We travel with some friends who have had box seat tickets for the last 25! years. We buy our tickets when we get there because I refuse to pay online prices for them, so we only get to see whatever rodeos we can find tickets to. It's not a problem, because we actually enjoy seeing some of the action on the big screens in the bars, to get the behind-the-scenes views. On the off chance of getting tickets for the first performance, being on a Thursday and all, we stopped by Cowboy Christmas and checked the ticket booth. Managed to scrounge some plaza tickets (just above the boxes) and we were all off to the rodeo.
Reba McIntire sang the national anthem. Wow! She still looks great and she sure knows how to do justice to that song. I didn't know that was how she got her start in singing...at the rodeo finals. Then a bunch of fireworks and the most amazing horse act. With all the fireworks going on and just spotlights, four girls rode their horses out to the 4-point positions and a final rider appeared on a beautiful palomino with a mane that touched the ground (how many hair extensions did that take?). That horse pirouretted around on his hind legs while his rider did rope tricks from his back, including encircling himself and horse while rearing. That horse was amazing to let all that go on around him and put on such a performance. The epitomy of a true actor!
The rest of the action was just too fast for my camera to catch; all the images were just blurs. Remember, this is the top 15 riders (and the best animals) in each category: bareback riding, steer roping (bull dogging, in the old days), team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping (calf roping), barrel racing, and bull riding. Just a note: the bulls were way ahead of cowboys this night! Remember when 'bull-fighters' were called clowns, and it was NOT a derision?
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To amuse ourselves during the daytime in Las Vegas, we do day trips, shop, wander, etc. (never sleep).
When we were in Las Vegas last year, we visited the Hoover Dam and were amazed by the construction of the huge new bypass, to keep all the traffic off the dam proper. The magnificence of the original dam project was about to be superseded by this new project: huge concrete and steel stanchions leaning out over a deep chasm – an abhorition in the sky. Now we visit to find all those cranes and stanchions are gone and in their place is a beautiful, arched bridge.
We had heard that when the new bridge opened you would no longer be allowed to cross the dam on the ‘old’ highway, so when we came to the junction, we opted to go across the new bridge, thinking we would have this wonderful view of the world, including the dam and Lake Mead. Obviously, we were in a lineup of cars of similar thinking. Nothing could have been further from the truth; the ‘protective’ concrete walls were at the exact height to completely obscure all vision from short rental cars. Bill figured semi drivers probably had the best - and only – view.
Old road across the dam, as seen from the new bridge.
New road as seen from the old road.
We drove back across the new bridge to the junction in the road and went on the old road, across the dam (may be the last time we ever get to do that), turned around and crossed again – for good luck. This time when we came to parking we stopped and walked up the new pathway to the new bridge.
It's a looooong way down!As we walked down the path to the parking lot we noticed cairns people had set up: hundreds of cairns side by side.
Not to be outdone, we added our stones to the cairns.
Well, time to go poke a sleeping dog, errrr Bill. Both seem to have fallen asleep on the floor in front of a fire, obviously trying out Sophie's new pillow/bed.