By Bennett Owen
Summer going to the mountains…Summer going to the lake…Summer going to the Rodeo…Summer staying right home. Any way you look at it, summer’s almost over. Here are our 10 favorite Labor Day detours…
10 – Climbing Mount Whitney – At nearly 15-thousand feet it’s the highest mountain in the lower 48…and some say it’s the highest walk-up summit on the planet.
Lightning Shelter/Hut on Summit of Mt. Whitney. Credit: peretzp
09 – Ellensburg, Washington – The Ellensburg Labor Day Rodeo is one of the ‘old rodeos’ and is also ranked among America’s top 10 – celebrating its 75th year.
08 – Ketchum/Sun Valley, Idaho – Wagon Days - Commemorating the region’s mining past, the Big Hitch Parade is one of the largest non-motorized parades in the west, featuring an authentic, 20-draft mule jerkline.
Ore Wagons. Credit: Mountain Mike.com
07 – Grants Pass, Oregon – Rafting the Rogue River, one of the most gorgeous and exhilarating rides in the west.
Sunset on the Rogue River. Credit: Derek Severson
06 - Bandera, Texas – It’s a weekend southwest Texas spectacle in the ‘Cowboy Capital of the World’, but the thriller is the Running R Ranch Cattle Drive…with a herd of real Texas Longhorns. (There’s also an event called ‘Cow Patty Bingo’ but we didn’t really want to know about that!)
Credit: Running R Ranch Facebook page
05 - Meeteetse, Wyoming – There’s a band playing at the Cowboy Bar, that’s a good enough excuse. But the town has also celebrated a three-day barbecue on the same weekend for 99 years now. As one cowboy says, “The hay is in, and it it’s not yet branding and sorting time. Time to see friends and catch up.” Sounds good to us.
Rodeo Queen from nearby Cody, Wyoming. Credit: newrambler
04 - Take the “High Road” route from Taos to Santa Fe, New Mexico - Start with breakfast at the Taos Diner on the north end of town. – Santa Fe, by the way, is the oldest capital city in the US, founded in 1610.
03 – The Grand Canyon Railway – Start at the Historic depot in Williams, Arizona, built in 1908 by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad…and from there embark on a two and a half hour trip through the high desert. The Grand Canyon Depot is one of three log train stations remaining in the US.
Grand Canyon Railway. Credit: obfusciatrist
02 - Jazz at Aspen and Snowmass, Colorado - Steely Dan will be playing there. Someday when I get the bill listing hours wasted listening to rock and roll, The Dan will be edged out only by Neil Young.
Steely Dan. Credit: commercialappeal
01 – Dillon, Montana – Montana’s Biggest Weekend, the Labor Day Fair and Rodeo. Anyone who’s been with us a while at My-West knows the special place Dillon holds in our hearts. And this year, Uncle Jules and Aunt Bonnie are the Grand Marshals of the Labor Day parade.
So, have a great weekend, and drop us a post card, wherever and however you spend it!