Crazysister at the Big Heads

Sunday, July 26, 2009

"The Daddy of Them All"

Hello from Dubois, Wyoming ! (pronounced DEW - boys) We are near the southeastern entrance to Yellowstone National Park.

In my last post we were getting ready to head back into Cheyenne for the rodeo at Frontier Days. The rodeo was the most fascinating live entertainment that I have ever witnessed. I mean... I love me some - Tough Enough Rodeo in Dudley Shoals, but folks, these people in Wyoming don't mess around! The rodeo in Cheyenne during Frontier Days is called the "Daddy of them All". It has been held every year for the last 113 years. It is the largest outdoor rodeo in the world! We saw REAL cowboys... ,and they were educated... and spoke intelligently..., and I didn't see a single one one of them spit or hock anything. At Frontier Days - I would say that we saw the 'Navy Seals' of the rodeo. We had to concentrate to keep our mouth shut ( we were in awe) - cause them flys that we told you about - would fly straight in it. I have watched rodeos on tv, but I have never ever seen things like these cowboys were doing. You have to check out the pictures... they will only do it partial justice though.

After the rodeo ended, 5 of the Big Heads bunch stayed at the park to wait for the Kenny Chesney/Jake Owen concert to begin. Miss Wendy and Katie rode a few rides, and Katie even felt inspired to ride the mechanical bull - cue the George Strait song... How 'bout them cowgirls... boy ain't they something...

We climbed to our seats as soon as the stadium opened. Jake Owen was really entertaining. He didn't seem to be trying to be something he's not (like some country stars do). He was wearing girl pants, but I won't hold that against him. As for Kenny, this was my 4th time seeing Kenny in concert! He sings with so much energy! He sounded fabulous. Miss Wendy says better than on the radio even. Our seats were up in the nosebleed section, but the worst part was the people around us. They were more interested in having a good time... than they were listening/watching the concert. Katie fell asleep during the concert but woke up in enough time to enjoy "Out Last Night".

We slept in a little bit this morning. We didn't get up until 6:00 am and weren't on the road again until 8:00. We ate breakfast at McDonald's in Cheyenne ... the last restaurant for about 75 exits. Katie, Wendy, and I played a game to see who could get the most flys out of the vehicle. Miss Wendy was cheating because she kept trying to 'lure' them to her side of the car with her left over cina-melt. You know back home how annoying it is when you get 1 (single) fly in the car... Up here, you can hop in as fast as you can... but 20 - 30 of those suckers are gonna beat you inside. We just kept telling ourselves that it could be worse and that they could be mosquitos. Today was a traveling day so we occupied ourselves with scenery and bad lip syncing to Taylor Swift songs. We had our daily round of "Dodge something flying out of the back of Uncle Bud's truck". Today is was a 12 pack of Sprite. (yesterday- a tire.... the day before - my coleman chair) Surprisingly, they have yet to notice anything missing until I have called them. It might be Crazysister tomorrow - who knows ! She is still a little upset that grocery stores (not even Walmart) sells her beverages of choice in Wyoming. She says it's no wonder the state is not heavily populated.

We traveled through Casper, and Crazysister wanted to stop at "Hell's Half Acre" a little spot on the way to Riverton... but it was no longer operational. In case you didn't know... this is where they filmed the alien scene in Starship Troopers. The landscape in this part of Wyoming is breathtaking. Rolling hills - verdant valleys - snow covered mountains - and farms, horses, cows, and more ... farms. Dubois reminds me of Blowing Rock only with a western flair. The KOA has an indoor heated pool; therefore, it quickly became Katie's favorite of all of them. A local shared some history with us. Dubois has long been a "hideaway" for famous people who don't want the fast pace lifestyle of Jackson Hole or other resort areas in Wyoming. Walt Disney (and now his family) owns 3 ranches in the area. Schwinn bikes ... the Schwinns own ranches in Dubois. The main road through town wasn't paved until 1958. Currently, the people mainly work in the tourist industry or in oil, logging, or mining. We were told that high school graduates have the opportunity to complete a 3 week apprenticeship with the oil industry and upon successful completion of the 3 week training... they immediately start out with a job making $50,000. Our friend told us that the starting salary for teachers is around $40,000, and that presently in Dubois there are 163 students in their K-8 school. Last year the graduating class was 19. He said that the large oil/energy companies have recruited workers from the Scandinavian countries... so this small town is a melting pot of many cultures. The population of Dubois was 1,300 people in 1989 before the sawmill closed. The closure of this main industry left 700 people unemployed so the population was drastically reduced. The snow covered mountains behind this KOA are only 2 miles away and they receive an average of 160 inches of snow a year. Dubois is in a little valley, and the continental divide works like a shelter ring from severe weather. The guy said that it never snows enough to have to shovel the snow. Right outside of town is the nation's premier snowmobiling trails. I can't wait to come back !

Tomorrow, we head through the Tetons and to see Old Faithful in Yellowstone before we spend the night in Cody, Wyoming. (as in Buffalo Bill Cody)

PS. If you are trying to contact Crazysister or myself, we are Alltel people, and unfortunately, we have no service. However, Grayson and Miss Wendy are Verizon, and they have their phones set on the loudest rings possible ... just to rub it in !

Happy Trails ...


sherrysummer said...

Love the local history you gave on this one. Dubois sounds completely fascinating. Hope you get back to Alltel service soon. I know how we like phone service now that party phones are obsolete! Take care, drive safe, and watch out for the flying "buttresses"! Like the photo of the single white hat...Says a lot! Continue those "Happy Trails". Hugs to my bronco riding Kate, Kate!!! Nana

PS...Maybe you should send some of these photos to the News Topic when you get back...

Teresa said...

I love the blog ... I love the pics. What a fabulous journey!... 3 sisters, 3 younguns, Uncle Bud & Wendy-poo! .... I am soooo jealous.

Missed you at CECHS Summer Camp!

Sharon Green said...

Hey All....glad to see you all are doing so well. KB will you take all of us on a trip someday??? Please????? Just think of the fun we could all have.....missed you and Wendy last week! Take care,

Elaine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elaine said...

WOW! You may need to consider writing a short story. Be safe!!!!

Thor said...

I would of loved to see Katie on the Bronco!!

Kim, I'm sure someone had to tell you about Starship Troopers! LOL! :)

Love you and Katie!