Day 9: Cody, Wyoming
To quote the rodeo announcer: we weren’t born in Cody, Wyoming, but we got here as fast as we could.
We spent most of the day driving straight across Wyoming and up through switchbacks on Big Horn Mountain, which offered spectacular views of the surrounding valley (and some definite lack of oxygen).
Our first stop was Devil’s Tower, which we decided to photograph at a distance, since we were eager to get to the rodeo in Cody.
After that, it was an afternoon of cruising through some of the most gorgeous landscapes we’ve seen on I-90 yet. (Yes, we are still traveling on 90. I swear this road doesn’t end.)
When we reached the top (starting from an elevation of 4,500 feet above sea level), Big Horn had plenty of scenic views, but not so much oxygen in the air.
The hypoxia was evidently getting to Caroline and making her a little loopy.
On our way down the mountain, we stopped at Shell Falls, but B&C seemed far more interested in the adventures of Swampy in Where’s My Water.
When we finally reached Cody, however, and got ourselves to the rodeo (after driving past it twice), the day spent in the car suddenly felt worth it. I’ve never been to a rodeo before, but Daniela (hi!) assured me that I would adore it.
She was right.
In between each cowboy competitor, the rodeo clown would do a comedy routine. It was then that I realized how Republican of a state Wyoming is–close to half of his jokes poked fun at Obama.
“If you don’t clap, we will sell your possessions and give the money to the Obama campaign.”
“I don’t care what Romney’s done with his money… I want to ask that guy in office, ‘What are you doing with our money?'”
After a particularly spirited horse was finally wrestled into the enclosure: “Getting that horse under control is almost as difficult as getting Obama out of office!”
Whether or not you agreed with their political views, the show was spectacular. Other events included barrel racing, team roping, and calf roping, below.
Many of the competitors didn’t manage to stay on for the required 8 seconds (8 seconds have never felt longer!), which demonstrates just how difficult their job is. They’re the best in the world, since Cody is billed as the Rodeo Capital of the World, and they hailed from all over the US, including from Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, and California.
This company puts on 94 daily rodeos every summer. I was thoroughly disappointed when it came time to leave; I wanted more than anything to see the rodeo again. Who knows, maybe I’ll move out West one day.