The last few weeks have been long and busy but have provided a lot of fun and some great stories. The Pacific Northwest is a very beautiful place with all the mountains; sure makes a guy wish they had some of them in Texas.
The trip started out with me working the rodeo in Gunnison, Colo., which has one of the best golf courses I've ever played. The front nine is very friendly to your game, but the back nine makes you realize that you are not as good as you thought you were.
I also took a day to visit the local spa there in town to work out some of the soreness from fighting bulls with an hour-long massage. It was amazing, and I recommend a good massage to anyone that has even a little stress in their lives.
From Gunnison, Colo., I moved on to Ogden, Utah, which, to me, has to be one of the most beautiful arenas in the whole world. This was the 75th year of the Ogden Pioneer Days Rodeo, and the committee went all out to make it a year to remember. The rodeo started with sky divers that landed in the arena with the American flag and ended with the Ogio Freestyle Motocross Riders.
Clay Collins keeps his hold on the bull, while barrelman Robbie Hodges is knocked to the ground and assumes a protective pose.
Speaking of skydivers, while in Ogden, a group of us guys (Colin McTaggart, Cody Whitney, Corey Navarre, Austin Ambrose, Ted Bert, J.W. Harris, Zack Oakes, Shane Duncan, Dusty Tuckness, and I) all decided to try the indoor sky diving facilities they have there. Colin was first, and by watching him, we all learned rather quickly to keep your mouth closed while skydiving because slobber will be blown all of your face and goggles if you open your mouth. Ted may have been the funniest of all of us; Teddy was floating along there just fine, when all of a sudden, he flipped upside down and slammed into the wall and started falling, as the instructor was franticly trying to grab him to keep him from crashing. J.W. Harris and Austin Ambrose were not any fun to watch because they were naturals. We also quickly learned that Zack Oakes is scared of heights and Shane Duncan was afraid of hurting his shoulder.
We moved on from the indoor sky diving to the go-cart track where, in just a short period of time, it seemed like we were playing bumper cars. Of course, the very first thing (and very last thing) the employees tell you is that there is absolutely no bumping allowed. It took about half a lap before we received our first warning. Colin McTaggart hit me in my right rear fender and spun me out right in the middle of the track while I was taking the lead. Thanks to Colin and the spin out, I wound up in last place. We had a lot of fun and came really close several times to getting kicked off the track.
Colin McTaggart, Zack Oakes, and Shane Duncan came up with a great idea for how they could scare the mess out of our friends and innocent bystanders. I have been warned not to mention what they have been doing in my blog, only because they do not want tip-off anyone they might eventually scare. I can tell you that they have scared a lot of people, including Jarrod Craig and Chad German. It's really funny to see these big, bad, tough bull riders scream like little girls and run. I do have to say that I am glad that I was in on the planning of this idea so that they don't scare me.
Next, I am off to Salt Lake City, Utah; Lawton, Okla., and a few other rodeos for the next few weeks. I will keep you updated on some of the great stories and things that happen on the road. Everything is going really well and I have been truly blessed; thank you for all the support from friends and family, and we will talk to you guys soon. -Clay Collins
To read Clay's previous blog, 'Hernias, home runs, and hard labor' click here.