Alright, if you haven’t seen Part 1, check it out. We saw a little PBR and underground Pendleton. In Part 2 we’re gonna check out the rodeo itself. And Part 3 will cover the longest non-motorized parade in the world.
I’ll start with a confession of sorts. I used to be a pretty die hard supporter of a few animal rights groups, specifically PETA and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (way back before they had a reality tv show). I was also a vegetarian for 15 years or so.
I now eat meat regularly and no longer support, at least financially, the antics of those groups. Let’s just say I’ve become a more independent thinker since then. But I mention it in the context of the Pendleton Roundup because there’s still a part of me that’s extremely sensitive to how we sometimes deal with our fellow sentient beings. I offer you this…
It’s hard to tell, but that’s a calf being hauled off by the tractor. I still don’t know all the official names of the rodeo events, but it happened during this one.
Those necks get whipped around pretty hard when the horse stops and the noose tightens. And then, if they do manage to get up, they’re thrown on their sides and hog-tied. Pretty brutal at times. But then again, people love watching it, and it IS pretty exciting in a way. That’s not to say the cowboys and girls aren’t getting beat up, too, especially those bull riders. (And I now know how important bull fighters/clowns are to keeping riders safe.) Anyway, I only bring it up because with all the fun I had being there seeing this century-old tradition, I’m still ultimately conflicted about some of the dirty side of things that go on for an event like this. I realize nobody’s out there trying to hurt animals, so I guess it’s another one of those things we crowd out of our psyches for the sake of a greater…good(?)…or at least for a greater sense of community. Don’t get me wrong, I had a blast, and I’m conflicted about a lot of things in general so don’t think I’m hating on the rodeo 🙂 It’s the libra in me. And I feel like it has to be pointed out for a broader perspective.
Okay, let’s move on for now. Here are a few interesting bits about the Roundup:
– 103 years going.
– Only rodeo on the circuit with a grass infield.
– Tribes of the northwest are included in all of the festivities.
– 2 nights of PBR and 4 days of rodeo events.
– A nightly Indian pageant and wild west show (where photos are not allowed).
– Never seen so many jeans and long-sleeved shirts in 95-degree heat in my life.