Some of my fondest memories were spending the weekend with my cousin Bonnie (may her memory be for a blessing) in Spooner and attending the Spooner Rodeo. I've shared stories with my daughter and granddaughters for years about this event, and this year we made it happen.
Calendars were cleared and plans made to attend the 63rd annual Spooner Rodeo. Little did we all know how crazy things would be at this time! Stephanie and family had put their house up for sale and just accepted an offer right before the weekend arrived. It seems they could all use a break for a day or two after having the house prepared for showings.
This event would not be complete without my cousin's daughter, Shayna, joining us. It's so helpful to have a person who knows their way around the huge metropolis of Spooner. Just when I didn't think it could get any better, she told me that her step mother, Kathy, would be able to join us for lunch as well.
We met for lunch at Tony's Riverside, a place Bonnie and I always went to have pizza. Emily asked me what was so special about the pizza here and I responded "the memories". It's a good thing the memories were so wonderful, because the pizza was truly disgusting. Things have changed in thirty years apparently.
After lunch we ditched the girls, I mean...we dropped the kids off...at the motel so they could rest, swim and goof off. The three ladies went back to Kathy's house to sit and visit in a very charming and comfortable home. We even raided the fridge and I had a nice little margarita. Steph took one of her famous power naps while Shayna and I continued to catch up on each others lives.
We went back to the motel and gathered up the girls to head out to the rodeo about 5:30. In true "Bonnie fashion" we needed to arrive at least two hours early to see the livestock and admire the bulls before the show at 7:30.
This year the famous Clydesdales were making an appearance and performing at the rodeo. We were able to tour the barn housing them to see them up close and personal...all 18 hands of them. To non horse people, that means they stand about 6'3" at their shoulders. They weigh about 2,200 pounds and when the eight of this beautifully matched team are harnessed up and pulling the wagon it is a sight to behold. We learned that the harness they were wearing, just the harness and reins mind you, cost $80,000. He didn't say what the wagon cost, or the horses, never mind the semi trailers that transport them cost and it's just as well...I had a hard time grasping $80,000 for the harness.
It was fun explaining to the girls what was happening and why the cowboys were doing the things they did. They seemed to enjoy all of it, especially the Cowboy Girls. This is a group of brave, strong, talented young women who amazed the crowd with their expertise with the lassos and trick riding. There's nothing like watching someone hanging off the side of the horse with their hair brushing the ground in the "suicide drag", or balancing on their shoulders upside down while the horse is racing madly around the arena. If I were ever seen doing one of these maneuvers, it wouldn't be on purpose, I'll tell you that right now.
The final event is always the bull riding, my favorite event. We were able to watch the Number Two bull rider in the world compete, that's the kind of caliber that attends this rodeo.
We all crashed into bed not long after getting home, it had been a very busy and full day. The following morning was spent having breakfast at the motel with the three older ladies talking until it was time to check out at noon. The teen aged members of our party couldn't quite imagine what people of our age would have to talk about so long...they'll learn.
After saying our goodbyes to Shayna we drove back home and they dropped me off and continued home where they would be leaving immediately to visit more houses in their search for a new home. I don't know where they get their stamina.
The best part of this weekend was all the opportunities to use the phrase "this isn't my first rodeo".
Long Live the Rodeo Queen