WIDE OPEN SPACES
States of Love – Wyoming
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Maria Fanning
Length: 35,659 Words
No one is going to shove Levi back in the closet—not even Devon. For a relationship to work, they’ll have to put the past behind them and find the courage to face the future as who they really are—a couple in love. But Devon doesn’t know if he’s strong enough. Maybe Levi would be better off without him—and his hang-ups.
States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.
Free Pancake Breakfast
Every year, The Kiwani’s Club, with help from the Boy & Girl scouts cook up thousands upon thousands of pancakes. It’s actually really cool to watch as they cook pancakes in a type of wagon and then flip them out the side for others to catch on platters. You stand in a line, and yes it is quite long, but it moves quite quickly. One person puts a couple of pancakes on a plate, the next adds a couple of pats of butter, and then one more person drizzles the syrup on. The record was set in 1996 when they served just over 39,000 people over a two day (8 hours and 10 minutes total) serving time. In general, during this event, the Kiwani’s club makes approximately 100,000 pancakes!
There are usually some amazing concerts at Cheyenne Frontier Days, including some pretty big names. In 2016 alone, the concerts consisted of Sam Hunt, Billy Currington, Kenny Chesney, Jake Owen, Florida Georgia Line, Old Dominion, and more! In the past, they’ve had artists such as Toby Keith, Big and Rich, Aerosmith, Alabama, Tim McGraw, and Alan Jackson.
Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) Rodeo
The PRCA Rodeo during Cheyenne Frontier Days is also known as the Daddy of em All amongst rodeo fans. It was during the last day of this rodeo that Championship Bull Rider Lane Front had his final ride on a bull called Takin’ Care of Business. He rode the bull for the full 8 seconds and had dismounted when the bull charged him. Lane Frost is still remembered in Cheyenne, and there is even a statue in the Cheyenne Frontier Days Park of Lane riding a bull.
The CFDR (Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo) has something for everyone and takes place over the entirety of Cheyenne Frontier Days and is the fifteen time winner of the PRCA Large Outdoor Rodeo Of The Year award. It is fast paced and has a large number of contestants, with two sections of bull riding, saddle bronc riding, and bareback bronc riding every day of the nine day long rodeo. There’s also the barrel racing, team roping, and every other event that you expect to see in a professional rodeo.
A word of advice, if you attend this rodeo, take an umbrella or some other form of rain gear! The three times I’ve been to it, it has poured rain on us every time! Despite the rain, it’s definitely worth seeing!
The parade during Cheyenne Frontier Days is a sight to behold. You have all of the trappings of a regular parade, but it’s huge, and some of its “floats” are quite memorable. Some of their floats include The Hell’s Half Acre Saloon (which includes a bunch of saloon girls all dressed up), the one room school float, Dazee’s Dance Hall, Harry P. Hynds Blacksmith Shop, the Placer Mine (depicting South Pass City, Wyoming) and the Silver Crown Mine (which pokes fun at some early residents who invested in a mining scam). There’s also an old beat up car that drives through that has “Cheyenne or bust” attached to it along with lots of other things. You also have the rodeo queens, the horse drawn wagons, and one of my favorites, the cowboys who are “Tough enough to wear pink” in honor of breast cancer survivors. There’s also the saloon girls who wander the edges of the crowd and give out “tokens” and pay some of the spectators an embarrassing amount of attention (my nephew and husband turned bright red), but it’s all in fun.
Overall, Cheyenne Frontier Days is a blast and there is so much more to do than what I’ve outlined here, but these are some of the big ones. If you want to see what all was on offer for the 2016 even, you can check it out at: http://www.cfdrodeo.com/schedule/
Bloody noses had become the norm while he stayed with Blake. Devon didn’t want to deal with them repeatedly and considered getting a humidifier until he managed to acclimate.
He looked around his living room. Boxes were scattered everywhere, and he should be unpacking, but he was too tired. At least he hadn’t had to carry everything in himself. Blake, Travis, and Seth were waiting for him when he pulled into the apartment complex. They shrugged off his objections and insisted they had nothing better to do. Devon appreciated it, but he wasn’t comfortable around them anymore. He managed to be a proper host, but damn, he was glad they left after a couple beers each. They made noise about getting together again soon, but Devon had used getting settled in as an excuse to keep from committing to anything.
He stood and wandered into his small kitchen. He didn’t bother opening the fridge or any of the cupboards. He knew they were empty. His stomach growled, reminding him he hadn’t eaten for a while. Devon dug his keys out of his pocket and headed for the door. He’d get something to eat and then maybe stop at the store to pick up a few staples. Paper plates, sandwich fixings, some chips, and he’d be good for a couple of days. At least it would give him time to get a few things—like pots and pans—unpacked. Then he could do a full grocery shop.
An hour later he was comfortably full from a greasy burger, fries, and a shake. He’d never eaten a lot of fast food, but he had few other options. He headed to Walmart, determined to stick to his list of sandwich stuff and maybe some eggs. Surely he could dig out some pans before the food expired. He headed to the chips first and scanned for the familiar bag of Cheddar and Sour Cream Ruffles. They were his all-time favorite, though he also knew he’d want something else after a day or two. So he grabbed a couple of other bags and headed for the eggs and then the freezer aisle.
Sandwiches and chips would get old fast. He found some frozen breakfast sandwiches he could microwave, tossed them in the cart, and moved on. Frozen lasagna quickly joined the few other items in his cart, followed by some potpies, a few TV dinners, and a bag of chimichangas. So what if he wasn’t sticking to his mental list?
He was more focused on getting groceries for the next few days than on the people around him.
He froze when a familiar voice spoke his name. He closed his eyes briefly, ducked his head, and steeled himself. He knew it would happen eventually, when he found out Levi still lived there. He thought he’d have more time to prepare. He swallowed—hard—and turned to face the man who had at one time meant everything to him. The man he’d risked being found out for. He lifted his head and gazed into the moss-colored eyes.
About the Author
Renee resides in Wyoming with her wonderfully supportive husband and a menagerie of four-legged critters. Making the most of the nearly constant negative temperatures and mounds of snow, Renee spends much of the winter months in hibernation with her laptop, the voices in her head keeping her company while her husband works.
When she needs a break from writing, Renee takes to the sewing machine to design, and make, beautiful quilts. When the snow finally disappears, usually around May or June, Renee can be found in the great-outdoors. She spends her time on the mountain, at the lake, and just anywhere that she can do some camping, take some photos, and ride the four-wheelers with her hubby. Once back at home, it’s back to writing.
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