Bucking broncos, wild bulls and barrel racing have been tradition at the Pendleton Round-Up since 1910. Think of it as the West’s first extreme-sports venue. Beyond showmanship, the Round-Up has been a space for iconic moments like in 1911 when Black saddle-bronc rider George Fletcher was crowned the People’s Champion. For decades before Title IX became law, female riders performed in lockstep with men. Oregon’s motto is famously “She flies with her own wings,” and Oregonians embody this spirit every day — a celebrated anthem for the history, heritage and people who made this place what it is today.
Visitors to Pendleton today are instantly immersed in the Wild West through the rodeo culture, and don’t even have to attend the Pendlton Round-Up to see it. On a walk through the charming downtown, a series of bronze statues depicts local Western pioneers dates back more than 100 years. Some of these icons are Black, Native and women rodeo riders or heroes who’ve lent their skills, sacrificed their careers and even gave their lives as they paved the way for future generations. Here’s a guide to a few of these legendary heroes.
You don’t have to rope, ride or wrangle to appreciate Oregon’s rodeos. Bucking broncos, wild bulls and barrel racing have been tradition at the Pendleton Round-Up since 1910. Think of it as the West’s first extreme-sports venue. Here’s a guide to some of Oregon’s most iconic rodeos.
Oregon winemakers are no stranger to breaking barriers. Just 50 years ago, a handful of visionaries planted the first grapevines in the Willamette Valley and Southern Oregon. Today, there are more than 700 wineries and 1,000 vineyards growing 72 grape varieties statewide. The definition of winemaker is being reshaped too — with Black, LGBTQIA+ and Latino winemakers adding diversity in the industry and inspiring new generations of wine aficionados.
Nichole Watson — a huge cycling advocate and enthusiastic member of the Portland chapter of Black Girls Do Bike — organizes the family-friendly Prescott Pedal, letting kids and their adults dip their toe into cycling with all the support they might need. While riding a bike is easy once you acquire a bicycle and learn how to ride it, being a true cyclist involves much more equipment, thought and planning. Watson aims to break down those barriers.
Rob and Chris teach their young sons, Oliver and Elliott, about conservation — namely the Don’t Hurt the Dirt campaign, which reminds visitors to stay on trails, pick up after pets, leave treasures where they found them and keep the area pristine for generations to come.
You won’t find shops hawking nutcrackers or colorful light displays in Christmas Valley — even if this quiet Southern Oregon community is home to the likes of Snowman Road and Christmas Tree Lane. But what the no-stoplight hamlet lacks in Christmas cheer, it more than makes up for with easy access to some of the most dramatic natural curiosities in the Oregon Outback.
The late, great, wisecracking Columbia Sportswear CEO was an inspiration to women everywhere. Gert was the epitome of Oregon’s state motto, “She flies with her own wings,” inspiring future generations of women in business to shatter glass ceilings. “It’s become more acceptable in business to be a woman,” Boyle told the new group of Women in Business leaders at the University of Oregon in 2006. “You’ve got the world by the tail. Don’t let anyone discourage you because you’re a woman.”