Rodeo in Las Vegas

Cowboy up!

Paul Driver Paul
Phil Phil
Ken Ken

Saturday, Phil, Ken, and I went Las Vegas for the annual rodeo. Sophie, the Prius, had already been given directions for the backroads route through the desert, and at the crack of dawn I picked up Ken and Phil for a four-hour drive.

As we went through Twentynine Palms, I asked if anybody needed a stop for sustenance or whatever, this being the last civilization between there and Las Vegas.

"No, I'm fine," said Phil.

"Not for me," said Ken.

As soon as we left CA-62, we encountered thick, thick fog, reducing visibility to about the end of the nose on your face. Fortunately, that road is straight and carries very little traffic.

They apparently thought I was kidding about civilization, because before we even reached Kelso, they began making noises about stopping for breakfast. "I told you there was nothing between Twentynine Palms and Las Vegas," I reminded them.

"Not even an AM/PM? Not even a gas station?"

"Not even."

backroads route Backroads route
Phil and Paul Phil and Paul at the Kelso train station. You can also view the "making of..." this picture

Ken rode in the back seat with his new GPS and a stack of maps. This kept his attention focused on something besides my driving, and we all had a calmer trip because of it. He calls his GPS Gelly, short for Magellan, and he was greatly reassured that Gelly gave driving directions almost identical to Sophie.

At Kelso we did stop at the visitor headquarters for a bathroom stop and a quick peek at the museum. The restored lunch room in the station was a cruel taunt to the two who had not even eaten breakfast before leaving home. Breakfast, the most important meal of the day, as my momma used to say.

A ranger had blocked off the Kelso-Cima road at the station, preventing us from continuing on our normal route and forcing us to backtrack by following Kelbaker Road all the way to Baker on I-15. It was on this road that we observed a mystifying phenomenon. The macadam was not typical "black top" but had a red surface, presumably due to the use of clinker. The weird thing was that the red road was black when seen in the mirrors or out the rear window.

In Baker, we had a nice breakfast at Denny's, making the boys' tummies happy.

Cowboy up!

The rodeo had the usual assortment of competitive events, country dancing, and eye candy. Palm Springs was represented in the rodeo events competition by Jody and Bill, and by Michael in the eye-candy competition.

Jody and Bill

Phil and beer Phil by the beer wagon
Ken in jail Ken on the outside looking in
goat-dressing Goat dressing is always popular, although not, perhaps, among the goats
LA Wranglers The LA Wranglers performed several line dances
Jody pole bending Jody finishing up the pole-bending race
spikey hair Not such a good do for wearing a cowboy hat

For Ken, the highlight of the weekend was the night of country Western dancing at the Tuscany Suites, the host hotel. Me, I took $20 to the casino to play video poker, played for 1½ hours, then left with the same $20.

For more pictures, check out the slideshow (sidebar).

The Making Of... (continue story)