Day 16 (7/29/16)

We left KGO Ranch and drove to Cheyenne, Wyoming to go to the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo!  We had purchased our tickets months in advance–this being the “Granddaddy” of all rodeos in the world!  After the rodeo, as we were leaving, we stopped into the boot barn tent to get Jane a new cowboy hat.  We had noticed as we were leaving the viewing stands that storm clouds were forming and though they looked a bit ominous, we were not that worried, after all, we were not in Kansas and had left tornado alley, right?  Wrong again!  Anyway, back in the boot barn, all of a sudden there was a clash of thunder and a fierce hail storm hit.  Everyone was cramming into the concession tent to avoid golf ball size hail.  Some of the smaller tents were collapsing under their weight.  People around us were checking their cell phones and someone yelled that a tornado had touched down close by.  Then, a security guard came into the tent and yelled, “Everyone to the entry tunnel, hurry, get out of here….”, “another tornado is headed this way”.  So we all ran out of the tent and through the pounding hail and rain to seek shelter from the tornado.  Jane turned around and saw Dennis running behind and being squeezed by even more people.  As we approached the concrete tunnel there were people huddled inside who had gotten there before us.  In a matter of minutes, there were hundreds of people, women, children, etc. all crammed into this underpass tunnel, but once we were inside, we noticed that water was beginning to rise in the tunnel and the drains could not handle the the rushing flow of water.  Children were crying and one lady was having  what seemed to be an asthma attack, another was panicking as she had lost her sister.  After about 15 minutes another security guard announced that the tornado threat was over but the hail was expected to continue–we were free to leave at our own risk–which we did.  We made it back to where our truck was parked–only to discover to our utter dismay that the hail had NOT missed pounding the top surfaces of our brand new 2015 F350 Crew Cab!  Major bummer but we were safe and just glad to be out of that mess.

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Cheyenne Frontier Rodeo Days–we didn’t pay attention to those clouds…but their color should have been a warning.

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This guy really held on….

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Steer wrestling…..gives “digging in your heels” a whole new meaning doesn’t it?

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Good thing this guy was wearing a helmet!  And good thing the clown was there!

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Dennis’ favorite!  Calf roping.

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Jane “interviewed” a team of cowboys in the wild horse race event.

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The is the hat Dennis wanted me to replace–a bit tattered and bent up wouldn’t you say?

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In the concrete tunnel waiting for the tornado warning to pass.

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The water was pooling from the entrance ramp and filling the tunnel.

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This is what we saw as we were rushing out of the tunnel and to our truck on a side street outside the fairgrounds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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