One of my most favorite rodeos not only in the state of Oregon or the Columbia River Circuit (read more HERE about the Professional Rodeo Cowboy’s Association’s regional circuits) but in the entire country, is the Lake County Round Up.
Where is Lake County, Oregon? Lakeview.
Where is Lakeview?
It’s the last checkpoint of civilization before you hit the primitive region of southeastern Oregon. Southeastern Oregon is THE MOST remote place in the Lower 48. That’s right! My love for this section of the state sheds a little bit of light on to why I loved Alaska so much.
I feel like I have had so many adventures in Lakeview while also meeting some of the craziest, coolest people in this world. I first ventured to Lakeview in 2016 with my mother for the rodeo. Both our motorhome and horse trailer were out of commission, a seeming stereotype for all of 2016. I had borrowed our friends weekender horse trailer for the weekend and I was actually ridiculously pumped to try out a gooseneck horse trailer. I come from the land of bumper pulls, so despite the entirely aluminum horse trailer, I felt as if we were Tuf Cooper rolling up in our Bloomer.
The closer we got to Lakeview however, the more agitated my mom got. She was visibly upset, very distressed, and was on high alert. I recognized the symptoms as if we were potentially in danger, but I didn’t feel any fear. I wasn’t sure what was going on. It wasn’t until the next day, after we had spent Saturday night dancing to Old Dominion who spoiled the crowd with songs off their unreleased new album (songs we all know by heart now) that I found out the full story!
Lakeview is the town that my Uncle Shorty lived in up until his death. Foul play wasn’t suspected and it was rules as a suicide, but our entire family has always wondered as nothing really seems to add up. The last time that my mom had been here had been because she and my father had to identify the body before my Grandpa Schrock got there.
The Lake County Round Up in Lakeview has always been fun, one of the few times every year that I get to see all my southeastern Oregon ranch boys who work tirelessly year around with hardly a vacation. I admire everything about their work ethic and morals – catching up with them is one of the highest things on my list! People like those in southeastern Oregon are the reason that I want to move to that side of the mountain so bad!
Lakeview may be a small town but everything about it is big! All day, there is team roping jackpots happening in a side arena, they have two performances of PRCA rodeo in the Columbia River Circuit, their fair and carnival, a concert and a demolition derby.
Their concerts have included the likes of Chris LeDoux, Old Dominion, and Michael Ray all situated on the racetrack that surrounds the rodeo arena. There’s nothing like watching a country concert on a racetrack, cutting a rug in the dirt!
The demolition derby had HUNDREDS of entries and also included an excavator soccer tournament! The committee works tirelessly all night to get the arena turned back around for the rodeo performance the next day as well. When I was there in the arena in 2016, I was constantly on the look out for metal shards from the cars from the night before and my careful hawk-eye scrutiny didn’t find a one!
I love the rodeo because it starts in the middle of the day and the grandstands are packed! On the track, they have peewee and youth competitions of fun gymkhana games, and in the arena it’s some of the best in the PRCA who are jumping into the travel route with big rodeos like Ellensburg and Walla Walla happening up in Washington. The one thing that I find interesting is that they don’t include a co-sanctioning with the WPRA.
They do still have barrel racing, but it’s local entry only and MAN those cowgirls are just as good and better than a majority of those actively competing in the WPRA! Nothing against the WPRA cardholders, these cowgirls are just THAT good! At the end of the performance, they also bring in the top from the jackpots next door doing shootouts for all female team roping, open team roping, spouse team roping, etc. as well as ranch broncs.
I’m not the only one who is a big fan of the Lakeview Round Up – even Social Media Oregon Travel phenom site That Oregon Life is ALL about Lakeview as well and made a special appearance at it!
Next year will be their 100 year anniversary and I can’t wait to see who the concert is and pack up the man cave camper and spend a few nights camping in Lakeview!