Despite my non-love of horses, I am infatuated with anything cowboy - hats, tiered skirts, big trucks, turquoise jewelry, rodeo, small Texas towns, boots, etc. I think that's why our trip through the Southwest was so delicious. All that desert, all those red rock canyons and high plains meadows - I imagined being a pioneer and wondered how any of them survived.
There were many, many great experiences on our trip, but it was hard to beat our visits to the two ranches of our friends. In Oklahoma, we stayed at the Strom Ranch, dear friends that raise show quarter horses ( and sell them if you're interested:). It thundered all night long, typical of Oklahoma weather this time of year. We spent some time at the National Cowboy museum in Oklahoma City - what an incredible museum, full of Western art, cowboy memorabilia, and Native American artifacts.
On a Sunday morning, we headed for our old friends in Texas who have a beautiful ranch near McKinney. Much to my utter delight, it was rodeo Sunday. Jim and his son raise bulls for the rodeos, and a couple of Sundays a month they host a "rodeo" for wannabe bull riders right there on the ranch. It gives the future rodeo stars a chance to practice, but also some training for the bulls. Evidently, bulls need to learn how to be a good "ride" in the rodeo world - I didn't know that. It was an incredible afternoon watching all the young guys trying out their skills, kids running all over dreaming of the day when they might ride a bull, giant BBQ with brisket smoking, wives sitting around biting their nails and taking pictures...
Yep, shoulda been a cowboy.