Monday, June 7, 2010

Wild Rogue Rodeo

The Rogue River runs through a valley, also called Rogue River Valley and so it's not much of a surprise there would be a rodeo called 'Rogue' Rodeo and they added "Wild" to the name to provide another element of intrigue, I suspect.

This weekend I went to this valley to see the "Wild" portion and was somewhat disappointed in the tameness of the event. Only a few young men opted to ride a bucking bronco bareback and even fewer took the same route with a ravaging bull. There were a few additional cowboys who tried to stay on a "wild" horse with a saddle, but their rides were foreshortened by some exceptionally fine action on the horse's part.

In fact, prior to the start of the rodeo, I saw several horses in a pen and I was almost certain they were discussing their part in the upcoming show. "You are such a wuss; you always let them stay on you for the full 8 seconds," I heard a large black gelding nicker to his palomino buddy. That one replied, "You have an evil nature. You pitch them off and then strut off to the end of the ring and you never even look back." Darth Vader, (I think this link to the Pendleton Rodeo shows this magnificent animal in an outdoor performance.) I would later learn, had just such a reputation and he did indeed almost float over the sand with his victory of throwing another cowboy off before the bell rang. No one else knew I was clapping to let the horse know how much I appreciated his performance.

The cowgirls rode by with their banners, for the advertisers, the clown told his silly jokes, and everyone waited for the last segment where the bulls are ridden bareback by foolish young men who are fearless, or appear to be. The announcer promised that this rider was "an all-American, top contender, 10th in the standings... " and before he could complete his spiel, the bull had taken his toll and the top contender was sitting on his bottom. So it went through about six or seven competitors and finally one was able to stay on for the entire twisting, turning, bumpy ride. I didn't know that even the bulls were scored on their reputation for delivering a tough performance and so each fellow who was able to stick it out earned his score based in part on the bull's abilities.

I ate too much kettle corn (a sweet and sour, lightly salted popcorn), drank too much watered-down soda and made a bad choice to eat some nachos with yellow liquid referred to as cheese, but it was suspected to be some pure industrial waste product, a prime-evil glue. The next day I was not hungry for anything.

While a short drive around the area was planned, again it was a rainy weekend so the views were almost as mono-tonal as the rodeo was monotonous. We passed the huge grain building that represents the community's focus on growing and several fertilizer plants. As the rodeo was over, we also saw a lot of animal transport trailers heading out of town.

The day journey included a drive to a nursery which brought me closer to the Table Rock outcropping which has several hiking trails nearby. The last time we only had time to shoot it as we drove by, but this time I was able to get out of the car, stabilize my shooting finger and get this nice view with the mustard flower in bloom.
From one area, off in the distance I could see the snow-covered old volcano referred to as Mt. McLaughlin, close to 10,ooo feet in height. If you look at the photo below, you might be able to see it yourself, just to the right of one telephone pole (closer) and to the left of the other one (farther away). It is just one very large earthly protrusion, standing all by itself. All in all a pleasant weekend, even with all the rain and clouds, and in spite of it not being quite as 'wild' as anticipated.


  1. As a retired person how wild do you want? ;D

  2. Ha ha! Just enough to keep my old heart pumping, girlfriend!!!