Just now nearing full recovery from my Pendleton Roundup trip a couple weeks ago. I haven’t been sick in probably two years, but I slept the least amount of time over one week than any other stretch in my life. Combine that with plenty of alcohol and it did a number on my body. Good times!
Seriously, it was a good time. Ever since I heard about the Roundup when I first moved up here, I’ve wanted to go. Finally got the opportunity when my buddy Nick invited me along. He spent a couple years living in Pendleton and still has a pretty cool gig giving “underground” tours downtown during the big week. We stayed in a private apartment in an old brothel, too, with the whole downtown festival right outside our window. Pretty cool.
Let’s back up though. On the way up I-5 from Eugene, saw this mess. Oh my gosh, for miles and miles, these people were stuck. I only mention it because they’ll make great additions to my ‘from the car‘ series.
First night there, we scored some tickets to the PBR event. Took me a bit to catch on this wasn’t about cheap beer. This was legitimate sanctioned professional bull riding. And it wasn’t at all what I expected, from the loud metal music to the lasers to the size of the ring (small)…if that’s what they call it. It actually reminded me a lot of my NASCAR experience, as weird as it might sound.
Probably a good time to mention the normal population of 17,000 triples during Roundup week. Every hotel is booked. Every single parking lot is filled with RVs. And some residents take full advantage of the potential to cash in on the festivities. On the way to the rodeo grounds we came across this.
And a ton of people take my friend Nick’s underground tour throughout the week. I was lucky enough to tag along on one. Highly recommended! One of the many little factoids I learned was where the term “hipster” came from- all the opium addicts laying on their sides, i.e., hips, to avoid choking to death on their own vomit. So so coooool, huh.
That’s it for Part 1. Look forward to some real rodeo ridin’ in Part 2, along with images from the longest non-motorized parade in the world, and the not so pleasant aftermath.