We had an amazing summer, which is why I’m just now sitting down to write this!  Our road trip out west truly was a trip of a lifetime, and so much I want to share, I’m breaking it up in separate blog entries.  (I promise I’ll TRY to make it worthwhile!)

Almost back home in North Carolina and we hope you’ll be smiling as much as we were by the end of the series of stories!

It’s one thing to take a three week long trip out west crossing over 8 states, but add two horses, a living quarter trailer with all the food and supplies needed along the way and it’s an entirely different journey from start to finish.  

Kayla was ready to roll, the parents just took a little more motivation to get rolling!

But we did, along with so many other families from all around the world that were blessed with their kids qualifying for the 2018 World High School Rodeo Finals in Rock Springs, Wyoming!

This was our venue for a week long battle of competition amongst the best of the best in High School Rodeo!

We usually travel with a group of families on long trips.  This trip we made a quick stop in Tennessee to hook up with the two families we were traveling with at a team roping competition! (I know what you’re asking “what is team roping”? Google it, cause this blog is too long already to explain HaHa!)   

Quick trip to downtown Nashville! YeeHaw!

You can see a lot in Nashville, but this was a special treat!  Fans are awesome!! “Do It For Dale”

Like humans, horses need to stop and stretch every few hours and then rest for the night.  We stopped at some amazing Horse Hotels in Illinois, Kansas and Cheyenne, Wyoming in route to our temporary destination, South Dakota for a few days of sightseeing.  

Kansas was our first overnight Horse Hotel stop and it was as “Pretty” as its name!

Horse Hotel for the night in Cheyenne, Wyoming.  The horses got their own paddock to stretch their legs while we prepared their stalls.

We met some cute, cuddly cuties!  NO SNEAKING THEM IN OUR TRAILER THOUGH!

We always let the “athletes” graze as much as possible before loading up and rolling onto the next stop!

The best part of traveling with a group of friends, besides great memories to share,  is having wingmen and boy did we all need them! Between three families we had two flat tires and a hay pod fly apart all within three hours of the start into our 3rd leg. NEVER THOUGHT WE’D GET OUT OF KANSAS!  

Flat Tire #1!  Less than 10 minutes into our 3rd leg leaving Kansas for Cheyenne.   Oh the fun memories, now that they are a memory, not so much in this moment!

Houston, we have a problem!”  Haypod Probs, but we got her riveted back together…for a little bit that is! That’s another story….

Flat tire #2! They letting the NASCAR guy pit this one- haha!

We unloaded the horses right in the middle of the town park while the other family got some new tires! Gotta do whathca gotta do!

I about forgot to mention my fiasco back in Illinois when I laid my phone on the trailer and pulled off…..lets’ just say, I was one lucky chick that day!!

We drove about 5 minutes before my phone decides to fall right here on this bridge and bounce to a halt, a foot from plunging into the creek!  HALLELUJAH!

After 37 hours in 5 days we finally made it to South Dakota!  

Snapped this cool picture when we crossed the South Dakota line.  A car collector club was stopped there. It’s like a circa 1950’s vintage photograph!

Where we called home during our stay in South Dakota

at another nice Horse Hotel.

The family we stayed with went above and beyond accommodating us, so we were more than happy helping them put up hay!  Just one of many moral values taught in this sport called, rodeo.

Next up, the three days of R&R while taking in the incredible history of some of the most sacred U.S. ground that we have only seen and read about in books, was unforgettable!  I can’t wait to tell you all about in it in, Part 2: “Earnhardt’s Go West”