The Big Loop.

When you lose all cell phone service, you know you're getting closer.

Over hills and past sagebrush, the road winds a little deeper into cattle country.

It's just a few miles past the sign that says "Pardner, You're in Cow Country Now".

The last rolling hill rises along Hwy 95 and the line of traffic comes to a slow crawl as you drop into Jordan Valley.

It's the 3rd weekend in May, and ranching folks from all over the parts have gathered to take in and celebrate the Big Loop.

It's a celebration where ranching families gather and new babies are held.

Little cowboys and cowgirls swing their ropes and play in the sand box.

It's a place where gentlemen still tip their hats to the ladies.

The Big Loop is aptly named;

20 feet of rope is marked off with red tape before each cowboy enters the arena. 

Big wide houlihans swing as cowboys & horses work together as a team.

Some may want you to believe that a loop can only be pulled tight and constrict;

But those who live this daily lifestyle know that when a rope is finessed, it creates play and opportunity.

It allows a yield to pressure.

Pressure to yield isn't unknown here.

When horses are broke, they're taught to yield so that when they flex & bend away from pressure; they feel a release. 

Public scrutiny has brought about it's own pressure to these parts. 

But when both sides yield, and common understanding is found - this way of life lives on and remains celebrated.

The western tradition wasn't easily established....and it won't be easily lost.

And in between go's, friends that live miles apart catch up after calving seasons and branding seasons and turning out to grass seasons.

It's a season for celebration. 

Neighbors cheer one another on, and watch as ropes with little pieces of red tape at the 20' mark fly.

Coolers are drug in, comraderie is in no short supply, and hats and sunglasses are recommended.

Tradition speaks volumes here.

This is a place where the tried & true ways of the West are, and will remain, prominently on display.

Hard work, morals, compassion and an honest handshake still mean something here.

And they always will.

May the big loop always fly.

It was another great year at the Jordan Valley Big Loop - a celebration of the ranching tradition and western heritage that has carried on since 1962.


  1. Beautiful post. I love how you described the tradition and legacy. Thanks for linking up to the Country Fair Blog Party.


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