Luke at the Rodeo (we went, too)

 not my first rodeo

This weekend our friends Frank and Katie invited us up to Fort Worth to the rodeo. The only comparable experience I have to the immediate and astounding culture shock I experienced at this event was when on my first day of meeting my home-stay family in Quito, Ecuador during study abroad in college, I was served blood sausage and chicken feet for lunch. It was truly an incredible weekend and we are so beyond grateful to the Darden family for being our Texas home-stay family for the weekend and opening our eyes to the world of rodeo. Yee-haw! (Ugh, no. It just really doesn’t feel natural to say that yet. Maybe at our second rodeo?)


First, please picture this little scene: we rolled up to the rodeo in our station wagon with New York plates (why are they SO bright and yellow?) and a ski rack. To get to the parking lot you have to cruise through the streets overflowing with rodeo-goers. Like actual real live cowboys and girls. There we were, slow driving in our station wagon through a sea of pick-up trucks, horses, and very skeptical locals. Any hope we had of blending in was lost at this point.

My favorite event by far was “Coon Jumping” where adorable mules attempt to jump over a not very high pole. It’s like the Westminster Dog Show of rodeo. One of the winners was named “Peace Pipe.” People giggle when the mules don’t make it over. Like the way you giggle when a toddler takes an adorable fall and doesn’t get hurt. It’s so cute to watch their short little legs struggle over the pole. If Luke wants to compete in any rodeo events in his future, this will be the only option. It’s like the yoga of rodeo. So sweet, these little mules.

coon jumping
Peace Pipe showing those other mules how it’s done. Photo credit: Joyce Marshall Star-Telegram

Luke’s favorite event was something called the Chuckwagon Race. Teams of horses pull these covered wagons and it’s all very Little House on the Prairie looking.  Here’s some info on the National Championship of Chuckwagon Races in case you’re interested:

Luke takes in the Chuckwagon Race with a great American beverage.

I learned so much about rodeo, rodeo fashion (deserving of its own post at a later date), rodeo food (think barbecued animal limbs-big big ones), and that there is someone named Tuf (I bet when he introduces himself he says ,”Name’s Tuf. One F.” That’s definitely what I would do) who is a rodeo champion and maybe a suitor in my next life? I don’t know I’m just thinking out loud here. Now back to our current version of Texas with its artisanal coffee, toddler yoga and competitive sports like being kind to bats and reducing bacteria in local watersheds.