Driving and Flying

photo by Matt Cohen / Cowboy Journal

photo by Matt Cohen / Cowboy Journal

Thankfully I can sleep in a car and on a plane.

by Erich Rogers

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I finally let Paden touch the steering wheel. We were on our way back to Phoenix, Arizona, from Flagstaff, which is about a two-hour drive. I needed some sleep, and we had a rental car from Earnhardt Ford. I decided that would be perfect for Paden. I told him, Just get on I-17 and head south. He kept asking about us getting a room in Phoenix. I told him we’d figure that out when we got closer.

When I woke up, we were just outside of Phoenix. Paden was a little worked up because the road was closed. And he still didn’t know where we were going to stay. We got around the detour, and I booked us a hotel. It all worked out. As a veteran, I don’t worry about that stuff too far in advance. Paden’ll learn.

We’ve been getting quite a bit of fly time in, too. We flew from Calgary to Denver for the Greeley Stampede. Then we flew from Denver to Phoenix for a circuit rodeo in Flagstaff. That’s where Paden drove the rental car. From Arizona, we flew to Great Falls, Montana, for a slack at the Augusta American Legion Rodeo.

Thankfully I can sleep in a car and on a plane.

photo by Matt Cohen

photo by Matt Cohen

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We’ve been riding Dustin Bird’s and Trey Yates’ horses in Canada, which has been going really well. Both horses have Canadian papers and health certificates, so they could get them across the border. Some guys aren’t comfortable mounting out, but I’m okay with it. I’ve ridden Dustin’s bay mare at the NFR. Everyone has good horses, and all those horses know what their job is. It’s just a matter of knowing which ones you have a good feel on.

At Greeley, I reached for the first steer and broke the barrier. I gave Paden a bad go. Then, the second steer took off, and I ran it down about three quarters of the way. I let my horse open up, just to let him move freely. We sacrificed a run, but that’s okay. We can recover somewhere else down the road.

I’m excited for the Ponoka short round today. We’re currently sitting first in the average, with 11.5 on two head. It rained up there for three days straight. I’m hoping for good footing. Canadian rodeos have always been good to me, but the Canadian’s idea of a hamburger is very different from mine. It’s not like the beef I grew up on. Paden’s having to adjust to Canadian food, too, but I’ll let him tell you about that.

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