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Thursday August 18- Yellowstone south, West Yellowstone Rodeo

I had to take care of a few items this morning. We we took off at about 9:30. We drove into the park and headed south. We turned right onto Firehole Canyon Drive. We were so disappointed! This is the drive that we had taken in the winter, on snowmobiles. In the summer, there was one waterfall and one rapid. The road was so much prettier in the winter with the snow and ice!

We continued on the loop road to the Lower Geyser Basin. When we had been here in the winter, the bison were all over the place, using the steam from the geysers to stay warm. We noted that the park service has started replacing the wooden boardwalks with the ‘composite’ boards which in the long run should cost less and not have to be replaced as often.

We walked along the boardwalk, stopping to view the mud pot

and other types of geysers.

We continued further south and turned left onto Firehole Lake Drive. We saw the Great Fountain Geyser, which erupts at intermittent times. We missed the eruption, but saw it from the loop road.

We wandered out on the boardwalk to the lake, with its boiling water.

Our next stop was at the Midway Geyser Basin. We had been to this basin in the winter. It looked very much the same, as the basin is so warm that the snow melts on contact. Unfortunately, the bison were missing! The bison stay at this geyser during the winter. We parked in the parking lot where we had parked the snowmobiles, years ago, and where we had watched the bison walk down the parking, just on the other side of the snowmobile, with a Ranger following close by to make sure we didn’t try to pet the bison!

We bypassed Biscuit Basin, as the ‘biscuits’ were all destroyed in the 1959 earthquake. We also bypassed the black sand basin, as both of these basins pale in comparison to the lower and mid basins. Our next stop was at Old Faithful, where we had a picnic lunch and checked our cell phones. This is one of the few places in the park where there is cell service.

We returned to the motor home, walked and fed the dogs. At 5:15 we returned to West Yellowstone and met Debbie and Tom Abernethy for dinner at Pete’s Rocky Mountain Pizza and Pasta. Tom and Debbie had the spaghetti with elk meatballs. Bob had a pizza and I had rigatoni. We sat talking until almost 7:30, then headed west on SR 20 to the West Yellowstone Rodeo.

The rodeo was high school, compared to most rodeo’s, but a lot of fun! It was an inexpensive evening at $15 per ticket, including taxes. The arena is small, but then so was the rodeo. the rodeo started with a gal on horseback riding around the arena with the flag while we all stood for the Star Spangle Banner.

Then they did the horse riding the bronco.

They put a strap around the horse’s stomach and make it uncomfortable so that it bucks. After the cowboy falls off, two of the cowboys/girls chase the horse and pull off the strap.

Then the horse is docile and returns to the corral. As we watched, we could tell that the horse did everything to not land on top of the cowboy who fell off…

Next the gals did the calf roping. 

Then they had the kids, 6-8 come out and the clown warmed them  up. He had them do exercises, then had them lie down in the dirt and do ‘dirt angels’. You could hear the mothers groaning about the dirt! The kids were then to chase a calf and pull a ribbon off the calf’s ears. They had a great time. 

Next it was the 9-12 year olds. This time, after the exercises, the clown had them put dirt into their pockets. One boy was really fast and beat all the other kids chasing the calf. The winners received a dollar coin.

The gals  did the barrel racing.

Then couples did calf roping.  Then they picked 3 people out of the audience and had them dance, with the audience being the judge. The little girl in the center did summer-salts in the dirt with her little blond head! Someone was having a shower when they arrived home after the show!

The rodeo ended after the bull riding. This happened so quickly that I could not get a decent picture. The highlight was the dog. This was some sort of ‘herding’ mutt. When the cowboy fell off the bull, the clown would distract the bull; the dog would run in, and the clown would move away. This dog was something! It would nip the bull on the leg, and the bull would chase it. That dog was smart and fast! We bet that the dog and the bulls were friends during the day!

It was a fun evening!

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