Basalt, CO - 7/27
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Snowmass #1 Snowmass #2 Bear Alert Listings #1 Listings #2 More Listings Rodeo Sign The Barbeque Singer/Announcer Denise The Crowd Announcer Margaritas Anyone?

Today we took a drive to Snowmass Village where the Snowmass Snowmagical Family Fun Fest will be held this coming weekend.  We stopped at an information booth and learned a little about the area.  Mostly it is a resort area when people rent condos.  It seems the big season here is winter where you can ski from the slopes right to your front door.  But there's some things going on in the summer too.

We continued our drive up the road to where the actual village was.  Not much going on.  We didn't even bother to get out of the car as we will be back this weekend for the festival.  We decided to continue on to Aspen, CO where there was likely more stuff open.

Aspen is about 10 miles east of Snowmass Village.  We headed back down the road and turned east on SR-82. 

Well Aspen definitely busier than Snowmass Village!  After looping through the town and finding nowhere to park, we gave up.  We'll come back earlier in the day when we're ready to deal with the crowds and look around.

Basalt is about 6400 ft. elevation.  Aspen is nearly 8000 ft.  Snowmass Village is in between.  We have noticed how much money is here!  As far as we can tell, the millionaires live in Basalt while the multi-billionaires live in Aspen.  The plain billionaires live in Snowmass.  It's just amazing to see how the homes get bigger and more extravagant as we go up the mountain.  We've seen a few real estate listings and many of the homes are 10,000 square feet plus and sell for over 10 million dollars.  One home called "The Lodge" was almost 12,000 square feet and the asking price was 12.9 million.

We returned to camp around 2:30 pm and hung out until 5:00 pm.  There is a rodeo and barbeque every Wednesday night in Snowmass Village and we decided to go.

I was surprised to see the tickets for the rodeo were $16.  We've been to the Red Bluff Roundup which is one of the stops on the Wrangler Professional Rodeo Series and the tickets there are only $11.  But oh well, at least the barbeque is only $8 so I buy two tickets for each.  The man says "That'll be $68".  Without thinking about it, I paid with Visa.  As I walked away, I thought "wait, that should have only been $48" and returned to the counter.  Now I seem my mistake.  There was a pencil on the table covering the "1" in front of the "8" for the barbeque price.

We recovered from the sticker shock and went to the barbeque area.  We were greeted with an old Johnny Cash tune that was very poorly sung.  He was an older gentleman, probably in his late 60's to early 70's.  Dressed in jeans, western shirt, and a cowboy had.  He had a wireless mic and was going from table to table, playing requests.  But not only did he sing poorly, the volume was so loud we could hardly carry on a conversation.  We both decided they'd sell more tickets to the barbeque if this guy would just shut up.

The food was OK.  Barbequed chicken and beef ribs, potato salad, coleslaw, corn on the cob, and beans.  Good but $18?  The last time I went to Outback Steakhouse I had prime rib for less than that and was waited on.  But oh well, I'm sure it goes for a good cause like keeping up these 10 million dollar mansions.

There was still an hour to go before the rodeo was scheduled to begin.  We found some seats and waited.  It was nearing the 7:00 pm start time and guess what?  Here comes the announcer.  Apparently he left his wireless mic and guitar back at the barbeque area and now he's entered to booth to announce for the rodeo.  Yep, it's the same guy.

The rodeo was comical.  Nothing close to the professional rodeo we've seen.  The difference was similar to high school football and professional football.  All it took to win most events was just actually ride the bucking horse/bull for the full 8 seconds or actually rope the calf.  Then after each event, the one person that was able to complete the task took a "victory lap" around the ring.  And all of this with the announcer and his sidekick telling super cornball jokes.

Another event that was kind of funny but also kind of sad was "mutton bustin'".  Any child that wanted to participate signed up prior to the start of the rodeo.  From that pool, eight names were drawn and those lucky children were allowed to ride a sheep.  There didn't appear to be any age limit as some of these kids looked like they were 3 and 4 years old.  They were fitted with helmets and a protective vest.  The the child was placed on the sheep, wrapped his arms around the neck, and told to hang on.  The sheep was turned loose to start running.  Most kids fell off in 0 to 2 seconds and I know the sheep stepped on a few of the kids when they fell off.  But no one seemed injured.

The best event for the kids was all children were invited into the rodeo ring.  There had to be at least 100 and probably more.  While the children were facing the announcer booth receiving instructions, 6 calves were let loose in the other end of the ring.  Each calf had a ribbon tied around its tail.  The first three children that could get a ribbon and return it to the judge were winners.  Well kids love to run and calves don't want to be caught so this was quite a site once the starting gun was fired.

We didn't stay all the way to the end as it was getting cold, the bleacher seats were getting very hard, and the constant movement of people in the stands getting in and out of their seats was taking it's toll on our patience.  We headed back for camp.

We decided to watch a little TV before going to bed.  That lasted about an hour until the TV shut itself off.  Denise turned it back on and it shut itself off again.  Again and again.  And now I detect the unmistakable smell of something that was burnt.  OK, first the tire and now the TV.  Guess I'll buy a new one tomorrow.

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