Cody, WY - A proper cowboy town this. It markets itself as such too. Yesterday when we were here we took note that at 8pm every night throughout June and July there Cody hosts a rodeo. Neither of us had ever been and the child in the seat next to me positively bounced with glee at the possibility of going. So, we did.
But first we had to get there. We decided to eschew Yellowstone today and explore Cody and the surrounding areas, at a leisurely pace. Buffalo Bill dam was our first stop and this was the worlds tallest building, never mind dam, at the time of construction in 1910.
The overspill was open making for a dramatic roar from the top. There is a small visitor centre which was quite informative and to ferry you the 100m from the carpark, a pair of golf carts. We took a ride and they can go quite fast!
For lunch, we found a German restaurant. Schnitzel was on the menu as were half litre servings of beer served out of a boot! Highly recommend this place if you want a taste of the bizarre in cowboy town.
Speaking of cowboys, she always looks good in hats doesn't she?
After lunch we visited "Old Trail Town". This place is a collection of buildings from across Wyoming that have been relocated to give the feel of a traditional old style western town. The streets really were that wide.
The Saloon was the highlight. Complete with spitoons by the bar and a card game in progress. $10 for each adult was the admission and I'd suggest checking it out if you're in Cody.
We were both quite full after our Schnitzel so opted to skip dinner and instead deployed tourist hack "hotel lobby" to pass some time.
Then, it was Rodeo time!!
Now I'll be the first to admit. I'm not a horse person. But the Rodeo was one of the coolest things I've ever been to. The skill on show from some of the riders was breathtaking at times, particularly the two guys who had to round up the animals after the contestants.
The show lasted well over 2 hours and admission was only $21 each. Considering how entertaining it was I felt like this was tremendous value for money.
We were treated to Bucking Broncos, Bull riding, barrel racing, Steer wrestling and many more things besides. I took around 1000 images during the evening but here are some the highlights (press and hold or right click + open in new tab to get a better look).
In one particularly dramatic moment towards the end of the evening one of the Rodeo clowns was hoisted up by his britches when he got in the path of a rampaging Bull.
He was absolutely fine after, I might add.
One of my favourite images from the evening was this one. The aim of the game here was to lasso a Calf as it was released from the end of the arena as quickly as possible. The men had to then jump off and wrestle this thing to ground. The ladies merely had to lasso the animal which struck me as a bit sexist to be honest but there you are.
After lassoing the men jumped off the horse which promptly started to walk backwards. This was to keep the tension on the rope tight (they were very well trained indeed!) whilst the men picked the calf up and threw it to the ground before tying up its rear legs. We only saw one animal actually limping afterwards. I was a bit concerned about the attrition rate of the animals after the first one but the cows generally seemed to know what was going on and ran straight for the exit, some of them even weaving to evade capture!
This was my first taste of Rodeo and I don't think it will be my last.
It was absolutely thrilling and a lot of fun. The weird religious interjections from the announcer asking us to pray every time someone fell off and looked a little winded was odd though. Catherine says there is a big Rodeo in South Carolina somewhere so I guess that'll be a future weekend trip sometime.
If you ever get the chance to visit a Rodeo, do it. You won't regret it. Even if you're not a horse person.