. It then winds through desert canyonlands, where it receives Kannah Creek, before it empties out of the Dominguez Canyon into the Colorado in Grand Junction, some years rivaling the Colorado River for equal volume.

The Gunnison River ranges in width from 100 to 1,000 feet and 3 to 50 feet (1 to in depth. The river's powerful current and many rapids make upstream travel nearly impossible. It is navigable for small craft throughout its course and by larger boats below the Black Canyon. Parts of the Black Canyon are non-navigable to any sorts of craft because of giant cataracts. Navigation through the entire canyon is dangerous and for experienced boaters only.

The first non-native to see and record information of the Gunnison River was Juan Maria de Rivera, who came to the banks of the river just below its confluence with the Uncompahgre River in 1761 and 1765. It was again seen in 1776 by Silvestre Vélez de Escalante. At the time the Spanish name for the river was Rio de San Javier. Escalante noted that Rivera thought it was "the great Rio del Tizon", the long used Spanish name for the lower Colorado River.

Through the mid-1800s, the river was variously named the Eagle, Eagle Tail, South Fork of the Grand, Grande, and Grand River. Exploration reports and published maps in the 1850s and 1860s most commonly referred to the river as the Grand River. In subsequent years, however, the river was renamed for U.S. Army Captain John W. Gunnison of the Topographic Engineers who was ambushed and killed by Pahvant Utes while mapping a trail west in Utah Territory in 1853.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#1353 Post by nrobertb » Wed Nov 20, 2019 11:16 am

Some Mexican style spurs.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#1354 Post by nrobertb » Thu Nov 21, 2019 10:22 am

We all want to be manly men, right? Here's some information on how to achieve that goal.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#1355 Post by nrobertb » Fri Nov 22, 2019 4:19 pm

The concept of a broad-brimmed hat with a high crown worn by a rider on horseback can be seen as far back as the Mongolian horsemen of the 13th century. The hat has a tall crown that provides insulation, a wide brim, and shade. Hot and sunny climates inspire designs with very wide brims such as the sombrero of Mexico.

It is not clear when the cowboy hat received its name. However, European-Americans in the Western United States originally had no standard headwear. People moving West wore many styles of hat, including top hats, bowlers, remains of Civil War headgear, and sailor hats. Contrary to popular belief, it was the bowler and not the cowboy hat that was the most popular in the American West, prompting Lucius Beebe to call it "the hat that won the West". The working cowboy wore wide-brimmed and high-crowned hats. The hats were most likely adopted from the Mexican Vaqueros before the invention of the modern design. John Batterson Stetson is credited for originating the modern day American Cowboy Hat.

The original "Boss of the Plains", manufactured by Stetson in 1865, was flat-brimmed, had a straight sided crown, with rounded corners. These light-weight, waterproof hats were natural in color, with four-inch crowns and brims. A plain hatband was fitted to adjust head size. The sweatband bore Stetson's name. While only making one style of hat, they came in different qualities ranging from one-grade material at five dollars apiece to pure beaver felt hats for thirty dollars each. J.B. Stetson was the first to market the "Boss of the Plains" to cowboys, and it has remained the universal image of the American West. The charisma of the West was carried back East when adventurers returned in the expensive "Boss of the plains" style hat. In the 19th century and first half of the 20th century, a hat was an indispensable item in every man's wardrobe. Stetson focused on expensive, high-quality hats that represented a real investment for the working cowboy and a statement of success for the city dweller.

The durability and water-resistance of the original Stetson obtained additional publicity in 1912, when the battleship USS Maine was raised from Havana harbor, where it had sunk in 1898. A Stetson hat was found in the wreck, which had been submerged in seawater for 14 years. The hat had been exposed to ooze, mud, and plant growth. However, the hat was cleaned off, and appeared to be undamaged.

Modern cowboy hats are made of fur-based felt, straw or, less often, leather. They are sold with a tall, rounded crown and a wide flat brim. They have a simple sweat band on the inside to stabilize the fit of the head, and usually a small decorative hat band on the outside of the crown. Hats are customized by creasing the crown and rolling the brim. Often a more decorative hat band is added. In some places, "stampede strings" or "wind strings" are also attached. Hats can be manufactured in virtually any color, but are most often seen in shades of beige, brown and black. Beginning in the 1940s, pastel colors were introduced, seen often on hats worn by movie cowboys and rodeo riders. "Today's cowboy hat has remained basically unchanged in construction and design since the first one was created in 1865 by J.B. Stetson."
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#1356 Post by nrobertb » Sat Nov 23, 2019 9:02 am

Cowboy boots refer to a specific style of riding boot, historically worn by cowboys. They have a high heel that is traditionally made of stacked leather, rounded to pointed toe, high shaft, and, traditionally, no lacing. Cowboy boots are normally made from cowhide leather, which may be decoratively hand tooled, but are also sometimes made from "exotic" skins like alligator, snake, ostrich, lizard, eel, elephant, stingray, elk, buffalo, and so on.

There are two basic styles of cowboy boots, western (or classic), and roper. The classic style is distinguished by a tall boot shaft, going to at least mid-calf, with an angled "cowboy" heel, usually over one inch high. A slightly lower, still angled, "walking" heel is also common. The toe of western boots was originally rounded or squared in shape. The narrow pointed toe design appeared in the early 1940s.

A newer design, the "roper" style, has a short boot shaft that stops above the ankle but before the middle of the calf, with a very low and squared-off "roper" heel, shaped to the sole of the boot, usually less than one inch high. Roper boots are usually made with rounded toes, but, correlating with style changes in streetwear, styles with a squared toe are seen. The roper style is also manufactured in a lace-up design which often fits better around the ankle and is less likely to slip off, but lacing also creates safety issues for riding. They usually have some sort of decorative stitching.

Riding boots had been a part of equestrian life for centuries. Until the industrial age, boots were individually handmade in many different styles, depending on culture. Early cowboy boot designs, along with other cowboy accouterments, were also heavily influenced by the vaquero tradition imported from Spain to the Americas, dating back to the early 16th century. Military boots designed for cavalry riders also had an influence.

Later, the Industrial Revolution allowed some styles of boots to be mass-produced. One mass-produced boot style, the Wellington boot, (a shorter but cavalry-oriented boot) was popular with cowboys in the USA until the 1860s.

During the cattle drive era of 1866–1884, the cowboy was not apt to ruin a good pair of dress boots while working, so some owned more decorative dress boots to wear in town. The basic style elements permeated even working boots, and made the Wellington obsolete. Fashion magazines from 1850 and 1860 show the cowboy boot with top stitching, cutouts of geometric or other natural elements and underslung heel.

The American-style boot was taken up by bootmakers in the cattle ranching areas of Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. Two of the best known early bootmakers of the era were Charles Hyer of Hyer Brothers Boots in Olathe, Kansas, and H. J. "Daddy Joe" Justin of Justin Boots in Spanish Fort, Texas and later Nocona, Texas. After Justin moved to Fort Worth where shipping was easier, the Nocona brand of cowboy boots was made by Enid Justin Stelzer, eldest daughter of H. J. Justin, who stayed in Nocona with her husband, and the couple continued the family business. After the couple divorced, the Olsen-Stelzer brand was started by Stelzer.

T.C. McInerney of Abilene, Kansas, also made the American-style cowboy boot. A picture of this boot is listed in an ad in the Abilene Weekly Chronicle on December 7, 1871.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#1357 Post by nrobertb » Sun Nov 24, 2019 10:53 am

The Blue River is a tributary of the Colorado River, approximately 65 miles long, in the U.S. state of Colorado.

It rises in southern Summit County, on the western side of the continental divide in the Ten Mile Range, near Quandary Peak. It flows north past Blue River and Breckenridge, then through the Dillon Reservoir near Dillon. The west portal for the "Roberts Tunnel" is at the base of Dillon Reservoir. The Roberts Tunnel is a trans-basin diversion, built by Denver Water in 1962, that diverts water under the Continental Divide from the Colorado River basin into the South Platte River Basin. The east portal is approximately one mile upstream of Grants, Colorado.

North of Dillon the river flows north-northwest along the eastern slope of the Gore Range and joins the Colorado River at Kremmling. The Green Mountain Dam, 13 miles upstream from Kremmling, forms the Green Mountain Reservoir, providing hydroelectric power and diversionary water for irrigation, as part of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#1358 Post by nrobertb » Mon Nov 25, 2019 9:59 am

A nice collection of Navajo jewelry.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#1359 Post by nrobertb » Tue Nov 26, 2019 10:13 am

The Gila River (/ˈhiːlə/; is a 649-mile-long tributary of the Colorado River flowing through New Mexico and Arizona in the United States. The river drains an arid watershed of nearly 60,000 square miles that lies mainly within the U.S., but also extends into northern Sonora, Mexico. Indigenous peoples have lived along the river for at least 2,000 years, establishing complex agricultural societies before European exploration of the region began in the 16th century. However, European Americans did not permanently settle the Gila River watershed until the mid-19th century.

The Gila River has its source in western New Mexico, in Sierra County on the western slopes of Continental Divide in the Black Range. It flows southwest through the Gila National Forest and the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, then westward into Arizona, past the town of Safford. After flowing along the southern slope of the Gila Mountains in Graham County through a series of canyons, the Gila is impounded by Coolidge Dam in San Carlos Lake south of Peridot.

It emerges from the mountains into the valley southeast of Phoenix, Arizona, where it crosses the Gila River Indian Reservation as an intermittent stream due to large irrigation diversions. Well west of Phoenix, the river bends sharply southward along the Gila Bend Mountains, then it swings westward again near the town of Gila Bend. It flows southwestward between the Gila Mountains to the south and the Languna and Muggins ranges to the north in Yuma County, and finally it empties into the Colorado at Yuma, Arizona.

The Gila is joined by many tributaries, beginning with the East and West Forks of the river, which combine to form the main stem near Gila Hot Springs in New Mexico. Above Safford, it is joined by the San Francisco River and the intermittent San Simon River. Further downstream, it is joined by the San Carlos River from the north in San Carlos Lake. At Winkelman, Arizona, it picks up the San Pedro River and then is joined by the Santa Cruz River south of Casa Grande. The Salt River, its main tributary, joins in the Phoenix metropolitan area, and further west the Gila receives its last two major tributaries, the Agua Fria and Hassayampa Rivers, from the north.

The McPhaul Suspension Bridge on a former section of US Route 95 spans the Gila between the Gila and Laguna ranges in Yuma County. The bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

A band of Pima (autonym "Akimel O'odham", river people), the Keli Akimel O'odham (Gila River People), have lived on the banks of the Gila River since before the arrival of Spanish explorers. Popular theory says that the word "Gila" was derived from a Spanish contraction of Hah-quah-sa-eel, a Yuma word meaning "running water which is salty". Their traditional way of life was and is centered at the river, which is considered holy. Traditionally, sand from the banks of the river is used as an exfoliant when bathing (often in rainstorms, especially during the monsoon). Indigenous peoples such as the Hohokam were responsible for creating large, complex civilizations along the Middle Gila River and Salt River between 600 and 1450 AD. These native civilizations depended largely on irrigated agriculture, for which they constructed over 200 miles of canals. The upper Gila was inhabited by the Mogollon culture over most of the same time period, in settlements like those at Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument in the later period.

The first European to see the Gila River was possibly Spanish explorer and missionary Juan de la Asunción. Asunción reached the Gila in 1538 after traveling northwards along one of its tributaries, either the San Pedro or Santa Cruz. In 1540, Hernando de Alarcón sailed up the Colorado and Gila Rivers; maps drawn by his expedition show the river as the Miraflores or Brazos de la Miraflores.

In 1944, 25 German prisoners of war pulled off the largest and most spectacular escape from an American compound during the war, digging a 178-foot tunnel out of the Navy’s Papago Park Prisoner of War Camp in Arizona. All of the men were eventually captured, though some remained at large for more than a month. Among the last to be captured were three German soldiers who had based their audacious but ill-fated escape plans on a stolen highway map of Arizona, which showed the Gila River leading to the Colorado River, which in turn led to Mexico. Devising a scheme to flee by water, the Germans constructed a collapsible kayak under the noses of their American captors, tested it in a makeshift pool within the prison compound, then sneaked it out through the tunnel. Their plan was perfect – except for the map. The Gila, shown as a healthy blue waterway, turned out to be little more than a dry rut.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#1360 Post by nrobertb » Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:10 am

The Cattleman Crease
Crown Height: 4” – 5” crown
Brim: Medium Curve, 4 – 4 ½ ”

The most traditional and well known crease, the Cattleman Crease, is the oldest crease found in cowboy style hat. This style started when ranch owners wanted a differentiation from the Rodeo Cowboy look. The Cattleman features a taller, but narrower crown typically between four and five inches tall, a single crease down the center of the crown with two creases along the side. Functionally, the larger crown was used during high winds or rain, as the cowboy would pull their hat down further over their head so it would not come loose and fall off. The Cattleman Crease is also considered to be the Gentleman’s choice of Cowboy hat styles making it a common sight at weddings and parties. The Cattleman crease is not exclusive to Felt Cowboy hats as many manufacturers have adopted the style in the Straw Hat lines.

The Cattleman Hat does have minor variations in style depending on its wearer. One of the more popular stylistic changes has been deemed the “Gus Hat”. Sticking with all of the traditional creases that make up the Cattleman, the Gus Hat pinches the front of the crown almost giving the hat an outback style look.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#1361 Post by nrobertb » Thu Nov 28, 2019 10:39 am

Some more spurs said to have been prison made.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#1362 Post by nrobertb » Fri Nov 29, 2019 10:39 am

Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park, known as Scout's Rest Ranch, is a living history state park located west of North Platte, Nebraska. The ranch was established in 1878 with an initial purchase of 160 acres south of the Union Pacific tracks by William (Buffalo Bill) Cody. The 4,000 acre ranch was sold in 1911 and has been under the management of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission since 1964. The 25 acre historic state park, added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, is open weekdays from April to October. The house and outbuildings can be toured, including a museum documenting Cody's life from a Pony Express rider to his Wild West shows.

In 1877 Cody contacted Major Frank North, the leader of the Pawnee Scouts, who was living in Sidney, Nebraska. Cody founded the Cody-North Partnership with the North brothers to form a cattle business. North found land along the Dismal River, 65 miles north of North Platte, on which cattle could graze and a ranch could be built. Cody continued touring his “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West” show while North purchased cattle at the north end of the Texas cattle trail, near Ogallala, Nebraska. North hired cowboys to help operate the ranch while Cody was on tour.

The ranch grew in size to encompass seven thousand acres. 2,500 acres were planted for alfalfa and 2,500 were corn. The Omaha Bee reported on Cody's ranching operations several times. The Bee described the ranch as one of the most improved farms in Nebraska. In cooperation with Isaac Dillon, a neighboring rancher, Cody and Dillon built a 12-mile irrigation ditch, capable of watering 6,000 acres of crops. This property was financially viable for Cody. By the 1880s, however, other homesteaders had begun to move into this area of Nebraska and had taken grazing land. In 1882 the Cody-North Ranching Operation ended and was bought out by John Bratt.

During the time of owning the Cody-North Ranch, in 1878, Cody began buying land surrounding North Platte. The first purchase of land was 160 acres for $750, south of the Union Pacific tracks that run through North Platte. Cody purchased nearly 4,000 more acres adjacent to North Platte. An eighteen-room mansion on the property which was a treeless prairie. Cody had land in Kansas that had many tall, established trees and wanted trees on his new ranch. Al Goodman, his brother-in-law, discovered why trees would not grow on his new property or the North Platte area. Goodman found issues of water absorption and planted many cottonwoods and box-elder around the property, able to withstand the conditions. The ranch now had many growing trees. This information was shared with the people of North Platte to increase tree population in the area.

Louisa (Cody's wife) and their daughters moved to North Platte in February 1878. They monitored the property, where Cody wanted to retire. Cody showed his new land and brought out family, friends, and celebrities. These guests, along with his family, spent time with the cowboys employed on the ranch. The ranch grew with the help of the Goodmans, who maintained the ranch and managed the high-grade livestock and thoroughbred horses. By 1885, 1,200 acres were planted as corn, 100 acres of alfalfa, 50 of broomcorn, and a small oat field. The ranch was operated with 80 horses and 30 men, rising to 60 men in busy seasons. When the trees grew, the southern portion of the ranch turned into a wooded park with deer, several young buffaloes, and a large lake. This area of land would be called “Scout’s Rest Ranch”. Cody had the words “Scout’s Rest Ranch” painted on the roof of the large barn, so that it could be read from the Union Pacific tracks a mile away.

This ranch was revolutionary for the time. Cody imported many blooded cattle and thoroughbred horses at a time when that was not common. The land was transformed from treeless prairie to a forested area. Despite advancements and profitable years, operating costs were high and Cody sold the ranch in 1911 for $100,000.

The original two-story house was built in 1886 for Al and Julia Goodman. Al and Julia Goodman are Cody's sister and brother-in-law who managed the ranch. In 1964 the house was purchased by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission as part of the process for making Scout's Rest Ranch a State Historical Park, Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park Since 1964, the park has been open to the public.

The Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park is 25 acres and contains 4 original structures. The structures on the park include the Second Empire style mansion built in 1886 for the Goodmans, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. Other buildings are the cob house, used for storing corncobs that were kindling for the house stoves, the ice house that was built in 1886 along with the main house, and the original barn, built in 1887, used for storing the thoroughbred livestock and has “Scout's Rest Ranch” painted on the roof.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#1363 Post by nrobertb » Sat Nov 30, 2019 10:49 am

The San Juan River is a major tributary of the Colorado River in the Southwestern United States, providing the chief drainage for the Four Corners region of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Arizona. Originating as snowmelt in the San Juan Mountains (part of the Rocky Mountains) of Colorado, it flows 383 miles through the deserts of northern New Mexico and southeastern Utah to join the Colorado River at Glen Canyon. The river drains a high, arid region of the Colorado Plateau and along its length it is often the only significant source of fresh water for many miles. The San Juan is also one of the muddiest rivers in North America, carrying an average of 25 million US tons of silt and sediment each year.

Historically, the San Juan formed the border between the territory of the Navajo in the south and the Ute in the north.

Although Europeans explored the Four Corners region at least as early as the 1700s, it was not until the gold and silver booms of the 1860s when settlers arrived in large numbers from the eastern United States. After heated conflicts over land, the Native Americans were forced into reservations, where their descendants live today. During the 20th century, intensive drilling in the fossil fuel-rich San Juan Basin and uranium mining along the lower river in Utah generated serious concerns about water quality, particularly on the Navajo Nation where the river is a crucial source of water for irrigation. Runoff from abandoned gold and silver mines is also a major issue, as occurred in the 2015 Gold King Mine waste water spill into the Animas River, the main tributary of the San Juan.

The U.S. federal government has built a number of large dams in the San Juan River system to control floods, and provide irrigation and domestic water supply. In addition, the lower part of the river is inundated by Lake Powell, one of the largest reservoirs in the United States. Efficient management is crucial to ensuring enough water supply for not just farms and urban areas, but also recreational boating, fisheries, and environmental restoration. However, heavy water use has significantly reduced the flow of the San Juan River, by as much as 25 percent since pre-development conditions; in addition, warming temperatures in the Rocky Mountains are projected to have a further negative effect on snowpack, and stream flow.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#1364 Post by nrobertb » Sat Nov 30, 2019 4:20 pm

Justin Boots is an American western and equestrian footwear brand. It is a division of Justin Brands, Inc., itself owned by Berkshire Hathaway.
H.J. "Daddy Joe" Justin started repairing boots in Spanish Fort, Texas. After receiving a loan to purchase materials, he began making his own cowboy boots.
Justin was an early user of decorative stitching, incorporating rows of stitches across the boot tops as a means of stiffening the leather, preventing it from folding around the ankles.

In 1887, Justin married Louanna “Annie” Allen. In the early 1890s, Annie Justin developed a self-measuring kit, making it possible for customers to order the company's products by mail.

When a railroad was built in Nocona, Texas, in 1889, the Justins moved there to capitalize on the larger market opportunity. "Daddy Joe" and Annie had seven children — three sons and four daughters — who each helped with the family business. In 1908, Justin told his two oldest sons, John and Earl, that they would become equal partners in the family business. He then changed the name of his boot company to H.J. Justin & Sons.

The Justins moved the business to Fort Worth, Texas in 1925, except for daughter Enid Justin, who believed her father would have wanted the business to remain in Nocona. She later founded Nocona Boots.

In 1947, annual sales reached $1 million. Three years later, Joe’s grandson, John Justin Jr., bought out the company’s stock and gained control of the company. On Nov. 3, 1950, John Jr. became vice president and general manager of H.J. Justin & Sons, Inc.

The company merged with Acme Brick Company in 1968 to become First Worth Corporation. In 1972, John Justin Jr. was elected president and chairman of the board, and the company’s name officially changed to Justin Industries, Inc.

Nocona Boot Company became part of Justin Industries when John Justin purchased the controlling shares from his aunt, Enid Justin, in 1981. In 1984, the company acquired Chippewa Shoe Company. In 1990, Justin Industries purchased competitor Tony Lama Boots.

In 1999, John Justin stepped down from his role as chairman of the board of Justin Industries, Inc., and in 2000 the board of directors for Justin Industries approved the sale of the company to Warren Buffett and the Berkshire-Hathaway Corp.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#1365 Post by nrobertb » Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:11 am

Ojibway snowshoes are the largest of the styles and meant for deep powder snow where smaller shoes would sink in. Because of their length they are more practical in open terrain.
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