Another day, another nickle #6: Winnemucca

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Blog entry by Thos. Angle posted 03-03-2008 08:12 PM 1669 reads 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Merry Christmas Part 6 of Another day, another nickle series Part 7: Broke Down, again!! »

As usual in this series, this blog has nothing to do with woodworking and everything to do with keeping your sanity.

On Saturday, long before the sun came up, Carleen and I hit the road for Winnemucca, Nevada. We stopped at Arock on the way to pick up a granddaughter and a spare, kid that is. After about 3 hours of fighting a snow storm we dropped down into Winnemucca. The reason for the trip was the annual ranch rodeo.

For a lot of years the people” in the know” have declared the American Cowboy deceased. Well, I’d say they did pretty good for a bunch of ghosts. It’s hard to find real cowboys if you drive on the Interstates or hang around the cities. Most of these ol’ boys came from places with names like Jordan Valley, Round Mountain, Denio, Arock, Rock Creek, Tuscorora or Plush. They came out of the sagebrush to have a get-to-gather, try to win a little money and take home some pride for the outfit. Ranch rodeos are based on what cowboys(buckaroos) do on the range every day. Professional rodeo has become a real sport but it is not applicable to the work on ranches. So, every event at a ranch rodeo reflects real life work on horseback. The ranch style team roping uses muley cattle(no horns) and the ropers must rope on leather wrapped saddle horns the same as we do on the ranch. No rubber wrapped horns allowed. This is the way we doctor sick cattle and brand calves in the spring. There is also stock saddle bronc riding. The cowboy has to ride his working saddle. the horses are tough but just like in the sage brush, all that counts is being there when the ride is over. Not a lot of rules and extra points if you can fan him with your hat and turn your head and talk to the judges. Also have team branding where 4 cowboys have to put a paint brand on 4 head of yearllings. They have to head and heel them then switch the head rope to the front feet before the paint brand can be applied. The winning team did in under 5 minutes and that includes switching ropers in the middle. The yearlings had a lot of fun chasing the cowboys as well.The girls did steer stopping where they head a steer and then stop for the time. The little kids had dummy roping and stick horse barrel racing. The calf roping was different from rodeo tie down roping in that the roper had to dally and then take the tail of his rope with him just like we do outside then tie the calf down.

The entries were made of ranch teams, 4 men and one lady. Some of those girls are as good as the men. While there was a winner in each event, the main goal was to win the team award. Now, that’s bragging rights! As you can imagine we had lots of friends there and we did a lot of visiting. The girls took off and did what kids do; they trooped around with the other kids their age and had their own community. Funny part was that they were hanging out with the same kids they go to school with. We don’t spend too much time worrying about our kids here. They’re pretty safe except for rope burns and gravel rashs.

By Sunday night everybody had disappeared into the sage again. Somebody had bragging rights and everybody felt like going back to work. Ian Tyson once described our part of the world as a black hole on the map. We headed home as well, feeling like we had some fun and spent some time with family. We’ll see them all again the 3rd weekend in May here in Jordan Valley for the Big Loop. Hope you can make it.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

14 comments so far

View Greg3G's profile


815 posts in 4047 days

#1 posted 03-03-2008 08:25 PM

Sounds like a great time. I grew up in Oklahoma and was always amazed at the differnce between the “Pro” cowboys and the working guys. You could never find a better, more hard working bunch of people. Now that being said, I would never in a million years try to do what they do every day but I do miss the people, plane spoken and would help someone at the drop of a hat. They were the definition of “Neighbor.”

-- Greg - Charles Town, WV

View Mario's profile


902 posts in 4013 days

#2 posted 03-03-2008 08:41 PM

That sounds totally interesting. It is this knid of stuff that more accurately captures things that are really part of the old American culture.

Thanks for the post.

-- Hope Never fails

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4023 posts in 4026 days

#3 posted 03-03-2008 08:47 PM

I was toting my pack along the long dusty Winnemucca road
When along came a semi with a high canvas covered load
If your goin’ to Winnemucca, Mack with me you can ride
And so I climbed into the cab and then I settled down inside
He asked me if I’d seen a road with so much dust and sand
And I said, “Listen! I’ve traveled every road in this here land!”

Thanks for the ride-along, Thos (and Johnny Cash for the theme music).

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 3901 days

#4 posted 03-03-2008 09:13 PM

Whenever I read stories like this I think, “That’s a hard life,” but somehow it doesn’t sound as stressful as us city folks have. I don’t mind hard so much, but stress is a killer. Thanks for sharing.

-- Working at Woodworking

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4261 days

#5 posted 03-04-2008 12:41 AM

Sounds interesting, I bet these guys don’t get all busted up like they do at the

regular rodeos. It’d be nice to see what the real cowboys do.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3924 days

#6 posted 03-04-2008 12:45 AM

If any of you are in the right place, they have ranch rodeo’s all over the west. If you get a chance go to one. And, Dick, they do get busted up once in a while. It goes with the territory.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 4048 days

#7 posted 03-04-2008 01:27 AM

Always a fun read Thomas.

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4122 days

#8 posted 03-04-2008 01:52 AM

sounds like a great time… except for those who got the big bruises .. ouchies.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4276 days

#9 posted 03-04-2008 02:02 AM

I guess we still got a touch of the west…or a few out west who are just touched!

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 3983 days

#10 posted 03-04-2008 02:06 AM

Thom, the way you tell it you make the beans smell like T-bones!
Glad you had fun.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Karson's profile


35111 posts in 4362 days

#11 posted 03-04-2008 02:32 AM

Thomas. I’m glad that a great time was had by all. It doesn’t sound like Vegas style cowboys. Nor like Roy Rodgers cowboys. But more like a group of people having a great time doing what they like best.

Kind of like lumberjocks.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6851 posts in 3941 days

#12 posted 03-04-2008 05:32 AM

Hi Tom;

Great article about what sounds like a great time. Nice to hear some people are still friendly.

Us city slickers don’t even know our neighbors names. Sad huh?

I lived next to the same family for twelve years. They said hello about three times.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3736 days

#13 posted 03-04-2008 07:34 AM

Hi Tom

People having fun, doing what they like to do, being with friends and family. Sounds like a black hole I’d like to be in! Thanks for posting.


-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4208 days

#14 posted 03-06-2008 04:06 PM

I’ve been to one Rodeo in my life Thomas when I was only 11 years old, but it left such a grand impression on me I swore before I died I was gonna ride a bucking bronco, well I never did, but I used to work for a butcher and I can say I actually helped skin and bucther out a buffallo. So I am an old buffallo skinner. Rodeos sure are exiting I do remember that. Thanks for the memories. mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

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