Well I know how many of you were wondering and sadly the answer is no my chaps have not showed up; but the rodeo still goes on! And I just got back from the Reno Rodeo.
It’s pretty exciting as it is the first rodeo where I get to stay in a hotel and do the whole big kid thing. The drive was beautiful but uneventful; I finally got to see this Lake Tahoe that all of my Bay Area friends are talking about.
Not going to lie it’s really pretty, maybe if I ever don’t have a weekend not rodeoing I’ll actually go and stay there. But in reality that’s not likely!
I got to Reno in time for the special children’s rodeo . It one of the biggest special children’s rodeos I’ve ever seen. They had tons of stations, an actual horse drawn wagon for the kids to ride in and lots of help. But I still managed to have quite a bit of fun with a few of my new friends!
As I was checking in the hotel I ran into another Bay Area girl and former queen. I convinced her she should let me tag along and we went shopping and sightseeing before I had my next appearance. It was nice to not be alone. It was also kind of cool to see the town with someone who has been there several times.
Reno is kind of like a rodeo queen vacation, we’re there and we help with special children’s rodeos, autograph signings and little things like that. But we actually get to watch the rodeo from the fans point of view in the stands; which is something doesn’t happen often!
I also had a chance to watch the Bob Feist Invitational, one of the largest and richest team roping events in the world. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t get my rope set up as fast as some of these guys were nailing the steers. But it’s cool to watch and wish that maybe someday in a different life I could rope like that.
While watching the rodeo performance with the other visiting queens I had one of those, “I cannot believe my life” moments. I walked up and introduced myself to Miss Rodeo Washington, Katherine Merck, her first response after she grabs my hand to shake it is, “Oh you’re the girl whose chaps got stolen.” At that point all I could think is, really?!, but hey at least I’m memorable!It’s always fun to meet queens from other states and find out how they do things a little differently and share stories. I managed to snag a few pins for my rodeo jacket of some of the rodeos in Washington. Then Miss Wilderness Circuit let us in on a killer sale of Bob Berg jewelry so of course I had to go buy some new earrings!
The second day there I had the immense honor of riding in the Wells Fargo stage. If any of you have seen on TV it is the iconic red stage pulled by a phenomenal team of horses trained out of Southern California where I grew up.
To make it more of an amazing adventure, as I was getting ready for our run I saw my childhood trainers Shelly and Jerry Lunde. Their ranch is the one I grew up on, learning to ride, rope and put together a fabulous video that earned me a spot on a Division I equestrian team.
The amazing point where my life came full circle is that Jerry used to be at out rider for the Wells Fargo coach. I almost cried enjoying that special moment, it makes me truly realize how blessed I am.
And just like that I was back on the road headed to my next adventure. A short but fun trip I’m only sad that I couldn’t be there longer and may not get a chance to go back as a queen.But I’m very fortunate to say that I participated in another Gold Tour rodeo and this has been one heck of a year!
It just goes to show chaps may be stolen and plans may change, but the adventure is what you make of it.