The odd-ball to-do list (we refuse to call it a “bucket list” out of sheer societal non-conformity) got another tick mark this week. In addition to a roller derby another event we wanted to go to was a rodeo.
It’s not that we consider rodeos that odd, they’re just something we never would have gone to if we were still living back in our stick & brick house in West Michigan.
The rodeo scene is active out here in Utah, and being in the Salt Lake City area over the Memorial Day holiday meant there was one within driving distance - Pony Express Days in Eagle Mountain, UT. Grandma and Grampa “A” are here in SLC visiting with us for a week and wanted to treat us to a family activity, so we made the 45-minute drive out into the more pastoral land surrounding SLC. On the drive over the skies were heavy and variable with moments of spitting rain. Once at the location we gathered up, looked at the radar, and talked about whether it would be worth risking the weather. We decided to give it a go, so drove in and parked.
I liked the fact that this wasn’t a huge rodeo. There were kids directing traffic, a few trailers selling food items (unfortunately the Mormon roots here meant no hot drinks available), and 4 sections of grandstands around a modestly sized arena. The temps were dropping as we sat and it continued to spit and sputter with rain. We wrapped rain ponchos around our backs to keep the wind off and tried to huddle for warmth. I’m not sure what happened here, but all of us had warmer clothes that we could have grabbed but didn’t.
I loved the startup ceremonies that included a 6 year old singing the national anthem and the announcer doing a pre-event “Cowboy Prayer”.
We watched a group of kids chase calves to get ribbons off their tails (each worth money with one large prize), bareback bucking bronco riders, kids doing “mutton wrestling”, calf wrestling, and team roping. The wind and rain were affecting the team ropers with most of them not able to complete the event.
Right around halfway through the temps dropped to the mid-40’s and the rain started turning to sleet and some hail so we called time on our rodeo experience. Running back to the cars the wind was whipping and the drizzle soon turned to an outright downpour. After a bit of a back-country tour we found a local mom & pop restaurant for a hot meal including some chili, but again were frustrated in our search for a hot cup of coffee or tea.
We enjoyed the rodeo and hope to find another one to go to in better weather.