As my time in Calgary is drawing to a close (eek!) I'm trying to cram in all the things I never got around to in the past 4 years. (I know, it's so wise to procrastinate on life, right? oops!)
Yesterday, Amy and I went out to the Water Valley Rodeo.
Getting to Water Valley was easy, since it's right down the road from Amy's camp and she could get there "in her sleep," but finding the rodeo grounds was a bit of a different story. We drove for a while on the road that turned into gravel and dirt, but there was really no traffic so we became concerned that we were way off the map. We turned around, and immediately noticed a truck towing a horse trailer going to where we'd just left. Since there was only one, we shrugged it off, assuming it was heading to a nearby ranch, and continued back from whence we'd come. After passing a few more vehicles, a few with families inside, and a few more horse trailers, we turned back around again. If we'd kept going for literally 20 more seconds before turning around the first time, we would have arrived at the rodeo. Oh well, we paid our money, parked, and claimed some great seats at the top of the covered bleachers (so we had a back rest).
Wisely, we brought a blanket and umbrellas with us as well. When the sun was shining and the wind wasn't blowing, it was quite warm. Unfortunately, those moments were few and far between.
We stayed for almost the entire show, leaving just before the last team calf roping and last bull rides.
My favourite part was the wild horse race. So crazy! Men being dragged across the arena barely holding on to a rope attached to a horse's neck, desperately trying to calm the horse down enough to put a saddle and rider on it. I don't think any of the teams actually made it to the end of the course (they had to ride around a barrel and back to the other end) but there were a few teams who came close (they rode around the barrel but couldn't quite make it to the other end). It was chaotic, but fun. And dangerous. Every once in a while when a galloping horse passed, a bunch of the men frantically climbed the fence to get out of the way.
The steer riding was cool too --except one kid got his hand stepped on. And at one point another guy had to be taken away by stretcher. The rodeo may be kind of cool to watch, but it also seems quite dangerous. Maybe you have to be slightly crazy (or else have a dopamine addiction) to do it.
The cutest part of the day were the little kids mutton busting. Apparently the best technique for staying on a sheep is to grab on to the side.
I didn't end up taking many photos, mostly because I didn't feel like moving (I was huddled in a blanket) but enjoy these few.