Tuesdays are senior days (55+) and grounds admission (not the rodeo) is free. Looks like I have next Tuesday planned. Parking is still $10, however.
When we arrived on the rodeo grounds, we walked through the goat building on our way to find the wildlife zoo and reptiles.
When we came out the other side of the building and saw more and more buildings and arenas, it became obvious that we, like Alice in Wonderland, had fallen down a rabbit (or, goats in our case) hole and had no idea where we were or where we needed to be. We saw a sign for "maps," and the gentleman walked over to us, handed us a map and said, "This is the only free thing you're going to get here." (Not true, by the way.)
Saw a bright, shiny, old fire truck as we walked outside to our next destination...
Then it was off to the Wildlife Area. I especially wanted to see the reptiles and the wildlife zoo. First stop:
|Fangs & Reptile House|
Warning! Snake photos follow.
|One big rattler!|
Enough about snakes. Next we walked over to the Wildlife Zoo tent. This place made me want to go to Victoria, Texas to visit their zoo.
At an outdoor exhibit we learned about a 121 lb catfish caught in 2004. They named her Splash and she lived at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center for about two years. This exhibit has a replica of how big she was.
|Splash and I.|
The Pillsbury Dough Boy put in a publicity appearance with his (her?) marketing manager.
I needed to pay a visit to the ladies room and was surprised to see the following flyer when I sat down on the "john." It's clever, but in the stall? Really?
Walking through the Wildlife area we saw a tent and sign that said "Dock Dogs." The scheduled time on the program for Dock Dogs was 5:00 p.m. It was 4:45 p.m. so we had time to look around a little and returned at the appointed time.
Curious as to what Dock Dogs were all about, we took our seats. The announcer came out and explained Dock Dogs are dogs that compete by diving into a tank of water. There are three levels of competition: big air, speed retrieve, and extreme vertical. Big air is the distance the dogs leap off the platform into the water, speed retrieve is a timed event in which the dog is timed from the 20' mark on the dock until the dog retrieves the toy from the bracket at the other end of the pool, extreme vertical is a high jump for dogs. The events are very fast-paced and hard to capture in photos, although I made a valiant effort.
|Big air splash down.|
|Retrieving the ball after big air.|
|Dutch shepherd on the downward side of extreme vertical.|
|Dutch shepherd ready for another extreme vertical jump.|
|Here's my second attempt at a vertical jump photo.|
Hunger was setting in and we noticed the "Chuckwagon" tent was serving up free samples of many different items. We had baked beans, dill pickle, beef stew (Susan only), a Dole jello cup with mandarin oranges in it, and potato chips. We didn't even finish going down the Chuckwagon line.
We also lucked out being in the right place at the right time when peach cobbler came out of a Dutch oven. Mmmm...yummy, warm peach cobbler. I was so enthralled, I forgot to take a picture of the old-fashioned booth where they made it.
|Chuckwagon tent with free samples all down the line.|
|Round 1--male piglets. Brad Pig in the lead.|
No Hamjolina Jolie in this action shot. She freaked out and headed back to the starting line. The handlers had to chase her around to the finish.
A brief break was taken from pig racing to showcase Swifty the Swimming Pig. This little baby pig jumped right into a tank much larger than itself and swam about eight feet before hopping out on the other side.
|Swifty the Swimming Pig|
The next show was Pets Overboard, but we had a half hour, so we spent it in a tent showcasing agriculture and farming. In this tent we saw a honeybee exhibit, a dairy exhibit, angora goats, corn-growing exhibit, and Master Gardeners were on hand in case people had questions about anything garden-related. We had a free small sample of ice cream and they gave us apple slices on the way out.
|Sunflower Susan. No wallflower here.|
|Angora goats--where mohair comes from. Dinnertime!|
|These boots are made for planting. So adorable.|
Pets Overboard was a hot mess, really kitschy. The show took place aboard the ship HMS Vermin. The crew were, you guessed it, dogs, cats and rats. They don't call 'em Pi-RATs for nothin'. I don't need to see this show when I go back next Tuesday!
|A cat leaping from "the plank."|
When we entered the AT&T arena the show was just starting, so we settled down to watch the evening unfold.
|Presenting the colors.|
|The rodeo clown--lots of personality.|
|2012 Rodeo of the Year -- Large Indoor|
|Bareback bronc riding. I don't see how these guys do it.|
|Team calf roping.|
|Individual calf roping.|
|This young man won the calf scramble. Photo taken off Jumbotron.|
|Individual calf roping.|
|Saddle bronc riding.|
|These horses are really agitated.|
|Xtreme bull riding|
The rodeo was very professional and entertaining. Our seats were five rows back from the arena. A vendor had given some tickets to Bob's boss and we were given a pair of those. Sweet!
After the rodeo there was a 20-minute intermission while the stage was set up for Clay Walker. When we returned from the break we found a circular stage in the middle of the arena, right in front of us! Not only that but the stage rotated 360 degrees.
Fun day, fun night and I can't wait to go back next Tuesday for some more exploration of the stock show and rodeo grounds. It's fun to look at all the animals, especially the horses. And then there's all the booths we didn't get to. So much to see and do. I'll go watch the Dock Dogs again too.
A week ago on our Volksmarch, we saw a bumper sticker that said, "I wasn't born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could!" We thought that was pretty clever and had a good laugh over it.
Welcome to new followers: Mark and Teri of (I believe, correct me if I'm wrong) Hidden Valley RV and Mello Mike of Mello Mike's Truck Camper Adventures. I'm so happy to see you here!
Travel Bug out.