There is a part of me that finds the cowboy way of life romantic. I am wistful, thinking of the days I never knew, but recognizing that the western idea is still an integral part of my childhood. There was my cowgirl outfit. My best friend and I would dress up, fringed skirts, cowgirl hats and play pistols. Then there was TV. And movies. Westerns and more westerns. And more recently, Horse Whisperer is a film that speaks to me on so many levels, as it celebrates a disappearing way of life.

And now I find myself living in an area full or ranches and the cowboy way of life.

Events like the roping contest at Olsen’s in Chino Valley this past weekend offer a place for people to hone their skills and compete. It was a warm, sunny, spring day. Country music twanged through the air, kids played, steers bolted, and cowboys roped. Horses sped about the arena, manes flying, and on their back, lassos were flung skillfully through the air, seeking the almost impossibly small target of the calf’s hind legs. It’s a reason to meet your neighbors, share some sport entertainment and, for me, it’s a great excuse to get out with my camera.

For all of you that follow me on Instagram, you know I’ve wrestled with the evolution from CancerRoadTrip to Bump In The Road. The evolution makes sense, if you know the story. But I was stumped as to how to carry this new project into my old following, which was travel and photo oriented.

Finally it struck me. All I had to do was be me. My photos are part of my life’s road trip. Sometimes they’re meaningful; sometimes they’re just fun. They certainly tie into the “brand” of Bump In The Road because they’re all about the adventure of life, and the wisdom that sometimes comes from it.

Here are a few photos from Saturday, on The Cowboy Way. More photos and stories to come on Instagram. Follow me there!