Why would you drive 5 hours to see a bunch of sagebrush and have a BBQ with friends who live just up the road? I am not entirely sure is the quick answer, but it must have something to do with the high dessert.
I love the Sierra Nevada forests and I enjoy the roar of the surf and the sting of the salt air at the ocean, but I enjoy the the high dessert above them all. We met up the Capay Valley crew at our friend Stig's place in Alturas Friday night. We played horseshoes (poorly I might add) and had a great tri-tip BBQ. Saturday my wife and I drove up US395 towards Oregon and took the gravel road over Fandango Pass down to the Surprise Valley.
The real reason I wanted to go was the 'Ranch hand Bronc Riding'. The event was called the SuperBull. The ranch hand bronc riding was just thrown in, but for me the local cowboys riding rank horses was the main event. The ranch hand event is similar to PRCA saddle bronc riding except the ranch hands can reach down with their second hand and grab their coiled rope, after the first jump out of the chute to stay on board. Great rides and great wrecks.
This poor guy's horse flopped over on him in the middle of his ride. Its one of the worst feeling in the world to have a horse laying on your leg and praying when he jumps to his feet your boot isn't caught in that stirrup.
Here is a great bull ride I took from my little digital camera.
And here is one of the finalists from the Ranch Hand Bronc Riding.
I had a great time, my wife thinks I am crazy for dragging her all the way to the Oregon Border to watch a rodeo, but she puts up with me. I drove back home last night arriving in Esparto about 2:30 am. I will concede that is a little crazy.