The largest rodeo west of Texas is over for another year. It's raining, the city feels quiet and empty.
Yesterday was nonstop. The last day of the rodeo started with cowboy breakfast, a Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #922 tradition. The vets feed 4,000 people at long picnic tables over the course of four days and proudly list their statistics: 900 pounds of ham, 650 dozen eggs, 48 gallons of syrup.
Pendleton isn't all ham and cowboys, though. There's even a punk band, which is looking for players.
And the rodeo! The only rodeo I've been to before this weekend is the St. Paul, Oregon, 4th of July rodeo, a fine rodeo for sure but a small one compared to this blowout. The Round Up brings world-class riders, world-class animals and each even was more mind-blowing than the last. Bull riding, bareback bronco riding, steer wrestling, in which a man jumps from a running horse onto the back of a running 600 pound steer and physically wrestles it to the ground until he flips it over, all in under 10 seconds. More photos here