Labor Day Weekend for Jon and Brittany

This is Jon. Like we have now for the last 11 Ellensburg Rodeos, my Brittany and I have taken in all four performances, the Xtreme Bulls and the slack never skipping a beat. Here are some pics of the weekend...

A look at the Grand Entry with a full shot of what the arena looks like when it's filled with 9,000 sun-drenched people. I've never seen a Grand Entry (yes, it has to be capitalized) like Ellensburg's. The only other one that comes close is the Grand Entry at the National Finals Rodeo in Vegas.

Trick riders from Calgary, Alberta. These ladies were nuts and this was a small slice of what we saw.

Me and my Brittany right before Saturday night's Xtreme Bulls.

Forever my favorite statistician.

The Xtreme Bulls is a bull riding-only event that takes place the Saturday of Labor Day. The season-long tour ended with the championship finale in Ellensburg. Check it out on ESPN in October. When the 40 bull riders come out, there are tons of fireworks, explosions and there is a huge fire in the shape of an "X" in the arena dirt. Pretty cool. The guy to the right of this photo is a member of the Seminole Tribe which is the title sponsor of the event (Seminole Hard Rock Xtreme Bulls Tour). Anyway, they break a guitar on a block and at the moment of impact is when thousands of $$$ worth of explosives set off.

Ellensburg's Allen Helmuth on a bull. He got an 82-point ride in the first go-round. I think he got robbed. It was worth at least 85 to 86, which was the difference of $5,000 to him. He got an 88 in the short-go finale, so he made a couple of bucks in go-round and average money.

This is Ted Bert about a split second before he was bucked off in Monday's finals for the rodeo.

Jon and Brittany in front of the bucking chutes.

With the girls gone, we've tried to make Labor Day weekend a date weekend. We get to see rodeo, get to hang out with friends and be together kid-free for a bit. We love our girls to pieces, but I didn't understand how important it was to have time for ourselves before we had kids. This is us on the back patio of The Tav, which is a sacred institution at E-burg. We hung out with some friends, one of which is Colter, the current sports editor for the Daily Record desperately trying to fill the shoes I left in 2003.

The significance of this photo? We're in the world famous Gold Buckle Room. We were invited guests of one of the Ellensburg Rodeo Board members. It's a pretty exclusive club that I am not a member of (yet, gotta figure out how my hefty donation can be used as a tax write-off). Anyway, this is proof that we were there. The Gold Buckle Club building is in the arena, so fans can watch the rodeo while hob nobbing with others.

Here is a link to some of my articles:
It's not all of them, I tend to write too much, but a few of the individual articles are listed, including my column that runs every Tuesday.


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