As I mentioned in my last post, I have been away on vacation in North Carolina. It was a nice change of location spent with plenty of family. Getting back into the swing of things at work has been slow because my mind is still in vacation mode. As such, I thought the best way to ease into the transition would be to share with you some photos from my travels. Let’s go to the rodeo!
I spent the first three days of my trip in Asheville, North Carolina, where I visited the Biltmore Estate. (I’ll have those photos edited soon.) The rest of my time was spent in Highlands, North Carolina. Most of this portion of my vacation was spent doing family things, but I did carve out time on July 2nd to visit the Bar W Rodeo down the mountain in Clayton, Georgia. I am a huge fan of rodeos – with all the cowboy action sports involved, what’s not to like? I have been to several rodeos in Florida, but this was my first in Georgia. The rodeo was held at the Rabun Arena, which is a fairly small venue and allowed me to get close to both the cowboys and the crowds.
This event was completely sold out, and the overflow audience (including my cousins who attended with me) had to take a seat in the nearby grass. The rodeo brought out everyone from the neighborhood, and it was a wonderful chance to get a glimpse into life in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Armed with my camera, I stood out like a sore thumb, but I did manage to blend in enough to capture the feel of that evening.
I think my new favorite rodeo sport is the bucking bronco. I had a chance to speak with one of the cowboys while waiting in line for a corndog. I asked him what was the secret to staying in the saddle. He told me it was a combination of skill, training, and muscle memory. After you watch enough of these rodeos, you realize how much guts and training it takes to make it in this sport. Consider how close these participants are to major injury plus the expense of maintaining their equipment. After watching the Bar W Rodeo I came away with an even more profound respect for these players, and I am looking forward to my next rodeo.
In case you were wondering, June/July is the high season for rodeos. There are quite a few rodeos being held in upstate New York, and you can find a list here. Also, don’t forget about the huge rodeo held annually in January at Madison Square Garden.
Check out all the photos from my rodeo series, as well as more examples of my travel photography, on my personal website – www.Kelly-Williams.com