As some of you know I live in the Western United States in a relatively small town in Northern Utah. This is the west of John Wayne, Jesse James, Butch Cassidy, and even Billy the Kid according to some accounts. Big beautiful mountains and pink painted deserts. There are still lots of family farms, and Louis L'Amour would certainly feel right at home in some of the more rural spots. Like most places in the world the city has encroached on the country, there are a lot more subdivisions than big hay stacks and people outnumber the cows by a fairly significant margin. But something happens every summer at the end of July. The city gives way to the country and the people here remember where they came from. They came from the West! From the land and the cattle. They lived off the land, and they loved it!
I took my kids to the Rodeo last night. It was their first time. They are by most accounts city kids. They understand Zunes, and cell phones. They play Webkinz and XBOX360. But last night they sat transfixed, in what I consider the most beautiful stadium on earth, and watched parachutes, mutton bustin', calf roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing, bronco riding, and of course bull riding. At the end of the rodeo the OGIO Air force, a group of aerial motorcross experts, did some show jumping, just to top off the nights festivities.
I realized half way through the rodeo that you would all like to see this but the only camera I had was on my cell phone. I shot some pictures and some video. Sorry the quality is not nearly as good as my Sony HD camera, but under the circumstances it was what I had available. Hopefully it captures the feeling of being there with 15,000 people all sharing the same great time.
It was one of those magic evenings where everything was right. The temperature was just right. There was just enough of a breeze to keep it cool. the humidity was right to keep the dust down. The whole family was there. IT doesn't get much better. At the end of the rodeo we were walking to the car and I asked my kids how they liked it. My 8 year old son replied "It was one of the best things we have ever done." I agree.
If your ever out west during the second to last week in July and you want to have one of those life changing experiences that helps you remember who you really are, and where you came from, I'd recommend a rodeo.