Monthly Archives: August 2011

Winds of the Pendleton Round-Up are Whipping!

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Are you ready for the hurricane that is

The Pendleton Round-Up!

There are only a few weeks left until the big show. The Pendleton Round-Up winds are gaining energy, the barometric pressure is dropping, the locals are starting  to leave town and only bravest of souls are left.  A storm surge is building in the small town of Pendleton, Oregon and when this storm hits mainland, you want to be here to see it.  I have to decided to ride out this hurricane I call, The World Famous Pendleton Round-Up!

When a storm of this magnitude is so close to mainland, most sane Americans  hit the road, but not in this case.  Everyday, more and more locals are stopping by my office to share stories of relatives picking up their camp wagons to start their  long journey out west to take part in the 101st annual Pendleton Round-Up Sept. 14-17 2011. I had a customer come in today and tell me about his relatives wanting to stay in an Indian teepee and he’s going to make it happen. The town is battening down the hatches to make sure rodeo fans will be blown away.

Twitter is buzzing (Follow @pendroundup) with stories and praise from bull riders, bull fighters, team ropers, cowboys, cowgirls and rodeo fans all over these great United States.  The charge on Facebook is being led by Pendleton Round-Up on Facebook and all of their 15,241 fans: read the stories, share the photos and most importantly the friends.

By the time the Round-Up Hurricane touches down, the town of Pendleton will have grown 3-4 times its original size of 15,000 for the four-day event.  If you only come to see the rodeo you will miss all the other great people and events.  Here are my recommendation when visiting Pendleton during Round-Up. Click the links below for more information.

The 2011Pendleton Round-Up court

The 2011 court represents the Round-Up and the entire community as they set the stage for this year’s event. Round-Up Royalty is always looked upon as the benchmark for rodeo courts and these young women promote the Pendleton Round-Up with the same quality and class as previous court members have done.    One of my dear friends was Round-Up Royalty,  Hi Annie!


Happy Canyon Indian Pageant and Wild West

Get a ticket today. Happy Canyon Indian Pageant and Wild West show “…depicts the settling of the American West, beginning with a portrayal of the Native American way of life prior to the arrival of the white man, continuing with the arrival of Lewis and Clark, followed by the prairie schooners of the pioneers of the Oregon Trail and concluding with a reenactment of a frontier town’s rollicking main street mishaps.” The show run September 14th-17th 2011. Show begins promptly at 7:45 p.m. Price: $10.00-$17.00.


Ronnie Dunn Will Take The Stage!

Ronnie Dunn photo courtesy of Sony Music Nashville.

The concert kicks off the week-long Pendleton Round-Up and Happy Canyon celebration on the Saturday before Round-Up in The Happy Canyon Arena. Ticket information.

Ronnie Dunn, a familiar voice in country music will take the stage at the Round-Up & Happy Canyon Concert on September 10. Ronnie Dunn made his mark as half of the duo Brooks & Dunn. Ronnie Dunn will be the starring act at the concert that kicks off a week of festivities.

Bull Riding Anyone?


Happy Canyon Arena hosts the world’s best cowboys mounted on the meanest bulls the Monday and Tuesday before Round-Up begins. Ticket information. Welcome to the PBR….The toughest sport on dirt.


Pendleton Underground Tours!

Take a Tour of Pendleton’s mysterious and historic underground!  Pendleton Underground Tours ( P.U.T.) is a non-profit corporation that started in 1989, giving tours of Pendleton’s red light district. The tour was very controversial because part of the subject matter is about gambling, the Chinese, bootlegging and prostitution. In 1990, after opening the “Cozy Rooms” bordello, Chinese jails and the Opium Den, the tour became even more questionable. The history of legal and illegal businesses operating in the same area for over 100 years makes the tour unique and like no other tour anywhere. The history of the Chinese in Eastern Oregon and their role in building the west is also unique. The tour is entertaining and interesting to all ages from 6 years old to 95 years old there is something for every member of the family.  Brooke will take care of you and don’t be afraid to tell her your best joke.  Make sure you call ahead to schedule your tour!  Follow on Twitter  @pendunderground


Rugged Country Chic

Rugged Country Chic is a local Pendleton, Oregon operated business.  They specialize in western jewelry, but they can make any kind of handmade jewelry.  They also have Dog collars, Rhinestones, Sunglasses, Flip Flops, Key chains.  “We Love our work and strive to make our customers Happy.”  Check out their website and get your custom made authentic western jewelery!   Katie will get you looking hot for the Pendleton Round-Up call (541) 310-7876 or email: also Rugged Country Chic on Facebook

Marla June’s Clothing Company

Marla Junes Store Front Photo Courtesy Marla Junes

Marla June’s features Brighton Jewelry along with unique jewelry made by local artists.Handbags by Brighton, Hobo, Jessica SimpsonRian, The Sak and Latico.Marla June’s specializes in women’s fashions for casual, business or fun.  Marla will help you find what you need.

Hamleys Store

Beautiful Saddles Photo Courtesy Hamleys & Company

The Hamley family moved to Pendleton 106 years ago and brought their saddle-making talents with them. Hamley & Co. of Pendleton has since become synonymous with top quality leatherwork and western goods. The store is the epitome of a Western store with clothing, tack, saddles, along with amazing bronze statues and historic merchandise cases and furniture. Watch the saddle makers crafting saddles to fit both cowboy and horse and carving the leather by hand, and visit the western art gallery on the mezzanine.


Rainbow Cafe

Rainbow Cafe Photo Courtesy Pendleton Chamber

I know you need a cold drink! A business on Main Street called the “State Saloon and Banquet” first opened its doors in 1883. Now, 127 years later, it is known as The Rainbow Café, and is the oldest business in town in its original location and still doing the same kind of business.  You’ll enjoy the historic photographs of past Pendleton Round-Up All Around Champions that line the walls.   I Play for the Rainbow  9 ball pool team and we were champs last year!  When ordering a drink ask for Jeff say Chris sent ya.

Hamley’s Steak House

Hamleys Steak House Photo Courtesy Hamleys & Company

It is difficult to understand what a unique tribute to the West the Hamley’s store and adjacent Steak House are. Historic back bars have been sought out from all over the west to put in the event rooms. The bank counter from Belle Fourche that was robbed by Jesse James and a rack of buffalo coats among numerous antiques and art add to the warm ambiance and experience. Looking for stiff drink? Ask Kristen to make you her special.
The legend rides on!

The Prodigal Son Brewery and Pub

Another Round! Photo Courtesy

Welcome to Pendleton’s First Craft Brewery!  Pendleton, Oregon. A small agricultural town located at the foothills of the beautiful Blue Mountains. And now home to some of the best beers in the state. We’re passionate about fermentation and it shows in our brews. Whether it’s a dry-hopped Northwest IPA or a malt-heavy Porter, the Prodigal Son Brewry is dedicated to exploring the possibilities of grain, hops and yeast. Creativity is something we value in our Ales and it’s our goal to incorporate regional ingredients into beers that go beyond convention. Brewing to style is not our objective; we prefer to focus our explorations on the potential of beer. Try my favorite adult beverage A Beer Named Sue!

That should get you started!

Image Courtesy of

I wish I could name all the places I love to hang during The Pendleton Round-Up, but I wouldn’t get any sleep tonight and seeing The Pendleton Round-Up is way better in person. 🙂

 Are you ready for the Round-Up Hurricane? I am!  I’m ready for a cat 7 to blow my roof off and make my windows shake!

With all this hurricane talk, wind blowing and rocking your world, you can experience the little things too.  Personally, I’ve been anticipating the smell of corn dogs and horse crap for way to long. If you haven’t had that aromatic concoction  invade you  nostrils, it’s a beautiful thing and there ain’t nothing like it.   See you at The Pendleton Round-Up and Let’er Buck

Check out Home for sale in Pendleton call Chris 541-215-2274. or visit

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Traffic jams! How do you deal with them?

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Does your commute to work ruin your day?

I visit Portland  a few times a year and I really like that beautiful city, but the traffic is just, UGH!  When I visit Portland I feel as if I have a little more patience, but I couldn’t imagine waiting in traffic more the 15 minutes, let alone 1-2 hours every day. I don’t know how residents of the Portland metro area, population 2.2 million deal with traffic stress.

Traffic View Southgate Pendleton, Oregon 8/18/2011

I live in Pendleton, Oregon where the streets are smooth sailing and traffic jams, well… I don’t’ think they have a definition for traffic jams out here.  Now, before you get on me about small towns, we have a STARBUCKS.  Pendleton’s population is around 16,500 people and I understand, more people = more traffic.

What is your experience with traffic jams, how do you deal with them?    

I have read studies on traffic congestion, traffic jams, ROAD RAGE and I was wondering how you deal with traffic.  It’s an experience I really don’t know anything about.

Isn’t that Crappie?

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Crappie fishing can’t be any better!

Another evening living in Pendleton, Oregon what to do?  How about some  crappie fishing at McKay Reservoir? 

When I’m not working as a broker for Sykes Real Estate or running Rapid Print, my printing business, I’m fishing! Catching crappie isn’t tough if you know what to do.

To catch a  lot of crappie you don’t need to be professional fisherman,  have a $20,000 boat,  or a $300 fishing pole and reel.  I’ll give you the run down of supplies.  I will also give you some pointers to catch crappie in Pendleton’s McKay Reservoir.  The fishing tackle and technique will work for most crappie fishing in Oregon.  Let’s get going!

Here’s what you need!

5ft Light Rod & Reel Combo I Got at Wal-Mart for $30

4-6 lb test line is all you are going to need for most lake fishing.

So you have a rod and reel now for the good stuff!

The most inportant thing you are going to need is bait and I find crappie jigs are the way to go.
The picture below is of my own crappie jigs. I used an Oregon quarter to show the relative size.   I’ve seen people fish with line wrapped around a beer can, but they always had a jig attached to the hook.

Jig Bodies $2-$4 for 25 at Bi-Mart

Crappie jigs come in different colors and sizes, but these are the jigs that I have had the most luck on.  The ultimate jig color is a white glow in the dark, but I haven’t used those in a while since the local mini-mart stopped carrying them.  If you can find those, snatch them up!  If  you notice the jigs are not that big and the simple answer to that is, crappie aren’t that big.  If I’m looking for a meal, I will catch five, 10-12 inch crappie, but there is no limit on size or quantity, so it’s up to you.  Here is a link to ODFW fishing website for fishing regulation!

Other supplies that I use!

A jig head with hook attached, swivel and bobber.  Again, I wanted to show the relative size of the fishing supplies.

Jig Head $2-$3 for 10 Swivel $2-$3 for 15 and Bobber $2-$3 for 10

The jig head with hook goes into the body of the jig. A swivel is used to keep your line from twisting and the bobber is used to keep your bait off the lake bottom.  I usually attach a bobber on the fishing line  1-2 feet above my jig or bait, right in the sweet spot.   I let the fishing tools do all the work.  I like to to relax when I fish for crappie.

How to apply jig head to body of the jig then tie to fishing line!

How to insert jig head in to the body of the jig

Push the pointy end of the hook through the end of the jig body, keep pushing until the hook comes out near the end of the skirt “the wavy pink arms in these pictures.”   Make sure you secure the jig into the body all the way or it will come off.  I’ve had that happen and wondered why I wasn’t catching anything.  After you have inserted the jig head into the body of the jig, next is tying your line to the jig.  For this I use one of the most common sport fishing knots.

The Clinch Knot

The Clinch Knot

This knot is used by most sport fishermen to attach a swivel or jig to their line.  This knot is strong and won’t slip, but it does take some practice.  I have tied this knot 1,000’s of times and if done right, you wont have to worry about your knot coming undone.   Here is step by step instruction to The Clinch Knot hit play and try it out for yourself.  There are many knots you can learn that will help you fish, but will help in everyday life also.

So, you have learned what to use, now you need some technique!

If you are unfamiliar of how to cast, learning how to cast is best done by learning from someone else, but if you’re the independent type, try your backyard.  If you want to get ready for your upcoming crappie fishing event, but don’t know how to cast, get familiar with casting in your back yard.  You can practice alone and you also get the benefit of straightening your line.  Most fishing line is coiled around a spool which bends the line.  When fishing line is bent for a long period of time it forms a memory of the spool it was coiled around.  The line will come off the spool in coils.  Some fishermen straighten their line by stretching it all the way out and pulling on it to get the bends out.

Fishing Line

So, you have all your gear, you know how to tie a fishing knot and learned how to cast.  Now it’s time to hit the lake!

Crappie fishing is best done in the morning or in the evening, and because I am a night owl, I prefer the evening.  During the summer months at McKay reservoir and I assume most places, there is a time of the evening between 7-9 that the fish start to feed, you will know this because  THE BITE IS ON!  This could last a 1/2 hour or go two full hours depending on water temp, how much food the fish are already eating, but they will hit your jig over and over.

Finding a good spot and going for it!

You will need to find a spot that looks good.  Look for a tree near by for shade and make sure the water is deep enough for fish to swim down out of the sunlight.  I fish two different ways.  One way is to use a bobber. Set the bobber 1-2 feet above your jig, throw it in and let it sit.  Once you see that bobber go under, FISH ON!  The other way is to jig the bottom.  This doesn’t require a bobber, but you will have to be more active.  The technique is to let the jig sink to the bottom of the lake and when it hits, pull your pole up, then let is sink back to the bottom again.  Up down, up down, this simulates a swimming food source.  This takes some practice and a touch to know when to set the hook. You should try it in a shallow part of the lake to see what it looks like.  Those are the only two I use and I have great success, easy huh?

Whelp, that’s it! I think it’s your turn, now that you know what to do!

As you can see I just started!

Good luck and maybe I’ll do another post on filleting your crappie.  They are so good battered and fried in a little oil.

I live in Pendleton, Oregon and this is what I do for fun!

Visit my website Looking for a home in Pendleton or Oregon in general.  Call me and I will email you all the information on the house you are interested in.  Chris Sykes, Sykes Real Estate (541)215-2274

Pendleton Oregon and History

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Pendleton Oregon and History

Pendleton, Oregon a city of 16,354 in the 2000 census, sits in the foothills of the Blue Mountains. The city center is built on the south bank of the Umatilla River, which runs roughly east and west through town. Pendleton’s motto is “The Real West,” and it prides itself on its agricultural and ranching past. It is home to the Pendleton Woolen Mills, which originally made blankets for trade with nearby Native Americans, and the Pendleton Round-Up, one of the ten largest rodeos in the world.

The earliest commercial business in Pendleton dates to 1851, when Dr. William C. McKay (pronounced mack-EYE) established a trading post at the confluence of McKay Creek and the Umatilla River. A post office, Marshall Station, was established in 1865. The community was later renamed Pendleton after George H. Pendleton, the Democratic vice-presidential candidate of 1864, and was incorporated on October 25, 1880.

During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Pendleton was home to a large population of Chinese laborers who had come to work on the railroads. An underground tour is a popular tourist attraction, where visitors are led into basements of downtown businesses where opium dens, illegal gaming parlors, and a Chinese laundry were purported to have existed during the 1890s. Take the Pendleton Underground Tours and see it for yourself!

From its early beginnings, Pendleton was a railhead that served as a shipping point for the wool industry, which included the many sheep ranches in the area and the Pendleton Woolen Mills, originally a wool-scouring plant. Early on, the company began producing blankets for trade with Native Americans, and it eventually expanded its offerings to include clothing. Pendleton blankets are now prized for their quality and distinctive designs.

The Pendleton Round-Up  Sept. 14-17  2011 is an annual event that can quadruple the town’s population. Occurring in the second full week in September, the Round-Up features four days of rodeo; two parades, including one that prohibits motorized vehicles or rubber tires; a concert; and the Happy Canyon Indian Pageant, which bills itself as the “Epic Drama of the West.” The Round-Up is known for including Native American participants in a powwow dance competition, the Indian Village, Happy Canyon princesses, and the American Indian Beauty Pageant. One of the larger-than-life figures from Pendleton’s colorful history is Sheriff Tillman “Til” Taylor, one of the founders of the Round-Up. He was shot to death in a jailbreak in 1920, and a park in downtown Pendleton bears his name.

Pendleton also has its place in Oregon literature, providing the setting for Craig Lesley’s Winterkill and likely the setting for H.L Davis’s short story, “Old Man Isbell’s Wife.” Last Go Round: A Real Western, by Ken Kesey and Ken Babb, is a fictionalized account of the 1911 Pendleton Round-Up and its legendary ending in which three cowboys—Jackson Sundown, a Nez Perce; George Fletcher, an African American; and John Spain, a Caucasian—tied for the all-around championship. When Spain won the tie-breaker, there was a general uproar from the crowd, which believed the results were skewed. Reportedly, Sheriff Taylor took up a collection from the crowd by tearing up pieces of Fletcher’s hat and selling them. He then awarded the money to Fletcher as the people’s champion.

Pendleton benefits from its proximity to the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. CTUIR operates the Wild Horse Casino and golf course; the Tamástslikt Cultural Institute, an interpretive center that tells the story of the effects of the Oregon Trail from the Native American perspective (the only one of its kind); and Nixya’awii, a charter school that is focused on Native American culture, native languages, and the tribal community. Nixya’awii was the Oregon charter school of the year in 2006-2007. Crow’s Shadow, an institute for the arts, was co-founded by painter James Lavadour (Walla Walla/Chinook), a Pendleton native. CTUIR also administers Wildhorse Foundation, a philanthropic agency that supports projects in northeast Oregon. While the city of Pendleton shares a border with the reservation, CTUIR has its own government and laws.

Pendleton serves as a cultural center for eastern Oregon, with two symphony orchestras, a strings program in the public schools (the only one in eastern Oregon), a thriving arts center, and Blue Mountain Community College. Many touring bands (mostly alternative and bluegrass) stop on their way from Portland to Boise to play at the Great Pacific in downtown Pendleton. Pendleton is also home to the Eastern Oregon Correctional Facility, a medium security adult-male correctional facility. The business district has undergone recent revitalization, anchored by the Hamley Building, an award-winning restoration of one of Pendleton’s earliest saddle-making establishments, and The Prodigal Son Brewery, which has resurrected Pendleton’s early brewing tradition.