Ten Sleep has proven to be everything a small town should be in the wild west. It is super friendly, with not a lot going on but when the rodeo is on…..it is ALL going on!!
However, lets start with the climbing and the Ten Sleep Canyon is an immense goldmine of limestone sport and trad climbing a few miles out of town. We loved the easy access and well bolted routes and great views. Altogether a superb place. It is quite early in the season so we only saw other folk at the weekend so we could flail in the comfort of our own company.
The biking was limited but the three routes that were there were on great roads, stunning views and hardly any traffic. You really get to take in the scenery on a bike – especially at my speed – and the smells and the feel of a place. I love it!
Ten Sleep Saloon hosted its own fare share of local eccentrics. One ‘cowboy’ had his jeans tucked into his obviously new red cowboy boots. Maybe it is me and we are out of touch with the current ‘yee ha’ look but I feel he was single and in the bar for a reason. I got talking to one 68 year old man who was part American Indian and part white American and he had stories of huntin’, shootin’ and fishin’ that would make your hair curl. He was just passing through but it is just normal to talk to complete strangers if they are on their own in a bar like this and I am glad it is.
The local and renowned café ( 2nd Street Café) is run by a hard working lady called Megan who looks like a model but has an eight year old son and gets up at 2am in the morning to bake fresh bagels, muffins and bread. How can she do that and look like that?! I learnt to my horror that if you are not there before 9am, she runs out of rhubarb muffins as she opens at 6am and all those early start ranchers come in! She really reminds me of Kirstin Gilmour in Aviemore who’s café ( Mountain Café) is also one of the biggest draws to Aviemore. They both wear the same head scarf….spooky.
Campsites are great places to meet fun people and this was no exception. Phil went off for a spin on his bike while I saved my energy for the Rodeo dance that night. I am so pleased I did as it meant I was at the camp site to meet and greet our neighbors for the night. I said my usual hello and queried if these 3 men were here for the rodeo. They replied calmly that they were the country and western band playing at the after party – YEEE BLOODY HAA!!!! I was over at their site faster than Phil can get into my purse……saying something. We spent the next hour or two chatting away and they soon got the idea that we were country fans. Then my highlight came as they got their instruments out and played 4 songs to me – yes I had my own private band at the campsite. I was willing Phil to come back as they broke into a Jonny Cash number that he loves but he was about 10 mins too late. No matter as we were going to get the full deal later that night. What a great bunch of men. They are Steve Froome and his Rebels – aka Jim and Travis. Good giggle was had by all.
The Rodeo was the best one we have been to so far because it was small town. It had all the same level of talent and action as the country ones we went to in Oregan last year but at a much more intimate level. You could feel the pain as the men got bucked off and see the adrenalin. It was fantastic. We were entertained for 4 hours with bull riding, horse bucking, sheep riding by the kids – hilarious! The clown was particularly entertaining as he dressed as a horse. He and his partner ( the rear end) danced to a variety of music which had us in stitches. Phil and I blended in with our cowboy hats and we got a mention on the loud speaker as we were the people from the furthest away by miles ie not America.
The craziest event I think I have ever seen was the wild horse race where 4 men with more testosterone than a hyped up bull, wrestled with a wild stallion to try and get a saddle and a man on in a race. I have never ever seen anything as mad but really entertaining.
Then came the music and we got another mention from our friends in the band – we are so celeb. They played great music and as the dancing started we noticed that there was no freestyle, no line dancing, it was all the moves I have leant for rock and roll. We were not expecting this. Phil’s head sank as he realized he now had no escape from the dance floor. He knows 3 rock and roll moves (or in this case country dancing moves) and refuses to learn more but I don’t care, 3 will do and before you knew it there was no holding him back. The event was in the rodeo ring so it was sand being kicked up in every direction by enthusiastic dancers – it was great! Steve and his rebels did the deal and the crowd loved it. By midnight we were the oldest couple left ….we are not finished yet!
We left Ten Sleep with a warm and fuzzy feeling the next day as we went round to say bye to the people who had made our stay so great.
Next stop, Cody and Yellowstone where Yogi will be introduced to his home. If you have no idea what I am talking about Yogi our truck was named after Yogi bear from Yellowtone and our truck is not just a truck, he is now a personality in our lives. He is awesome dude.
See you folks soon now!