You know, except for the fact that I no longer get to cook fancy meals, drink craft brews or be within 1000 miles of anyone I’ve ever loved or cared about, this place is pretty freaking awesome.
This past weekend was the Rosebud Fair. Usually, I don’t care much for fairs. They are usually crowded, expensive and dull. But maybe this is because I’ve lived in California.
Lucky for me, over the weekend, I had the chance to soak myself in the greatness that is a small town, po-dunk, cheap bitchin’ fair.
First on the docket-trying to find our way to the mud races. Because signs are for sallies. And actual stadiums that have been constructed are equally lame. Here, you have to follow the sound of engines revving and then stand on the other side of some very non-protective barbed wire to watch this glorious mix of noise, power and grit. Until someone offers you the back of their trailer to sit on. “But hold on, young miss,” you might ask. “What the devil is mud racing?” Well, my 1870’s friend, imagine a car, an ordinary car transformed into an off–roading behemoth, often using whatever spare parts are available and down-home ingenuity (and I’m pretty sure also duct-tape. Like, more than is probably safe) and then driven through a dirt track that has lots of turns and potholes. But wait! This track has also been soaked in water, creating a muddy road of watery swamp holes and you are sitting about twenty feet away, watching these bad ass cars, trucks, jeeps and…is that a Firebird on big wheels? Yup! That too! Each one careening through turns and spraying mud as they try to race the fastest time.
“Well now I am intrigued,” you may be thinking. “What else could this fine festival have to offer?”
Two Words: Rodeo.
Now granted, some events at a rodeo suck. Others (actually, usually the same ones), are boring watered down events that someone thought might be better suited to the delicate sensibilities of women (that cold chill you may be feeling is the bristling of my inner feminist getting ready for a fight. Easy, trigger). But most are just plain sweet. I mean, not even going in to the fact that I saw a man with one hand herd two buffalo on to the top of his horse trailer using a bullwhip, or mentioning bull riding-which I will always love, I have discovered Wild Horse Racing.
Imagine if you will, my good and kindly readers, an unbroken horse waiting and stomping flaring his angry unbroken nostrils in a stall, with a rope tied around its head. Now imagine three young men whose sole intentions for the next, oh ten minutes or so, is to calm this horse, saddle it, then ride it around a barrel and back. Ladies and Gentlemen, you just imagined Wild Horse Racing, congratulations. But how do they calm such a ferocious and feral creature? One of these three men has a very special job, He is called the mugger and as the horse comes out of the gate, this young fellow throws his arm over the neck of the horse and bites down on it’s ear, causing the horse to instantly stop all movement so another participant might place a saddle on this animal’s back. Yup, he bites the sucker on the friggin’ ear. And that’s about the calmest part of the entire race, because the rest is pure chaos, madness and mayhem. I believe only one team was even able to stay on their horse for more than 5 seconds.
Why? Why have I only NOW found out about this? Had a known about this as a child, I could have participated in junior wild horse races, where three kids try this whole same ordeal, but with wild shetland ponies. Yeah! How fun does your boring old petting zoo sound now! (Pssst-not very. Just saying).
Well, as you can see, I rather enjoyed the Rosebud fair. And the fun doesn’t have to stop now that it’s packed up and moved on. Br. Pat has told us that if we can find a PBR (Pro Bull Riding, you alcoholic mess) event within three hours of St. Francis, we’re going.
Oh, South Dakota. Sometimes you speak straight to my soul.