Thursday, September 5, 2013

Marlboro Men and Willie Nelsons

Wearing flannel and packing heat?  Check.  That's just one of the many fantastic people watching feasts for the eyes we had the pleasure of seeing at the Kodiak Rodeo and State Fair last weekend.  That's right, we went to the rodeo.  And yes, it was our FIRST rodeo.  Insert joke here.  Yee-freakin-ha! 

This guy was sitting in front of us.  Gotta love
the combination of the flannel and the piece.
People watching aside, it was actually pretty entertaining.  Tiny, and only a handful of booths, but it was a fun little afternoon.  I have to be honest though, I think if you aren't raised around things like calf roping and bull riding as part of the everyday norm of living. . .it's a little weird.  At the end of the day I just felt bad for the cows and bulls.

We wandered around checking out the cowboy hats for sale and resisting all the bad food choices that surrounded us.  I had to have a little talk with myself about succumbing to the lure of the corndog.  I was good, I didn't cave.

There were award winning Silver Wyandottes on display, which
were my favorite.  Who knew chickens could be so pretty?
Photo credit: Radosław Drożdżewski via Wikimedia Commons

It's funny, I never really gave much thought to all the different types of chickens there are.  Who knew there were so many beautiful breeds?  Not me, that's for sure.  I mean dog breeds, cat breeds, sure.  But if you don't come from a rural or farming type background, I think all you really know of chickens is whether you prefer eating the breast or the thigh.  They had a bunch of different pure breed chickens on display, and they were surprisingly beautiful.

There were a few other animals on display. - Goats, bunnies, horses and ponies, etc.  I'm kind of partial to the goats.  There's just something so cute about them.  Especially when they play together.  For some reason, they just come across as very innocent.  These two were hopping up on their hind legs and practically jousting with one another.

It didn't take very long to do a loop of the outdoor booths before it was time to go in for the real deal.  I wouldn't say the crowd was wall-to-wall Marlboro Men and Willie Nelson look-alikes, but it's safe to say that was the theme. And I'll say again, the people watching was top notch.

The first event was called Cowboy Mounted Shooting, which was basically dudes riding horses through orange cones and shooting at balloon targets.  I was glad I partook of the ear plugs they were giving out because it was definitely on the loud side.  It was kind

Getting ready for some Calf Roping - This guy was my favorite
of fun to watch them zip past and shoot at the targets.  I have to admit I had a moment of thinking, "Where the hell am I right now?"  And then I remembered, "Oh that's right, I'm trying on backwoods for a little while."  A little glimpse into living remotely, and the entertainment that can sometimes go along with it - Sure, why not?

After the Mounted Shooting, there were a few rounds of Calf Roping, which is when I started feeling bad for the cattle.  Poor things had these faux horns strapped to their heads so the ropers had something to lasso around.  And they weren't exactly gentle.  I found myself rooting for the calves and not the cowboys/girls.  Run little guy, RUN!! 
What a face.  And nice fake horns there, Elsie.

After the Calf Roping was when they busted out with the big guns. - The bull riding.  Man, those bulls came charging out of the gate like gangbusters.  Exactly like what you would picture, bucking and kicking like they were ready to take someone out.  Which they were.  And I can't help wondering how they get the bulls into such a state of anger.  Apparently, they have a rope tied around their belly called a flank strap that annoys them and encourages the bucking, & they're bread to be ornery.  I still sympathize with the animals, and I found myself rooting for the bull and not the cowboy again.  Good thing I have an inner monologue, or I probably would have been chased out by an angry, flannel-wearing mob.  Who may or may not have been armed.

I know I'm poking fun a little bit at the culture of rodeo/cowboy/rural living, but it was a fun day and I have a lot of respect for the training and professionalism of the riders.  It's no doubt impressive to watch the control and technical know-how of the competitors.  That being said, yeeeeeehaaaaaaww!   :)

Let's hear it for rubber boots
It rained for about 5 days before the rodeo. It was mucky on the fairgrounds, so our boots in the photo to the left were totally necessary.  Notice the hubby's Xtratufs.  It's the unofficial Kodiak uniform.  Not just fisherman.  EVERYONE.  A few weeks ago we checked out the local brewery for happy hour, and I remember glancing down at everyone's feet along the bar foot rail.  There were Xtratufs as far as the eye could see.  Just a sea of faded brown rubber.  Even the women wear them.  It was one of those instants where you're supremely aware of where in the world you are at a given moment. - A world and a half away from the Kai Kai's of Key West!

Opening Ceremony

I give the hubby a hard time & tell him he's a poser wearing his shiny new Xtratufs because he's not really a local yet. I think we have to endure at least one winter before we'll even begin to feel like locals.  Aside from boot preferences, they're pretty much mandatory with the weather here.

I felt like we got our money's worth at the rodeo after about an hour.  We can check that experience off the list of things we've never done before!

I can't say I'd be lining up to go to another rodeo, but it was fun to check it out for the first time. So, now we can really say it's not our first rodeo.

Ta-ta for now.


  1. No good looking Key West chickens up in Kodiak?

    1. Ha! There were so many pretty ones. Maybe there were a few Key West imports!