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WiId Ncrthwest CusLom cowboy booLs aL Lhe PendleLon Round·Up, Oreqon's larqesL rodeo, above lelL.
RiqhL: 2008 Round·Up Princess KaLie ParLlow poses in lronL ol Lhe Lack·room door on Lhe rodeo qrounds.
before dams slung their nooses on the
Columbia River—the dusty town of
Pendleton defined true grit. Walk-by
shootings rattled the streets, and establish-
ments of ill repute (18 brothels; 32
saloons) sizzled at all hours. In short: it was the perfect site
for a rodeo. The Pendleton Round-Up, inaugurated in
1910, quickly became one of the most notorious in the
country. A century on, the Round-Up is a decidedly more
sober affair run by upstanding volunteers. Its appeal—
Americana with a capital A—is so strong that it will be get-
ting $460,000 from the federal government this year. The
Wild West might be marketed to death, but this is no hokey
spaghetti western. For one week each September, 50,000
spectators descend on this town of nearly 17,000 to watch
barrel racing and calf roping; wander through 300 tepees
pitched by members of the Umatilla, Walla Walla, and
Cayuse tribes; and stare as tough-bodied young men
tumble off bulls onto even tougher earth. Pendleton’s
lessons were always taught the hard way, and ring truer
than ever today. As the motto from the 1911 exhibition
read: “When things do not go right with you, when the
circumstances seem to be against you and Fate deals you a
blow between the eyes, remember what the cowboys say in
the great Northwest. ‘Just grit your teeth, get another hold
and let ’er buck!’ ” —K A T H RY N O ’ S H E A - E VA N S
The Pendleton Round-Up runs from September 12–19; 800/457-
6336;; tickets from $14.
¦ac| 'a||. sone o0.000 ¦eo¦|e conver_e on rura| eas¦ern Ore_on 'or one o' ¦|e
coun¦r,'s o|Jes¦anJ nos¦ au¦|en¦|croJeos ¦|o¦o_ra¦|eJ |, Lisa Eisner
A U G U S T 2 0 0 9 | T R A V E L A N D L E I S U R E . C O M 84
Frinçe Theater Clockwise lrom Lop lelL: Winners ol Lhe 1ribal Dancinq ConLesL receive PendleLon blankeLs in Lhe rodeo arena, a vinLaqe
phoLoqraph ol ¹956 PendleLon Round·Up Princess Judy 1hompson, Wes SLevenson lrom Kaulman, 1exas, a bareback rider hanqinq on, Lhe
Round·Up parade.
A U G U S T 2 0 0 9 | T R A V E L A N D L E I S U R E . C O M 86

Perfect Scuvenir: PendIetcn BIankets
This classic Oregonian blanket is making a comeback in
the company’s hundredth year in business. Portland’s Ace
Hotel commissioned ash-gray coverlets for every guest
room, and the iconic plaid shirts (so popular with surfers
in the 60’s that the Beach Boys started out as “The
Pendletones”) have been sold at boutiques such as Opening
Ceremony, in New York City. Brightly patterned tribal
throws (the Four Winds is Navajo-inspired) or muted
striped Yakima Camp blankets (from $88), made from local
sheep’s wool, are available at the PendIetcn WccIen MiII
(1307 S.E. Court Place; 541/276-6911;, on
the outskirts of town.
, DF I < I F ; < F J NF I K ? 8 M @ J @ K
Summer is prime Lime lor rodeo
waLchinq. Here, some ol Lhe besL.
WrançIer MiIIicn-DcIIar Tcur 1op
¹2 cowboys and Leam·ropinq pairs
parLicipaLe in Lhis compeLiLion
lor a $750,000 prize. FdX_X#
WrançIer NaticnaI FinaIs Rcdec
Rodeo champs are crowned here
each year in a qliLzy Sin CiLy
seLLinq. CXjM\^Xj2;\Z\dY\i*Æ()2
Renc Rcdec MuLLon BusLinq and
XLreme Bulls are crowd lavoriLes aL
Lhis 90·year·old rodeo. I\ef#E\m%2
CaIçary Stampede Canada meeLs
Lhe Wild WesL: Lhink bull ridinq,
sLeer wresLlinq, and beel·caLLle
showcases. :Xc^Xip#8cY\ikX2Alcp
Cheyenne Frcntier Days 1his
enormous ouLdoor lesLival
(and rodeo) has an Old WesL
Museum, a chuck·waqon cook·oll,
and a Lour ol a Lribal villaqe.