Last Thursday we finally made it to the Rodeo just down the street from us! Another 'perk' from working at the KOA, we used the seasonal tickets they have circulating amongst the workers and that got us in for free again.
But first we enjoyed Scott's 'almost famous' BBQ ribs at the restaurant. We're slowly making our way through the menu here and these are our favorite so far. Delicious, nicely marinated, 'fall of the bone' ribs, fit for a hardworking Texas (wannabee) 'cowboy'!
Afterwards we drove the 3 minutes to the rodeo grounds.
Now this a small rodeo, once put on in a small arena in town, the event now takes place at a larger rodeo arena located just four miles west of West Yellowstone just off Highway 20.
Most riders are local talent so there aren't many and the skill level isn't the highest (but way better than me - so there's that) but still, it's a fun way to spend an evening!
Since it's this small there's not a bad seat in the house. You are up close to the fence for all the action.
From the Grand Entry to the closing event, there was plenty of entertainment as these cowboys and cowgirls tested their skills.
Rodeo is one of the true meaning remnants of the Old West.
Born in the past to ease the cowboys' boredom, today's rodeos are just pure excitement!
Saddle Bronc Riding, Barrel Racing, Breakaway Roping and a special 'calf scramble' for kids were just some of the scheduled events.
The highlight of every rodeo is when they bring these guys out!
In the American tradition the rider must stay atop the bucking bull for eight seconds. The rider tightly fastens one hand to the bull with a long braided rope. It is a risky sport and has been called "the most dangerous eight seconds in sports.
No one made it to 8 seconds this evening but no one (or animal)was hurt.
|Waiting their turn for the team roping event|
As a negative, instead of the mainstream music being played I would rather have liked to hear some country music and we really could have done without the constant mentioning of the sponsors and advertisers but all in all we had a great evening!
And, it's getting old, but do you notice the perfect weather?
These are James' pride and joy, a pair of (used) cowboy boots he got for $40 at the Diamond P ranch next door.
I googled the brand (Olathe) and it turns out these are not of their 'stock' models but custom made (for someone) about 10 years ago and (than) costing about $500!
Last weekend we went to town to pick up our mail from 'General Delivery' at the Post Office since the KOA doesn't allow us to receive mail there unless it's UPS. (Too much work they claim)
Usually we take a little stroll through town and have a nice cup of coffee somewhere while we're there.
All through town you come across these colorful buffaloes, painted all colors of the rainbow and depicting scenes from the park, its wildlife, and its history. They were part of the town's "Buffalo Roam" promotion a few years ago that raised money for economic development efforts.
The yellow one at the top left is actually stationed at our KOA.
This time we also visited the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center,
a non-profit wildlife park and educational facility.
All the animals at this Center are unable to survive in the wild and serve as ambassadors for their species.
The Center is home for 7 wolves that live in two different packs. The wolves were born in captivity and are unable to live in the wild. The facilities where they were born did not have room to keep them and the GWDC was able to provide them a home.
Features such as tall grass, logs, trees and a pond with a waterfall give the wolves a very comfortable and natural home. The keepers provide plenty of stimulation by hiding bones or sprinkling spices and other unusual scents.
They started one of their 'howling' sessions while we were there. It's funny how that makes the hair in my neck stand up!
While the wolves stay put in their specific areas they rotate the bears through a main open area every 45 minutes, so all get some exercise and interaction on a regular basis.
|'Roosevelt' on the left and 'Grant' on the bottom right|
On September 30th, 2011, the Discovery Center received two new bears Grant and Roosevelt. Tragically, their mother was euthanized after Yellowstone Park biologists confirmed that she was connected to two fatalities this summer. Fortunately, they were able to offer a home to the cubs.
Although not ideal all animals appear very well looked after and content, and the center provides a valuable education resource on these beautiful creatures.
We watched a fascinating movie in the inside theater about the role of the 'big preditors' in nature and their return to several Parks and outside of them, and attended a Bird of Prey lecture with some beautiful 'live' birds present.
Talking about animals, here's the reason Sadie loves it here so much:
That's Scott, the short-order cook who's in charge of the breakfasts and BBQ dinners at the park.
He saves the bacon and sausage that fall on the floor during the hectic morning rush and feeds them to her when we come by on our morning walks.
Sadie is completely focused on getting there as soon as I open the door of the RV. She has problems walking these days but she still almost runs down the hill, stumbling and falling, to get her treats!
Her failing hips (arthritis) cause her to drag her back feet which scrapes the skin off the tops until they bleed.
So I made her some booties.
James is still working on the bathrooms. Out with the old sinks and in with the new!
Because it's high season right now they have to work fast so the bathrooms are only 'out' for a day which means he works some long days every now and than.
I did some more baking. Double fudge brownies with chunks of chocolate and walnuts. I looooove brownies!
|Have you noticed there's always already one missing while still cooling?|
James makes quite a fast fire these days. Here he's giving away he has a Boy-Scout's past by starting the fire with a 'fortress'?!
Playing dominoes on our little side table requires different skills as in creating tightly laid out 'trains'.
Another beautiful sunset. The colors seem more intense