Wild West Adventures
20.08.2016 - 20.08.2016
Time to leave Two Medicine Campground.
Now, it was time for Paola to experience Western USA life, not just the vista and outdoor exercise.
We drove to Browning to visit the Museum of the Plains Indians.
We became fast friends with two artists, the museum staff, and a couple of vendors looking for tourist dollars. I think the Blackfeet are a little friendlier with strangers than some other Plains Tribes. Perhaps it is because they are so accustomed to travelers from around the world.
The museum has excellent displays and a well-produced media show.
After another picnic, we drove to Kalispell to stay with hosts found on Couch Surfing.
They told us the fair and rodeo was in town. We used their bathroom and immediately ran out to enjoy a night with the cowboys and cowgirls.
I was so interested in looking at the sheep, cattle, and goats that I forgot to take pictures.
I did not have the right kind of equipment to get good pictures at the rodeo.
Of course, all of rodeo is based on actual tasks that cowboys traditionally performed (well, maybe not cowgirl barrel racing). All the reservations I have traveled on and all the rodeos I have attended, I have never seen an Indian Relay Race. This also displays historical skill. There are some good video clips from this link. Perhaps it has become more frequent and popular since I left the Reservation 40 years ago!
Blackfeet riders had teams of three horses. They rode bareback racing around a regulation size racetrack. At the first lap, each rider jumped from his horse and jumped on another to complete another lap. This happened three times to determine the winner.
It was very exciting. A Blackfeet girl from Browning sitting behind us explained it all to us. Her grandfather had a team of horses in the championship race. They came in second.
By 11 PM, we returned to our hosts. Paola finally got to take a shower and sleep in a bed! Paula just climbed into the back of van.