Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bridging The Gap - Day 4

Hello, and welcome to Day 4 of me hosting my first Photo Challenge.
This Photo Challenge is BRIDGING THE GAP.
The idea is to post photos you’ve taken, or you are in, showing a bridge. Tell us something about the bridge, and/or what was happening when you took the photo. Of course, link back here, and leave a message, as well as a link on Mr. Linky, so we can all come have a look at what you've left for us.

First, my apologies for getting this up late… due to unforeseen circumstances. I like to have it up by 12:00am my time (see clocks in sidebar).

On the second weekend in August, for the last 4 years, I have gone to Omak, Washington, USA to take in the Omak Stampede & World Famous Suicide Race. Arriving in Omak, we drive past all the big ‘new’ stores, then across this big bridge over the Okanongan River (I think that’s how they spell it there. In BC, Canada, I live in the Okanagan Valley, pronounced the same but spelled differently.)

I’m showing you more photos today than just the bridge… because they’re beautiful, and because I see this yearly event as a bridge of sorts. You see, there is the big rodeo and a bunch of vendors and such on one side, then on the other side is the Indian Encampment with more vendors as well as 24 hour drumming during the weekend, and native dancing. People mingle back and forth between the two, bridging the two cultures and races. It’s really great.

The Suicide Race, if you don’t know, is where several young native men (warriors) run their horses across a flat spot, down a major hill, across the river, up onto the dike, and into the rodeo grounds.

I covered the young man's face, as I don't know him and don't want to violate his privacy. You see the bridge in the background... and a bit of the flat at the top of Suicide Hill.

This is the hill the horses & their riders run down at full gallop.

Across the river, up onto the dike and into the rodeo grounds.

The rest of these are of the river, looking from the top of the hill... progressively back down to the big bridge.

Many people want to see this race stopped. They see it as being cruel to the horses. In the 4 years I've been there, I've seen the race 7 times.... and not one time have I seen a horse injured. I have seen some riders fall off and get injured, and the horses finish the race without their rider. These horses are fine athletes, very well cared for and extremely well trained for this.

IF you are Bridging The Gap, leave your link with Mr. Linky to insure that we all can come check out your bridge. If you are or are not, still leave a comment. :o)
Enjoy your Wednesday!!


Gattina said...

A very beautiful landscape ! I want to see the face of this guy, lol !

Hootin' Anni said...

Beautiful countryside. Gorgeous scenery...

I played only this once for 'bridging the gap'.

It also is my Wordless Wednesday so the explanation of it is always in my comments...the first comment tells about it [just to keep the photo of the bridge 'wordless']

Happy Wednesday to you too Alice.

Carver said...

Those are very beautiful shots and an interesting post. I wasn't familiar with this race before I read your post.

ellen b said...

Once I'm living full time in Washington again I'll have to try to get to this event! Looks like an interesting experience...

Mar said...

Beautiful images!! I am not sure about the races but I take your word about those horses' well-being :)

Melli said...

WOW! I am once again amazed by the things that I learn from traveling the internet! You know... it really doesn't matter WHAT the activity is... there is always sOMeone that doesn't "get it" and wants it stopped just because THEY don't agree with it. It falls into that ya can't please all of the people all of the time category. I'm sure the participants thoroughly enjoy it and I'm so glad you shared it with us!!!

peppylady said...

The stories are amazing how a bridge makes changes in someone life at a certain time.

Carletta said...

Wonderful photos of what appears to be a beautiful place! Thanks for sharing.

juliana said...

these photos look fabulous and i believe those guys and horses know what they are doing...
enjoyed this, thank you.

the teach said...

It sure sounds like a grueling race (duh! It's called a suicide race) but I trust your judgment about it. The pix are wonderful! :)

Minkydo said...

Looks like a very pretty area.

jientje said...

Wow, I had no idea races like that were being held. I have already learned a great deal through this meme! Lovely pictures, and a great landscape! Have a great day tomorrow with your grandmother!

Dr.John said...

Thanks both for the bridge picture and the story with it.

Short Hair Cats said...

I just want to say that Beautiful countryside. Thanks for sharing this
post. Keep it up

Alice said...

Gattina – Thanks, it is beautiful there isn’t it. Haha, ya, you would.

Anni – Yes… I love it there. Thanks for playing… even if it is just one time, lol.

Carver – Thanks much, I’m very glad you like these photos. They bill it as World Famous, but I’m not sure how true that is, haha. It’s very exciting to watch all the horses and riders come flying over the top of the hill and down the steep bank. It doesn’t take long, that is for sure.

Ellen – That would be great. I’m not sure if we’re going again or not, due to having to get passports in order to keep crossing the boarder… but wouldn’t be surprised that we end up breaking down and doing just that. And maybe you and I can meet while we’re both there. Make time & place plans ahead so we can get together in person.

Mar – Thank you, glad you like them. I’m not saying that there has never been an accident, or that there’s never been a horse or rider injured. There has been, but not all that often, and not one horse has been injured in the 7 shows I’ve seen. And yes, these animals are very well trained and conditioned. I’d say it’s likely that more horses are hurt while being used by inexperienced riders, or while chasing cattle and step into a whole while running, things like that, normal everyday use, than are hurt in this race. It’s just that those kind of things are not some public. It’s interesting too, how so far as I’ve seen, the ones complaining the loudest about this race are the ones that have never been there to see it, so really don’t know what they are talking about.

Melli - I am in total agreement with you here, girl friend!! As I said to Mar, it’s interesting how so many of them that complain the loudest have never even seen the race, never been there, don’t know what they are really talking about. My oldest sister is one of them, haha. She is ‘shocked’ that I, an animal lover, would go to such a horribly cruel thing. Mom said something to me about it too, likely having listened to sis, and I told her how stupid some people can be and some of the stupid ideas they get. Hahaha.

Peppylady – Yes, interesting isn’t it. There are so many ways to bridge the gap, too.

Carletta – Thanks for visiting, and for your nice comment. Glad you like the photos.

Juliana - Glad you liked the photos. Yes, I believe they do know what they are doing too. And I believe that these horses are very well treated and cared for. Good food, good exercise, lots of training. The lives of the riders, and a great deal of money all depend on it, if nothing else. I also believe, that the horses are well loved.

Teach – I think the possibility is high that they gave it that name to sensationalize it so lots of people would come to see it. Things were vastly different 75 years ago when this race and stampede first started. Though, if worse comes to worse, it could be suicide. The horses and men must really know what they are doing in order to keep doing it. This race is run every night of the stampede, 4 times each year I believe. Glad you like the pics.

Minkydo – Yes, it is a pretty area, for sure. Mostly when you’re able to stand on the top of this hill and see all the beauty there is.

Jientje – A lot of what’s back of this race is their ‘tradition’. The native ‘warrior’ thing. I also have learned a lot of things about other parts of the world through this challenge. Amazing, isn’t it, what BRIDGING THE GAP can teach us. Glad you liked the photos and the landscape they show. It’s my Mom, not grandmother, sadly I haven’t had one of those since I was 8 years old, haha.

Dr. John – You are very welcome. Thanks for visiting and leaving your kind words.
Short Hair Cats – Thank you. Come on back any time, you’re always welcome.