Meeker is the place to be the first week of September for the 20th annual Meeker Classic Championship Sheepdog Trials. This year the trial dates are Sept.6-10, and the prize purse is $20,000.
In addition to seeing the world's best sheepdogs in action, the event includes a craft fair, a pancake breakfast, a Sunday lamb barbecue, an art contest and silent auction, bagpipe music and a Frisbee contest for dogs. For more information, visit www.meekersheepdog.com.
The town also is home to the White River Museum. You won't be able to miss the rough-hewn log buildings, which store the historical treasures of the area.
The original structure was built in 1880 as quarters for the US Army officers. The army pulled out in 1883 and sold the block of buildings to the town for $50.
The museum was a private residence until 1945. The Garrison building, which just underwent a major renovation, was a residence until 1995 and the building on the corner continues to be a private home. Visitors will find clothing, including wedding dresses, gowns and jewelry from the late 1800s through the 1940s.
Through personal belongings, visitors meet the people who added color to the Meeker landscape. Rory White's bear hide coat is on display. White was the stagecoach driver between Rifle and Meeker. There are articles about the Meeker Massacre and the bank robbery of 1896. Some other exhibits include a wall of photos dedicated to the town's namesake Nathan C. Meeker and his family. Also on display is Chief Colorow's peace pipe and pair of moccasins made by a Ute woman for a pioneer. The original hand-printing press for the Meeker Herald was brought from Leadville in 1885.
Plan to spend several hours at the museum, which is at 565 Park St. behind the Rio Blanco County Courthouse. Summer hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Call 878-9982. The admission is free; however, donations are appreciated.
There are a variety of accommodations in and around Meeker. If you are roughing it, there are plenty of camping opportunities. If you prefer the homey experience, there are several cabins for rent a short drive up the White River.
A lunch or dinner at the Sleepy Cart Ranch on the White River is well worth the drive up the scenic highway.