Six Days in Oregon, “Let’er Buck”

 

My wife and I have spent the last six days on the east side of the Cascades. We made the 235-mile trip from our home on the west side of the Cascades to get together with my university mates. We have known each other for about 50 years. We all know each other’s children, their spouses, and all the grandchildren as well.

Driving through the Columbia River Gorge and then across the rolling hills of Oregon wheat country is a great beginning for time together that included two days at the Pendleton Round-Up. The Round-Up has been celebrated for 112 years in Pendleton. A one-week party that features individuals who know how to sit a horse and a look at a different way of life in what some call flyover country.

Karen and I stayed in the home of our host’s son and his wife. They are volunteers for the rodeo and camp on the rodeo grounds during the event. They asked me to let their two dogs out in the morning and in the evening so they could run and get some exercise. One dog was a Belgian Malinois. He was a bit standoffish at first. By the second day, he was friendly and including me in the fun. I believe Malinois is French for “fur missile.” He would race across the field and then race right back towards me. He’d stop just before he would hit me, lean against me for a little love and then race off again. The second dog was an Australian Kelpie, a herding dog and lightning fast on the run.

The official opening of the rodeo was on Friday afternoon. The announcer explained that “Let’er Buck” can be an invitation to party, to get the rodeo going, and in some cases, an invite to fight. When horses and riders carrying American flags enter the arena from four different directions, 15,000 spectators stand, remove their hats, and don’t sit again until the national anthem is completed. On Saturday, 16,000 tickets were scanned at the entrance to the arena.

The following photo is of our reunion headquarters.

It wasn’t all fun and games. We stacked winter wood. Our host will tack sheets of plywood to keep snow off the firewood. As the snow slides off the roof, it will reach the eaves.

The Indian Relay races.

The most dangerous 8 seconds in sports.

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  1. MWD B612 "Dawg" Member
    MWD B612 "Dawg"
    @danok1

    Is the Pendleton Round Up like the Calgary Stampede? 

    • #1
  2. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Doug Watt: I believe Malinois is French for fur missile.

    Boss Mongo called them “furry bullets.”

    • #2
  3. Concretevol Thatcher
    Concretevol
    @Concretevol

    That’s super cool and now on the list of places to go!

    • #3
  4. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    A Belgian Malinois.

    • #4
  5. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    MWD B612 "Dawg" (View Comment):

    Is the Pendleton Round Up like the Calgary Stampede?

    Yep, the following video will give you a good look at the Pendleton Round-Up.

     

    • #5
  6. The Great Adventure Coolidge
    The Great Adventure
    @TGA

    Way back in the last century I was the Dispatch Supervisor for a private trucking fleet based out of a Dist Center in the Portland metro area.  We had 80 drivers.  Up to 8 were allowed to be on vacation at a time, and the most senior guys got to pick which weeks they wanted first.  

    The week of the Pendleton  Round-Up was the most sought after week of the year.  We would even fudge and let 10 off that week, and the lowest seniority guy who made the 10 was usually about #12 on the board.

    • #6
  7. Ole Summers Member
    Ole Summers
    @OleSummers

    Pendleton is special with a wide open taste to it. Huge pen with a grass infield where contestants and some others sit on the grass while the stock is bucking. They do set up turn back pens when the bulls are bucking but the saddle broncs and barebacks have more than 2 acres to bounce around in. Like Calgary, the timed stock gets more of a head start and that makes all the difference. The Indian Relays are a special touch and the race track is the only dirt on the infield. 

    Also it is toward the end of the season, all the other big rodeos are done and the yearly championships are in the balance for many, etc. There are a handfull of special rodeos that are celebrations unto themselves and this one is one of the top five in any ones’ book!

    • #7
  8. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    • #8
  9. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member
    9thDistrictNeighbor
    @9thDistrictNeighbor

    The headquarters is just stunning.

    One time we went to the Mona, Utah Last Chance rodeo, a PRCA qualifier that is the last opportunity to score points before the big finals in Las Vegas.  That is a tough way to make a living.  The guys truck their horse(s) in, compete, and if they don’t do well, they put the horse back on the trailer and go home or on to the next rodeo.  As an English rider, I do find some of the western traditions a little, shall we say aggressive, but the ones who do well are very talented and probably broken in more ways than I am.  The western tradition is generally not interested in safety gear.

    The best part is the patriotism that exudes from every corner and every soul.  Because America is Beautiful.  Oh, and Rodeo Queens can ride, whoo boy can they ride.

    • #9
  10. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    • #10
  11. Caryn Thatcher
    Caryn
    @Caryn

    Percival (View Comment):

    A Belgian Malinois.

    Every once in a while, I think Ricochet should have a “love” option.  Gorgeous dog.  Gorgeous demeanor.  I like his way of thinking.  If I ever get a dog…

    • #11
  12. Caryn Thatcher
    Caryn
    @Caryn

    Percival (View Comment):

    Yeah, this one, too.  Boy, howdy! (In keeping with the theme of the OP)

    • #12
  13. MWD B612 "Dawg" Member
    MWD B612 "Dawg"
    @danok1

    Caryn (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    A Belgian Malinois.

    Every once in a while, I think Ricochet should have a “love” option. Gorgeous dog. Gorgeous demeanor. I like his way of thinking. If I ever get a dog…

    IIRC, that’s Chloe, the dog would help take out a terrorist (can’t recall which one). She does eat terrorists for breakfast.

    • #13
  14. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    MWD B612 "Dawg" (View Comment):

    Caryn (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    A Belgian Malinois.

    Every once in a while, I think Ricochet should have a “love” option. Gorgeous dog. Gorgeous demeanor. I like his way of thinking. If I ever get a dog…

    IIRC, that’s Chloe, the dog would help take out a terrorist (can’t recall which one). She does eat terrorists for breakfast.

    Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. I heard the name was Conan. He blew himself up rather than face a maligator.

    • #14
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