After our three days and nights at the Sweetwater Events Center (fair grounds @ Rock Springs Wyoming) we made our way further east on I-80 and then up U.S. 287 through Muddy Gap and around Casper, then up I-25 to Powder River Campgrounds at Kaycee, Wyoming.
Honestly, the only reason we went to Kaycee was because the camping was cheap, it would be a full hook-up site, and they had a laundry. We are members of Passport America and the PA web site showed Kaycee as the closest member park and as a result we are able to stay for $20/night which is 1/2 the normal non-member rate of $40 nightly.
We were cheerily welcomed by the on-site park manager Deneene and she welcomed us to the area, gave us a full hook-up pull-through site and proceeded to tell us a little about the town and especially the Bronc Riding School that would be happening the next two days across the street at the local fair grounds.
Turns out that Kaycee is famous for producing professional rodeo stars – over a dozen have come from this sleepy little town to go on to earn their living as professional national rodeo stars.
Here’s an excerpt from a local paper explaining the phenomenon;
The following is an excerpt from PATRICK SCHMIEDT Star-Tribune staff writer Jul 13, 2006
Blend a supportive community, a heavy dose of history and a simple case of boredom, and it shouldn’t have been too surprising to see five Kaycee competitors in Wednesday’s performance at the Central Wyoming Rodeo.
The small town of about 250 people an hour north of Casper has produced more successful cowboys than most towns 100 times its size. But none of the five competitors in Wednesday’s performance has completely figured out why.
Morgan Forbes, a 23-year-old saddle bronc rider looking for a return trip to the National Finals Rodeo, attributes the success of Kaycee cowboys, in part, to boredom.
“There’s not much else to do out in Kaycee,” he said.
As for Jeremy Ivie, who, at 29, moved to Kaycee five years ago from Duchesne, Utah, it’s all the “old guys” in town who help foster rodeo success. After all, the names of rodeo families in and around the town are familiar in rodeo circles: Forbes. Graves. LeDoux. Sandvick. Scolari. Shepperson. Orchard. Jarrard. Latham.
Dusty Orchard, a 25-year-old bull rider, said the town is a “coffee shop,” where the residents applaud when a hometown cowboy does well and offer a twinkle-eyed razzing when there is more disappointment than success.
Or, as Orchard suggested, it may be because Kaycee doesn’t have a football team to rally behind. Instead, the community rallies around rodeo.
Actually, it’s a combination of those ingredients that blend the perfect atmosphere for the sport, an atmosphere that has helped to produce about a dozen competitors – around five percent of the town’s residents – solid enough to maintain current careers on the professional rodeo circuit.
“If you want to rodeo, it’s the greatest place in the world to grow up,” said saddle bronc rider Sandy Forbes, Morgan’s older brother. ” … It’s just what we do.”
“If you’re wanting to be somewhere that supports rodeo, that’s the town,” she said.
We decided to stay another night and that afternoon after the Bronc School an Airstream trailer pulled in next to us and we met Angie and Bunny who were traveling to Yellowstone (to work) from Indiana. We enjoyed a nice chicken dinner with them that night at a local restaurant.
It was a real treat for these two city-slickers lemme tell ‘ya. We got to see a “stampede” of a hundred horses go by us on the bridge that we could’ve reached out and touched. Add to that watching these young kids get bucked off the broncs as their seniors trained them to ride ’em.
Check out the video below for the full story.
Thanks for riding along. We appreciate that you stop to take the time to read and come along with us on our adventure. Please leave a comment or two down the page in the comments section – What do you think of these kids being bucked off the horse?