Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tuesday, July 07, 2009 - 10 comments

The West of the Pecos Rodeo

I have to confess, I am a Looney Tunes kinda girl. When I was a child, my idea of a perfect Saturday morning was watching Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam have a battle of the wills. Having Sam tell the the world how he was the rootin’ tootin-ist gunslinger north, east, south, and west of the Pecos charmed me every time.

When I moved to West Texas, no doubt due in part to the influence of Sam, I found out that his claim wasn’t as crazy as it sounded. The Pecos River meanders quite a bit as it makes its way southeast across the great state of Texas. Just in this picture, you can see half a dozen places where it’s possible to be north, east south, and west of the Pecos simultaneously. Maybe, he’s not quite as dumb as we thought. motie

And then came the topper. I heard that around the 4th of July each year they had something called the West of the Pecos Rodeo! I just had to see that … merely to experience the local culture, of course. It was wonderful. I will admit that “traditional” rodeo events never held great allure for me. I admired the strength and skill of the participants, but I also admire the strength and skill of people of participate in Roller Derby. Not really interested in watching it though.

On the final night the rodeo had a few more “colorful” events such as “wild mare racing” and “wild cow milking.” A barrel full of monkeys could not have been funnier. And I assure you, no animals were harmed conducting these events. However, I couldn’t go so far as to say that they were terribly keen about it, but my cat wasn’t very keen on me brushing her either.

This year’s rodeo was my last chance to see it in a packed outdoor area with real cowboys (and cowgirls) participating. (The West of the Pecos Rodeo claims to be the oldest in the country, initiated in 1883.) I couldn’t miss it. Here’s a little taste of this year’s rodeo.


I grew up in the central San Joaquin Valley in California and got to go to the rodeo in Oakdale a few times. It's a lot of fun.

Travis: It's like going to a rock concert in the "big city." :)

I have only been to one rodeo in my life and had a great time there. The wild mare racing and wild cow milking sound hysterical and I would love to see that. ooo and I could wear my chaps :)

That river sure does meander. i always liked Sam too. Your slide show is so interesting.

We have a rodeo in South Jersey although I've never been yet.

Thom: Oh boy! Do I have the rodeo for you. ;)

Nessa: I was taking a trip to San Antonio once, and I swear that I must have crossed the Pecos about a dozen times. It was hilarious! Though it hardly qualifies as a "river" in my book. Most of the time it's barely a trickle. :)

I always loved western things. My boyhood heroes were cowboys.
Thanks for sharing the pictures of the rodeo.

Dr. John: Glad you enjoyed the pics. :)

The only rodeo's I've ever seen was in the movies or on television...

I love Yosemite Sam!

I grew up around rodeos. I watch them with dread and glee -- I've seen a couple nasty outcomes, but mostly I enjoy great contests between man and beast.

Why was this your last chance to see this rodeo? Did I miss something? Is it moving or are you?

Jientje: Oh, they're much more interesting and exciting in person.

Quilly: Yup, I'm moving to DC next month to go to seminary.

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