Labor Day weekend is Cowboy Days in Evanston, Wyoming. We took a little road trip to check it out, starting with Cowboy Church on Sunday morning. It was a small group sitting in some shade with a melodious choir of birds. A brief message and a couple of prayers, and we had the afternoon to hang out and explore. There were several vendors of goods and eats, but not much happening throughout the afternoon except for some activities for the kids. There was a large trailer filled with sand and Tonka toys -- any kid's fantasy. There were rockets to launch, painting for young faces, a couple of bounce houses, and some rubber balls to climb inside of and roll around (future posting coming for this.) The big event was the evening rodeo just as the day began to temper its heat.
The rodeo events were the usual: mutton busting, bucking broncos, steer wrestling, calf roping, barrel racing, and bull riding. This rodeo also had some junior events, for those younger folks between the ages of the kids riding the mutton and the cowboys testing their skills on the really bigger stock, those intending to move into the big leagues. Of course, there was also the rodeo clown, this one hatched a dinosaur egg. Each event has its own thrills, and some leave you gasping. One of the horses slipped during the barrel racing and went down (horse and rider walked away.) Of course, there are always the riders that get thrown from horses and bulls, the brave youngsters riding the sheep that bring smiles and giggles from the spectators, and everyone cheering loudly for good rides and for courageous attempts.
As the afternoon was slow, we took advantage of the time to explore some other sites in Evanston. There is a WY Welcome Center (exit 6 on I-80) with live bison and elk. There is a river walk in town with paved paths along the river to experience some of the wild beauty of the area. Another favorite site is the train yard. There are some old train cars (watch for pictures) and the old buildings associated with a train yard. The buildings are in the process of renovation and re-purposing. Some have been completed and are used for events such as the Celtic Festival and the Bluegrass Festival. Beautiful buildings! Sadly, I noticed that the windows along one side of one of the buildings had been smashed out. Evanston is a small town and relies upon visitors to attend these events. I recommend doing so - we have not been disappointed in any of them yet.
Evanston, WY is just across the state line from Utah. It is only a little over an hour from Salt Lake City, making it doable in an afternoon or evening if you are visiting Utah. I think most of the spectators Sunday night were from Salt Lake City area -- as noted by the emcee more than once.
Of course, as the evening progressed and it became darker and darker, I had to keep upping my ISO setting and my pictures became more and more grainy.