My husband and I moved to Colorado way back in 1994, we are just a smidgen away from being considered natives. That's a joke really, people in Colorado take their "native status" way too far. I'll always be proud to represent New York. My girls on the other hand will have the Colorado native badge to wear proudly, if they choose to.
So, what do two Yankee parents do on a wintery Colorado Sunday? Why, they take their chitlins down to the National Western Stock Show. For a moment, I almost had the foresight to back out, but I decided to not let my preconceived notions ruin our experience. To top it off, I have a slight anxiety issue with large crowds, I prefer to avoid them, but yet again, I let it go.
Honestly, I had no idea what to expect. Of course, I knew there would be lots of animals of the stock variety, cowboys, belt buckles, ironed Wranglers, plaid shirts, big ol' hats, and some pungent odors to fill the air. I knew I had nothing in my closet to even try to pull off the ranch gal look. Although I did dig out my corduroy shirt to wear with my 7 jeans, haha!
We finally arrived at our destination after a few parking detours. The area was just loaded with cars, people, John Deere's pulling folks in a wagon, animals, trailers, and big big trucks. We lucked out and caught the wagon ride right to the front door of the first venue. It was already a hit in Sj's book.
Breathe deeply. You are about to step out of your comfort zone.
Experiencing something so steeped in tradition for the first time, when you are comfortably into adult hood is quite unique. I swear I had the wide eyed curiosity look of a 4 year old. We casually roamed around the Events Center Horse Show, Pony Trails, Lower Paddock Areas. The girls gently pet dozens upon dozens of beautiful horses. We watched young girls braiding the manes, grooming their horses, and we felt the pride that comes with owning a such a gorgeous animal.
We ventured off into the Expo areas and took in so many new experiences. GL never moaned for a minute, she rode on J's back in the backpack for a couple of hours. The girls were just delighted with all the animals, sights, and sounds. We watched in awe as Rancher's spray painted their Angus Bulls and groomed them like they were beauty queens. I kid you not.
What a great day. The crowds were so mellow, much better than I expected. I was delighted to even feel a strong "Brokeback Mountain" presence. Giggle, giggle.
Maybe the Colorado way of life has influenced me more than I would care to admit. See you next year at the National Western Stock Show.