Week two was full of adventures. I started the week off in Reno, where I was 79 points. That night, Josh and I drove to his house and I was able to see Joe, Kylee and Luella. It was really neat to see Joe take on this role of teaching the younger generation. A lot of people don’t know that Joe and I actually have competed against each other for years, even outside of the PRCA.
Afterwards, Josh and I, started making the trek to Denver…About a six hour drive. Or so it should be…We we’re about four hours into the drive and Josh said, “I forgot my wallet in my truck.” I like to think I’m a patient person but not after we have been driving and we’re almost to our destination. In all honestly, you can’t help but laugh because Josh actually is a really professional and prepared person. We knew we couldn’t turn around, so Josh called his fiancé, Erika, and she drove and met us with the wallet. He needed his wallet because he flew out the next day and you need your license for that haha. Eventually, we made it to Denver and Josh flew out the next morning to meet Tyler in South Dakota. Since I had the day off before I flew to Pecos, I went and met up with my trainer, Doug Champion. He is based out of Denver and we worked out and got me ready for the week ahead. After our workout, we went to fish and finished the day with a home cooked meal by Doug.
By the end of the day, I was exhausted. I had only slept a few hours the night before and I was ready for sleep. In the summer, we spend a lot of nights sleeping in our rigs in the airport parking lots. This makes it easier for early morning flights and I was flying to Odessa to get on in Pecos. Pecos was a lot hotter than the places we had been competing but it was good to be back in Texas. I flew to Houston first and I laughed because I would be flying directly over Salado, my home. In Houston, I got to meet a rodeo fan in the airport! Its always nice to meet rodeo fans in person!
We made it to Pecos and we were able to sleep for a while before the rodeo that night. Pecos was a long rodeo and we didn’t get on until around 11 that night, I was 87.5 on Burn Out. Back to the airport we went. The next day we flew to Tulsa, where I saw the coolest mural.
This mural was called Oklahoma Welcomes You and it was a 56x13 painting of the oil industry in 1966 in its entirety, with all of the famous pioneers of the industry cameo as workers. I love history, so this was neat to see. At baggage claim, I met one of my wives friends from college. He was in the fraternity that she was a Sweetheart in, if you’re like me and have no idea what that is, basically she was an ambassador. Once we got our bags, we were Springdale bound. I got on a tough bull and didn’t cover, it is disappointing but in rodeo, you have to have a short memory.
The next morning we were Reno bound for the short round. I was really excited to return and defend my title. I had to rush through Phoenix to make my flight and unfortunately my bag didn’t make it. Even more unfortunate, it was my riggin bag- that had all of my gear in it.
Southwest felt horrible and they assured me that it would arrive at 3pm, which would be enough time before the rodeo started. I remained calm and went to the hotel to eat and catch a nap before I had to go back to the airport for my bag. Around 4, I went back to the airport and waited until almost 7:00pm, with the rodeo about to start, I knew that my bags weren’t going to make it. They asked me how much I had an opportunity to win that night and I told them $10,000. As a competitor, you can’t let noise get in the way. So I just accepted that I needed to find another option. I got to the rodeo grounds and started asking people if I could borrow their gear. I was stuck in a hard place when a guy named Money, offered me his gear. His mom lived a few miles away and she drove his gear to the arena and I was able to get on. It’s a foreign feeling getting on with equipment that doesn’t fit but I was extremely grateful for the opportunity. Although it didn’t work out, I knew that I had given it my all and that something like this was out of my control. I still got to see friends and be a part of an electric rodeo. In that moment, one thing I know is that kids don’t remember if you rode, they remember your attitude. I got to meet Will and Ashley’s little boy, Willy, and I think we have a new rodeo fan.
After the rodeo, I went back to the airport and waited for my gear bag. It came in on the 11am flight and it was right in time to fly out for Greeley, Colorado! Before I left the airport, the Southwest team gave me this letter:
I hope this serves as a reminder to us all that how we treat people matters. I knew that they were stressed and felt bad, so there was no use in treating them badly.
The next day, I was reunited with the rig in Greeley, Colorado and I rode Rock ‘Em and Sock ‘Em for 83 points to take the early lead.
This week starts Cowboy Christmas and I am so excited to celebrate America’s freedom with the most patriotic sport their is.
Thank you for joining my adventure.