Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Wyoming Dispatch: A Day in Sheridan
Today was our weekly trip to Sheridan for errands and groceries. To begin the day, we were in downtown Sheridan for any errands that might need to be run. I used the time to visit King's Saddlery, which has an incredible museum of western tack and tools in a building behind the store. It's also where they make rope and tool leather. When you first walk in, you encounter some of their collection of taxidermied animals, including the giraffe above.
King's also makes and sells their own rope. Apparently, cowfolk will practice roping on benches, chairs, probably the taxidermy, and maybe even sometimes people in the store while they are trying to find a rope they like, though I did not witness this.
Behind the ropes are the leather sewing machines:
My favorite part was the Don King (but not that Don King) Tool Collection upstairs. An amazing collection of tools for leather tooling and saddlery.
And of course, saddles galore!
They make their own rope in the basement on these machines. The fiber - in this case, nylon, is stretched as single strands on this machine which runs on a track. It spins the fiber first into three separate strands, and then spins those three into one rope.
There are piles of already-made ropes lying around, waiting to be waxed and stretched.
We returned to Jentel for a late lunch that's left me sleepy. I'm now in my studio, settling down to work, battling the urge to curl up on the bed (the studios have beds, not as nice as those in our bedrooms, but yes, we are spoiled) and nap the afternoon away.