Sunday, 2 June 2013

178 Grey Bull to Cody

Saturday 1st June 2013. Miles Today  51  Total   6292

Grey Bull was bathed in brilliant sunshine this morning as we loaded up Wallace and got ready to head off towards Yellowstone National Park. I was smiling as I had yet again, pinched and punched Ray for the first of the month, it is getting too easy now, but a girl has to get revenge some how.

Although the sun was out, it was still a tad chilly, but the beautiful countryside made up for most of it.

Ray decided to pull over to put on an extra jumper. I am pretty much protected from the worst of the weather by Ray.   There was already a car parked up and although we couldn't see him, a wee boy was having a comfort break in front of the car.  As we pulled up he ran away screaming, (glad to see we haven't lost our touch). He became so inconsolable, that we actually drove straight back out of there and parked up miles away,  poor Ray had icicles on his nose.

We knew that we were passing through Cody, a town on the way to Jellystone, oops Yellowstone and as we were driving through, we saw that there was a Rodeo night, starting at 8pm, so quick change of plans, we have booked into the Wigwam Motel and tonight, we're going to see real cowboys. Yeah, that's what I'm talking about.

Meanwhile, Ray is adding another switch to the intercom system, which  means I can switch it on if he is trying to ignore me, only problem is, I can't switch it off if I am trying to ignore him, he still has the master control.

Cody is named after Colonel William F Cody, 1846-1917. (Buffalo Bill to us).  He was a scout, and a showman and traveled for 20 years with his wild west show through out America and Europe and even performed before Queen Victoria in England.  He owned a ranch in Wyoming, an area that he loved and was instrumental in establishing the town and the construction of the dam with his dream to irrigate thousands of acres of arid land east of Cody from the Shoshone River.  The funds were raised and the construction began in 1905 and was finished in 1910.  The dam and it's reservoir now provide, irrigation, drinking water and recreation for Cody and much of the Big Horn Basin.  An extra fact is that because of it's historical significance, Buffalo Bill Dam was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

We visited the museum and also discovered that he was very involved in searching the lands, and finding many fossils and dinosaur bones.  He enjoyed hunting, but believed in preserving the wildlife.

It was a very interesting afternoon, and as we left there, we realized we hadn't eaten all day, so we stopped off at a little cowboy establishment called "The silver dollar", and caught the attention of a group of six Americans.  They were all long time friends and had met up for the afternoon, Sabine was originally from Germany, and  another couple were from Oregon, which would be quite a trek for us in Britain, but nothing in distance for them to travel. Conversation and beer flowed and before long, we were nearing 7.45pm and the rodeo started at 8.  We all departed, complete with e mail addresses and "if you are passing this way again" invites. It really made the stay here a bit special.

We arrived at the rodeo just in time for the start, and the announcer made a stirring speech about praying for all the cowboys and cowgirls to have a safe show.

We were still waiting to get some popcorn. along with others in the crowd, and the American anthem started to play.  Everyone stopped what they were doing and put their hand on their chest and started to sing along, it was very moving and we joined in because it was the right thing to do and we really felt part of it.
We grabbed a couple of seats in the stands, and then we were just taken over by how much fun, family orientated and skilful the whole show was.  We absolutely loved it.  I have no idea who the cowboys were, but we were cheering and hooting and a hollering with the best of them.

The guy on the deck has just been ejected by the horse on the right.

At half time, they called all the children under 12 to go into the arena.  It was hilarious, as there were nearly a hundred of them. The game being, that 3 calves are also let into the arena, and they have ribbons on their tails. The kids chase them and try to get the ribbons, those that do, get a prize.  All the kids had stetsons and cowboy boots on, (up and coming cow folk) and it was obviously a larger number of kids than normal, because the guy commentating, and the arena clown, were laughing and wondering how the poor calves were going to get on.  It was brilliant, and the highlight of ours, and the kids night.
They even played fair and allowed the under 5's to line up a few feet in front of the others !
Before starting they told the kids to lie down and roll over in the dirt. God only knows why but they all did and that is where this video starts. By the way, the giggling female you can hear in the background is Mrs Hall about to wet herself laughing..... (Only Joking Karen - honest.) Edit... She, of course denies it.

The main action consisted of roping and bringing down steers, racing around barrels, the bucking broncos and bull riding.  The bulls were huge and nobody managed to stay the distance on them.

Bringing down the cattle was incredibly fast. They were both let out of a trap, the cow just in front and they had to lassoo it, dismount, grab it and get it to the floor then tie its legs together. The clock then stopped and the best was about 20 seconds.

Unfortunately as the action was so fast and the light was fading we had to abandon the camera as the pictures were becoming too blurry. 

Our change of plans turned out to be the best decision this weekend.  Tomorrow is another day and another adventure. 


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