A Morning on the River, a Night at the Rodeo

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Part of our motivation to take a Great American Road Trip was to explore the mind-bogglingly massive open spaces that the United States has to offer. In sheer numbers, our country has 84 million acres of protected land, 85 million miles of clean river and 4.5 million acres of ocean, lakes and reservoirs. This does not include state parks, tribal lands or otherwise designated outdoor spaces. Think about that for a minute. Because it would take a lifetime of dedicated traveling to explore that terrain and on this day, Kristin and I spent two hours floating a whole ten miles of it down the Snake River in the Grand Tetons of Wyoming.

Solitude Float Trips hosted our frozen exploration of this stunning stretch of water, and the company couldn’t have been more accommodating and friendly. We canceled day of the previous day because it was virtually snowing, and they graciously bumped our trip up without a complaint. Keeping in line with our weather woes, the next day wasn’t much better but at least it wasn’t sleeting.

(Isn’t she cute in a camo hat? Yellow shooting glasses would be more appropriate but I like the fusion.)

Walls that rise to 13,770 feet (Grand Teton) flank the river and are often shrouded in clouds and fog. We glimpsed the peaks on rare occasions and were simply floored with the grandeur. Even if you’re not a climber you get an itch to scale some mountains.

The sunlight belies the temperature gauge. It was about 45 degrees and the river was heavy. At least six states downstream were—and probably still are—being inundated by flows like this one.

The chocolate milk turns crystal clear when the rains stop coming EVERY DAY for weeks on end.

The boats used on this stretch of water were created for these rivers. They are stable, steer easily and are decidedly not designed for rapids. More like a 70’s Cadillac convertible than a Tesla roadster for cruising the byways.

The next evening we left the cozy confines of Snake River Lodge to head out to Wednesday rodeo night in Jackson, Wyoming. Purple cowboys rode pissed-off horses and attempted to dominate their bovines.

I found it interesting (and really smart) that the “youth” riders all wore helmets with face masks. Of course, real bareback riders don’t need head protection.

Personally, I’d take a stab at riding one of these bad boys but I’m nuts like that. I’d totally wear a helmet. And maybe sneak a little hipshot of bourbon to stay loose.

Clowns and cute, flannel-clad teenage riders and their dancing horses filled out the evening. I’d venture to guess we were the only tourists in these empty stands but for us, that’s just the way we like it.

*****

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COMMENTS
  • July 13, 2011

    I’m not sure a rodeo would be my thing, but I sure enjoyed reading about it! Great pics SW (just kidding SVV)!!!

    • July 14, 2011
      Kristin

      Oh c’mon, Andi, it would be an excuse for you to invest in some rhinestones and PINK COWBOY BOOTS. πŸ˜‰

  • July 13, 2011

    Tetons and Rodeo, two of my favorite things! πŸ™‚ Love this, SVV!

    xox

  • July 14, 2011

    Great post. Going to my first rodeo this weekend. Wish me luck!

    • July 14, 2011
      SVV

      Break a leg! I mean, um, have fun!

  • July 14, 2011

    I love reading all these posts. Such great adventures!

  • July 14, 2011
    Ris

    I’ve been to a few rodeos in Texas and they are definitely worth the price of admission. Though I would never be brave enough to attempt to ride!

    • July 14, 2011
      SVV

      Insert liquor. πŸ˜‰

  • July 14, 2011

    That picture of the bronco where you just see his head and everything else is a blur? That is awesome. I rode for 8 years, so I’d probably be dumb enough to think I could stay on a bronco and instead end up breaking my head in about 0.4 seconds. Glad no one has given me the opportunity!

    • July 14, 2011
      SVV

      Thank you. In that shot the far left cowboy expression is another element I love. Next time, I’m bringing a tripod to sharpen the whole thing up!

  • July 14, 2011
    Kristin

    I’m still confused why you didn’t go up there and give a go on the bull yourself.

    • July 14, 2011
      SVV

      Didn’t want to embarrass the cowboys on their home turf. It’s all about respect Kristin Luna.

  • July 14, 2011

    I love the final photo in this post–the sky looks amazing!

    • July 14, 2011
      SVV

      Thanks! It’s one of my favorites in this set and an “in-camera” shot. No post processing.

  • July 14, 2011

    Wow, I haven’t been to a rodeo in years. That water doesn’t exactly look warm.

    • July 14, 2011
      Kristin

      It was FREEZING. Luckily, neither of us fell in! And then the next week, we went whitewater rafting in Montana where the outside temp was 40ish and the water (glacier melt) in the 30s. That was a nice warm morning!

  • July 14, 2011
    sbc

    We took a trip with solitude last September. We really enjoyed it although the water was clear & calm when we went!
    Nice pics of the rodeo too!

  • July 14, 2011

    One of my favorite parts of the US! Brings back many memories as we spent most family vacations around the Snake River.

    That “hipshot of bourbon” encourages us to do a lot things, huh?

    • July 14, 2011
      Kristin

      He married a Southern girl solely because that hipshot of bourbon comes as part of the dowry. I’m from where both Jack and George Dickel–OK, so technically whisk(e)y but who’s keeping tally?–are made, although our personal preference, Bulleit, actually hails from Kentucky =)

      • July 14, 2011
        SVV

        Hipshot(s) my dear. That’s plural. And Debbie, bourbon is very encouraging. πŸ™‚

  • July 14, 2011

    “Purple cowboys rode pissed-off horses and attempted to dominate their bovines.”

    Well, when you put it that way, rodeos sound fucking awesome! Especially if there’s beer. There’s beer, right? There has to be. Right?

    • July 14, 2011
      Kristin

      I had a hot dog and a (root) beer. But yes, there was beer of the booze-y persuasion, as well. I wanted cotton candy, but SVV started to judge me silently (we’ve been together six years; I can tell these things by now) so I refrained.

  • July 15, 2011

    This sounds like the perfect day πŸ™‚

    I really want to see a rodeo some day. Great photos.

  • July 22, 2011
    JeJe

    The tow of you make an awesome writing team! Need more from SVV!

  • July 22, 2011
    JeJe

    Sorry, TWO OF YOU! BTW, you need to put an “*” by “isn’t she cute…” because that picture is so cool, the light by her hat looks like an asterix!

  • March 2, 2017
    sam

    good deal with brand-new Amazon Firestick 2. https://kodidownloadtv.com/kodi-17-krypton-android-pc-ios/ Click on Menu and after that Click on Upload Button. nice.

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