Things I Learned at the Round-Up

Captain Cavedweller and I spent the weekend taking in the Pendleton Round-Up.

It was wonderful, fun, exciting and awesome.

Friday we watched the Westward Ho Parade, wandered through booths selling everything from boots, buckles and hats to home decor and artwork. After all that, we entered the Round-Up grounds, ate some of the most delicious lamb I’ve ever had in my life then spent the next several hours watching the rodeo, which was one of the best I’ve been to. (I was a lazy slug and didn’t download the hundreds of photos I took yet, I’ll post a few later this week.)

Saturday we got up bright and early and headed to Hamley & Co. where I stood outside for a book signing and watched approximately 9,367 people go by before the rodeo commenced.

There were a few things I noticed as I watched the masses go by that seemed noteworthy.

1. Although I grew up around cowboys and rodeos, I learned something new – apparently as long as you are wearing a pair of cowboy boots, you can automatically assume it makes you a cowboy. I saw boots worn with …insert any piece of clothing here and I saw it. Seriously. My favorites were sweat pants, capris and what appeared to quite possibly be someone’s pajamas. I couldn’t help but think of the Bill Engvall video of  “I’m a Cowboy.”

2. The theory that wearing boots makes you a cowboy apparently also applies to cowboy hats (or hats that vaguely resemble a cowboy hat). My absolute favorite was a man not that much older than me (so he can’t use the excuse of senility for his fashion choices) wearing khaki shorts, gray socks, tan sandals, a lavender T-shirt and a cowboy hat. He had the swagger down pat as he made multiple trips to the beer garden from his seat across the aisle from us.

3. I had no idea that there must be a line of unisex skinny western jeans available because one guy was wearing a pair that I saw about 1,352 cute skinny girls wearing. They were skin tight, dark-wash jeans with white top stitching down the sides and rhinestones on the back pockets. Oh, yeah. The dinner-plate sized belt buckle he was wearing went great with his neon shirt, vintage 1992.

His long flowing hair finished off the ensemble. Captain Cavedweller came back from a run to get me a bottle of water shaking his head. When I asked what was up, he pointed to the guy, who also happened to be sitting a few rows down from us in next section over.

“Did you see that guy?” he asked.

“Yep. Hard to miss,” I said.

“At first I thought it was one ugly woman, but when he turned around, the mustache gave it away,” CC said, grinning. “What guy wears jeans like that?”

Good question.

4. When smiling and saying good morning to people anytime before 11 a.m. after a night of too much liquid fun, men seem much more inclined to be polite than women, which was completely mind-boggling to me. Normally women are the chatty, friendly ones who stop by my table and visit during a book signing. Complete role reversal Saturday. There were a bunch of cowboys walking around with bookmarks stating “Hopeless Romantic – Sarcasm No Extra Charge” sticking out of their Wrangler pockets Saturday morning.

5. The people of Pendleton are friendly, welcoming, warm and wonderful as thousands of strangers converge on their city. I was thoroughly impressed with how well-kept and clean the Round-Up grounds were, how nice everyone was and the general feeling of goodwill.

She Who Can’t Wait for Next Year…

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