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Not long after my family and I settled in the rugged southeast corner of Washington State, I realized we were now less than a two-hour drive from a fistful of cities with bustling professional rodeo scenes: the world-famous Pendleton Round-Up, the Ellensburg Rodeo, and – even closer – the Benton Franklin Fair and Rodeo right here in the Tri-Cities. My camera found little resting time.
In May of 2011, returning home from a weekend road-trip, I chose a route back which I’d never taken before. I drove through Pendleton, Oregon, and then, after a series of turns and alternating state highways, I found myself in a town called Helix. My timing was unbelievable: it was Memorial Day weekend, when the local cowboys and ranchers gather for an annual grand rodeo.
And here, at the heart of this country rodeo, I was able to stand closer than I’d ever been before. The bulls and the riders, the dust and glory – all of the action within reaching distance. And again my camera found no rest.