Monday, June 6, 2011

Cody Rodeo

A few days ago LC and I went to the rodeo in Cody (the self-proclaimed Rodeo Capital Of The World).
The town holds a rodeo every night during the summer just on the outskirts of this small city.
It was the first time I had ever been to a rodeo and I was eager and enthusiastic to witness it, and Saturday seemed like a great day to go.
It was sunny and very warm and Saturday was also Park County Day meaning that entrance to the event was only $5 a person for residents of the county.
As soon as we entered through the gates I could tell that this was going to be a fun way to spend a few hours.
The first thing that caught my attention was this burro and little dog.
A picture taking opportunity for all the tourists and I was one of them, but I felt badly for little pup because he was shaking and terrified sitting on the donkey's back............
We spent a good while wandering around the grounds outside the stadium taking in all the sights and sounds.
It was all very foreign to me, but people were celebrating good clean and easy going fun in that way that only heartland America knows how to do..............
I am not going to write a whole lot about the experience because the pictures really tell the story.
They are not great pictures - some too light, some taken from too far away, some too dark, some with poles in the way, some trying to catch "action shots" but my poor overworked camera could barely keep up.
And disappointingly much of the most intense action took place after dark and my camera could not pick it up.
LC and I sat initially in the bleachers on the far side of the stadium trying to get away from direct sunlight, but we soon moved over to the other side when kids insisted on standing directly in front of us and blocking our view.
Once we moved over we knew that this was where we would sit next time we came to the rodeo - not as many people, easier for photo-taking-fools to take pictures, closer to the parking lot so maybe we could beat the rush outta Dodge..............
The rodeo started as scheduled at 8pm with an opening prayer and the playing of the National Anthem.
What followed was non-stop activity of every rodeo-kind.
A man portending to be Buffalo Bill Cody told the audience his life story.
The announcer introduced the riders for the evening - most of whom are members of the Northwest College Rodeo Team (based out of Powell)
And then the next couple of hours raced by in a flurry of bucking broncos, lame rodeo clown jokes to fill in the time between events, bull riding, calf roping, kids games, barrel racing and other rodeo-type-stuff.
People of all ages competed including tiny barrel racers barely old enough to completely straddle their small horses.
It was all great fun - vaguely tacky sometimes - completely wholesome always - and I had a great time..........
There were many roping activities in the competition.
Some of these horse handlers and ropers were amazingly skilled.............
Guys to lasso the horses and bulls once the riders had been bucked off.
Horseman and cowboys in the true sense.
Very skilled............
After being crowded into seats in one set of bleachers and then having our view continually blocked by kids we walked back closer to the main entrance and sat in the corer of this set of bleachers.
No backs on these seats but that did not matter.  
I could stand up and move around and enjoyed the freedom of the mobility this place provided.................
I know that the rodeo is held every single night but I was still surprised that the stadium was not packed with people.
I think that the normal price for entry to the rodeo is $18...............
A young rodeo clown in training helping to entertain the crowds during the kids events...............
Setting sun near the rodeo grounds..............
Cowboy Is His Name
There's a hundred years of history
and a hundred before that
All gathered in the thinkin'
Goin' on beneath this hat.
The cold flame burns within him
'Til his skin's as cold as ice
And the dues he paid to get here
Are worth every sacrifice.
All the miles spend sleepy drivin'
All the money down the drain,
All the 'if I's' and 'nearly's,'
All the bandages and pain,
All the female tears left dryin',
All the fever and the fight
Are just a small down payment
On the ride he makes tonight.
It's guts and love and glory,
One mortal's chance at fame.
His legacy is rodeo
And cowboy is his name.
                                         ©Baxter Black

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