Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Grand Junction-Grand Mesa and a Rodeo

I had never been on the Grand Mesa, so we took a day trip to see the sights.  Grand Mesa is the largest mesa in the U.S., over 500 miles at 10,000 feet.  When we left Grand Junction it was in the high 90s and was supposed to get to 100 degrees today.  Here on the Mesa it was in the 60s.

We even found snow.

Raber Cow Camp was located on the Grand Mesa.  In 1861, homesteaders rushed into the Colorado territory.  For the next 70 years, cattle was herded to the mesa during the summer, then brought back down for the winter.  Cow Camps, like this, were provided for the cow hands and sometimes even their families, while they were watching the cattle.  

The Mesa has hundreds of small ponds and lakes.  Moose have been relocated to Grand Mesa and there is now a herd of about 350.  But, we didn't see any.

There is a prominence on the Grand Mesa called Lands End.  It overlooks Grand Junction and the entire valley.  We are hoping to come back later in the week and take the squiggly road you see.  It is 18 miles down to the valley, instead of the 50+ miles it took to get up by highway.

At Lands End the chipmunks are friendly and curious.  Here, Fancy is just as curious as the chipmunk.

In nearby Fruita they have a rodeo every Tuesday night during the summer months.  They always start with the mutton busting.  Here the little tykes get to get some experience riding the wild sheep.

The official start is the grand parade, where all participants come out for a presentation of the flags, prayers and the National Anthem.

Only 2 riders made it the entire 8 seconds tonight.

They weren't having much luck with calf roping either.
It was a fun evening.  Many of the participants were young, in their teens, getting experience and points for gaining entrance into the pro rodeo circuit.  

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