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It's Cool To Be Cowboy | NHSRF 2023

Well, the newsletter this week finds me down in beautiful Wyoming. Gillette Wyoming hosts the National High School Final Rodeo, an event that the city has put on many times before. When this event is in full swing Gillette becomes the biggest city in the state, due to all the contestants and their families covering this community in East Central Wyoming. The contestants, all high-school students, come from all over the USA, Western Canada and Australia to vie for national champions in all the rodeo events, as well as cutting and cow horse.


Some photos from our time at NHSRF in Wyoming.

My wife Denice and I, posing with the Western Horseman, and my HSR kid Joel and I watching cattle together.


This trip down to Wyoming in July we have done many times since my daughters qualified in 2011 and 2013. It's always fun to go and take in the rodeo and see tomorrow's superstars perform, as well as help out in the cutting pen. In the years I’ve gone with my daughters, and some of my HSR kids I’ve coached, I’ve seen many of the up and coming rodeo stars perform, then seen their names at big events like Pendleton and NFR only a year or two later. If I were a rodeo talent scout, this is where I’d be!


Denice and I always like to make a few side trips when we are down there, taking in points of interest. Anybody that follows this newsletter knows that I’m a student of western history and Wyoming and the surrounding states have plenty of places to visit, if that's what interests you. Last year we traveled over to Deadwood South Dakota then down to Southern Wyoming to see Fort Laramie. I had been to Deadwood before and it was well worth going back but I had never been to Fort Laramie.


This fort was one of the most important posts back in the 1800s and was well worth the trip to check it out. At this writing, I’m not sure of where we might venture when the time permits. The trail I like to take is called Whoop-Up Trail which heads south from Lethbridge where Fort Whoop-Up was located. I followed it down to Fort Benton, which was once the head of navigation on the Missouri River. From there, we cross that grand old river and make our way to the Judith Basin, a more beautiful drive I don't know of.


So as usual, we will make our trip an adventure and as I travel along I always catch myself picturing what that country would have been like 150 years ago.


I hope you all are enjoying your summer as much as I am mine. I will fill you in on how our trip turned out and all the cool things we took in. Until next time folks.


Happy trails,


– KJS


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