Sequim skies

Sequim skies are going to have a new event! In 2012, over Labor Day weekend, Sequim will host the inaugural Sequim Balloon Festival. Organizers expect about 20 balloons and will have early morning group launches, balloon rides, and a “night glow” when balloonists will turn on their heaters to illuminate the floating beauties. There will also be music, races, a children’s play space, a wine-grape stomp, and a food court.

The organizers have found that this period, Sept. 1-3, is among our best weather time and rarely sees rain or high winds. If you’re considering a trip to Sequim, it might be fun to come to this new event.

Clallam County Rodeo – Bareback Riding

Here’s another of those “Guy Thing” rodeo activities, an eight second ride on the back of an uncooperative horse and a surefire way to need a chiropractor. The cowboy must hold onto the leather and rawhide rigging with only one hand and keep his feet in the correct position when the horse hits the ground as it bounds out of a chute. The rider is disqualified if he touches his equipment, himself, or the horse with his free hand.

Another rider stays nearby during the ride and helps the bareback rider off the bucking horse at the end of his ride, which in itself qualifies as a mighty feat in my book. The riding is beautiful and skilled.

Clallam County Rodeo – Bull Riding

This is an event that I can only classify as “It’s a Guy Thing,” riding an angry bull barebacked.  The rider tries to remain forward or “over his hand” at all times; leaning back can result in getting him whipped forward and back when the bull bucks.

The bull doesn’t cooperate and the rides are quick. Most of the riders at the Sunday Rodeo were off in less than 7 seconds.

Riders try to fall away from the bull’s line of sight so it doesn’t come after him. I was surprised that this fellow was able to get up, dust himself off, and walk away. Notice the two men on each side of the photo, in yellow and in red. They’re rodeo clowns.

The rodeo clowns are there to distract the bull, keep it away from fallen riders. If they’re successful they can truly be in harm’s way. They were in constant movement during the bull riding event. One clown had to jump a fence to escape a particularly annoyed bull.

Shannon, I think this is why everyone warned you away from petting that beautiful bull whose picture you posted some months ago!

Clallam County Rodeo – Barrel Racing

The cowboys and -girls who participate in rodeos give us a glimpse of the beauty of horse and human partnerships when they ride — in both riding events and in watching the support riders as they follow participants in events like bareback and bull riding.  The horses and riders are an elegant team that we don’t often get to see in this kind of action. In barrel racing riders and horses race full speed in a cloverleaf pattern around three barrels and then sprint out of the arena.  

Barrel racing is performed on American Quarter Horses. Riders trip an electronic eye as they enter and leave the arena, so the race is fast from start to finish. This race lasted just over 17 seconds.

The horses are well trained and it’s fascinating to see their focus mirror that of their riders as they go through their paces in the race.

The Clallam County Fair offers a rodeo on two different days. Tomorrow: Bull Riding.

Clallam County Fair

The Clallam County Fair in Port Angeles was Aug. 18-21. It was blessed by perfect weather and had many typical county fair events and offerings: animal shows, demonstrations, entertainment, and everyone’s favorite: fair food!  The 4-H kids prepared outstanding exhibits and readily answered questions about their exhibits and animal husbandry.

What’s a fair without a carnival?

Fair carnivals specialize in bright colors, lights, and plenty of action. The Clallam County Fair also hosted a Demo Derby. . .gosh. . . we left too early and missed that.

The County Fair was declared a success. Attendance, gate receipts, concession, and carnival proceeds were all up over last year. And a new event, the Clallam County Variety and Talent Show was a first time hit with a 68 year-old woman yodeler in a pink cowboy hat taking top honors.

Tomorrow I’ll post photos from the Rodeo. To see more Fair photos also check out the Port Angeles Daily Photo:

It is so true!

For so many reasons Sequim is a very welcoming place and these signs, at each end of town, say it all. The natural beauty, the warmth and friendliness of the people, and the small town scale of events and daily living make it a home town that ‘s easy to love.   

This is the first official post I planned to make when I took over this blog, but found it so user friendly that I was able to begin posting immediately after Shannon showed me the ropes. So if you’ve just now come looking for your Sequim fix, you can take a look back to August 11th, when I began posting.

I’d like to thank Denton of the Greenville Daily Photo for his patient and very helpful tech support in getting me properly set up with the Sequim Daily Photo. And I also extend warm and enthusiastic thanks to Shannon for her wonderful posts over the past year and her willingness and clarity in showing me the ropes. She and Lavenderlady, Norma, are an inspiration. I’m pleased to have an opportunity to follow in their footsteps and look forward to continuing to share our wonderful city with you!

Avian hunters II

Yesterday’s post caught an eagle near Dungeness Recreation Area after a nearby field was hayed. Here’s another next to a freshly hayed field. It was one of several that hunted as haying equipment cut down tall field grasses.

Farmers begin haying in June and work long hours through the summer cutting hay, baling, and moving it to storage. Eagles pay serious attention to their work habits.