What the Hell is Mutton Bustin? A Day Spent in Brawley

 
     I feel like we are in the wild, wild west, yet some how I am still technically in Southern California just a few hours south of Los Angeles.
    We drove two hours south east of the sprawling suburbia and consumerism that engulfs Southern California. No joke; I have not seen a Target or a Bed Bath and Beyond in at least an hour!
    There are more cattle trucks and border patrol out here than there are Cadillac Escalade’s driven by blonde’s in True Religion Jeans.  This desert is so vast and empty of everything that I feel like we are closer to Texas than Hollywood. We have been driving parallel to the Salton Sea, the biggest lake in California, for about twenty miles now. I wish it had been a clear day so I could have taken a snap shot of this giant lake, formed by a flood of the Colorado River in 1905, but it is so dusty and windy on this November fall day that the air is not very clear and we can just see the waters in the distance though the haze.

I did not take this picture of the Salton Sea. This
picture is from Wikipedia. It was so dusty
and hazy looking as we drove across the desert
the sea looked nothing like this!

 

    When we exited the interstate onto old highway 86 cutting through the desert an hour ago our only companions on this highway were a bunch of raised pick ups hauling campers, ATVs and Raptors out to Glamis or Octillo Wells Dunes.
     Every one we passed on this empty highway was either hauling a dune buggy or wearing a cowboy hat.
      Our destination today was Brawley, California, a dusty small town with road apples ( Horse poo) on the streets and tumbleweeds blowing past us.
       This little desert town was only five miles from the Mexican border and Janette and I were kicking ourselves for not bringing our passports….
      Mexicali was calling out our names!
      We hadn’t planned on a side trip to Mexico today so instead we kept on course for Cattle Call in Brawley. It would be a awesome afternoon of bucking horse, broncs and mutton bustin.

       First we had to stop at the Red Earth Casino (and gas station.)
       Their website proclaims they are
        known as the friendliest & cleanest casino in the valley.
       The cleanest gas station in the valley?
       Really?
      As soon as I walked into the gas station I felt like there was a hammer in my chest.

        I know we are completely in the middle of no where, but are you allowed to smoke in a gas station out here? That seems like a bad, and explosive, idea.
        Turns out the gas station is actually attached to the casino and the cigarette smoke of every one who still smokes in California was sneaking into the gas station.
       It was gross.

      We refueled with snacks to get us through the rest of this drive.
      Another half an hour and we were finally in Brawley, a one horse border town that would have its busiest day of the year today with hundreds of cow folks coming from way out of town for this massive rodeo.
      We grabbed our tickets at will call and headed for our VIP seats ( When my friend ordered the tickets, I told her I wanted to sit close enough to smell the bull taurine!)
      We had grabbed some delicious cold beverages on the way into the grandstand and were ready for the first event; calf wrestling!

      As these real cowboys tried their best to wrestle the big ass calves to the ground the announcer was saying over the loud speaker,

“Sometimes patience is a virtue
Sometimes pressure is a partner”

       
       A great quote, thrown in amid a few really funny Obama Care jokes.
 ( I didn’t feel to bad for my vaguely liberal friend who came to this redneck event with me, she still laughed along as the rodeo clowns mocked our president)
       One thing people who have never been to a rodeo just don’t get is that rodeo clowns are absolutely hilarious! They are one of the best parts of the rodeo!
      Also top notch craft beer does help to enhance the situation, especially when it is ninety degrees in a border town in the afternoon and you have been sitting in a grand stand for an hour, waiting for the sun to go down and dripping sweat under your cowboy hat.
      Rodeos are great for people watching. Where else would you find a eighteen year old jezebel in skinny jeans that are also overalls! It’s a redneck fashion miracle!
     Wait, is it?

     Janette’s favorite part of the rodeo were the two massive buffalo that randomly were released into the arena for the crowd to gawk at. The buffalo were freaking awesome! The announcer called them the majestic buffalo and Janette reminded everyone around us this important fact about the majestic buffalo…. ” And they are delicious!” The Buffalo just wanted to roll in the dirt so we wandered off to find some more Redd’s Apple Beer (Seriously, this beer was phenomenal. I have never been a fan of hard cider but I am addicted to this new apple beer!)
     By the time we wandered back to our seats the next event had begun.
     I have watched many rodeos on T.V. and I have even been to the biggest rodeo in the United States, Cheyenne Frontier Days but I have never in my life witnessed the glory of Mutton Bustin!
     Muttin Bustin is like bull riding for children, but these ranch children ride sheep instead of bulls!
     It is glorious, super cute and entertaining all in one!
    Mutton Bustin and the end of our day at the rodeo did leave me with one thought;
     I wasted my childhood collecting acorns when I could have been riding sheep!
 
 

Comments

  1. Robin

    Sheep are about the dumbest animals on the planet. They smell bad, too. I would love to see that event. I have been to the rodeo, but I never saw Mutton Bustin 🙂

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