I love Oregon. This state we live in is beautiful beyond compare. And I still believe this after all our travels thus far. Perhaps someday we will find a place we love better, but until then (and probably forever) it is in my heart. Central Oregon, is a particular draw for Evan and I. We don’t make it over as often as we like, but when we do we’re desperate to soak it all in. The sage and juniper. The red earth and silvery-green plants. The blue sky. It’s one of our happy places.
Almost every year for the last 7 years we have been coming in June to the Sisters Rodeo that is held here in Sisters, Oregon. I’m biased of course, but this rodeo is my favorite. It’s small enough to have a personal feel, like the rodeo clown visiting one’s booth, and big enough to have some pretty amazing performances for 1/2 time. Maybe the biggest draw is that it is here, in Central Oregon. Under the watchful gaze of the 3 Sisters and Black Butte and near Mt. Bachelor and of course, Bend.
My very favorite event? The wild horse race. This comprises around 10 teams, each of which total 3 humans and 1 horse. A wild horse. One who does not particularly enjoy or even tolerate a saddle and bridle—to put it mildly. These teams are vying for a cash prize to be the first to saddle, mount and remain on said horse for a certain amount of time. Needless to say, there is rarely a second place contestant. Even obtaining a first place is rough. And it is the absolute best to watch. To see the video of a particularly good race, click here. It’s worth it, I promise.
The other highlights of the rodeo are the brave cowboys who ride the bucking horses and bulls. We cheer for the cowboy to hold on the longest and sigh for those who don’t last, but what about those who get a revenge set of horns in the rear? One unfortunate chap had such an experience.
Usually though, it goes a bit more like this…
Did I mention the weather? Some years it is an oven at the rodeo grounds. This Saturday was literally freezing. Never have we experienced hail until this visit. It was cold. Really, really cold and wet. I felt sorry for the Rodeo Queens with their thin, fancy shirts and red, frozen hands. I don’t know how they could stand it. We were bundled up with our rain jacket hoods up. Anything for show biz, I guess?
I found a few photos from 2012: when the sun was shining and we were a bit younger.
I used to take far more photos of the rodeo, but as time has gone by they’ve become pared down. The animals are still, and always will be my favorite. I always feel sorry for the little calves who are roped, the wild horses that seem so scared as they almost climb out of their chute and the big, majestic bulls who fight so hard to be rid of their burden. I know for the most part they are all treated well, but it’s those who aren’t and the animals that are abused for entertainment’s sake or for sport that I cannot abide. It makes my soul twist and the deepest part of me want to weep. Please, please, let’s all do our best to treat all living animals and creatures with respect and kindness. It takes nothing from a human to be kind to an animal.