My blogging effort has been sorely lacking of late. I attribute it to a lack of inspiration. It's been cold, gray, icy, and dark lately - this combination usually means great snow and good turns but the clouds have thus far refused to give up their fluffy gift. So, to occupy my time I've turned to rodeo. That's right, rodeo. The cold north winds ushered in the annual Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo with herds of cattle, flocks of sheep, and many a cowboy-hat-sportin,' tight-jean-wearin' resident of nearby states. Before the week of the stock show concluded I attended no less than three rodeos. One was the "ranch rodeo" in which anyone is welcome to compete provided they form a team of four and pay the entry fee. The events simulate modern ranch work such as a relay race to unload a horse trailer, race the horses around a circuit, load them back up and jump back in the truck. The novelty factor ranked high. I received free tickets to the second rodeo and paid for the third. These two were traditional rodeos with all the normal events and, of course, a wise cracking rodeo clown. The rodeo really is entertaining to watch and appreciate all the skill that goes into the events. On the flip side, the average fan at the rodeo could be a poster child for the Bush-backing demographic who only see what they want to see and refuse to accept any criticism of that view. Maybe it's the tight pants - though I have to admit there certainly are some good looking cowgirls out there making a strong case for Wranglers.
Now that the rodeo has left, though, I'm back to planning for the future and happy to have finally booked a ticket to Chile. April 14 - May 15, it'll be a good month.