A good Western shows life at its simplest â€“ the cowboy in a white hate fighting the cad in a black hat, good versus evil clearly drawn out.
â€œThey were our heroes, and the good guys always won, unlike nowadays,â€ said Evelyn Miller of Pumpkin Center.
As a child, Miller was immersed in all things Western.
â€œI threw dolls aside and played with the guns and played cowboys and Indians,â€ she said.
Now an adult, she still loves the lifestyle. So much so, she has joined Sisters on the Fly, a group dedicated to all things Western.
Miller learned about the group through a television program featuring the women and their vintage campers.
While watching, she sensed these women were kindred spirits.
â€œI thought â€˜Oh, Iâ€™ve got to do this,â€™â€ she said.
She joined the group and was dubbed Sister 342. She drove to her first trip with a woman she had never met. Instead of awkwardness, the pair talked nonstop for hours.
â€œItâ€™s the best time Iâ€™ve had on the road,â€ Miller said.
Over the past seven months, Miller has gone on three Sisters on the Fly trips.
A portion of the groupsâ€™ 515 members joined her in Florida, Oklahoma and Wyoming. Miller has gone fishing and camping, sang songs and lived life on the open range. Itâ€™s the fulfillment of a dream.
â€œLife began for me at 60,â€ she said.
Because of the group, sheâ€™s made friends with women from all over the United States who share her passion for the West. Sheâ€™s also gained a level of independence she had never before experienced.
â€œItâ€™s not about husbands, children or pets,â€ she said. â€œItâ€™s about empowerment and seeing that we can do this by ourselves.â€
While on these trips, Miller not only gets to live out her childhood fantasies, she also bonds with friends.
No one cares about money or status, Miller said. Instead, the focus is on having fun.
â€œWe laughed, and we laughed,â€ she said of her trip to a Wyoming ranch.
When not traveling, Millersâ€™ camper sits in her driveway. â€œDesperate Housewifeâ€ is written on its side.
She already has one little fan who may be the next generation of Sisters on the Fly.
â€œMy granddaughter, she thinks my camper is a playhouse,â€ she said.
by Sarah Grano