This past weekend, J.O and I flew over to the Big Island again, but this time it was not simply because we love getting over to Kona any chance we can. This weekend we had some work to do at the very first Hawaii Lineman’s Rodeo.
For those of you that are unfamiliar with the world of lineman’s rodeos, first let me tell you that they do not involve horses. A lineman’s rodeo is a competition where various electrical contractors and utility companies from across the country have their linemen compete in pole climbing events. One event is a hurt man rescue pole climb. This is where the lineman has to climb to the top of an 80 foot pole to safely retrieve a 185 pound dummy. Another event includes an egg; the lineman must climb the 80 foot pole with a bag carrying an egg, then once at the top, drop down an empty bag that was placed up there, put the egg in their mouth and descend to the bottom of the pole with out cracking or breaking the egg. Lastly there are events that include doing cross arm change outs and other things these men do on a daily basis. They all start with 100 points at the beginning of each event and are scored by three judges on safety, agility and time.
This was both mine and J.Os first rodeo, so we didn’t really know what exactly to expect. Although rodeos are huge throughout the country, the opportunity never arose for us to attend one before this past weekend. As soon as I found out we would be attending, I seized the opportunity to promote my favorite organization, National Sisterhood United for Journeyman Linemen. Although I wasn’t able to acquire a legal booth in the vendor section (the entry fee was too high for our non-profit) I made due and set up my own booth right outside the vendor area! Hey, sometimes you have to bend the rules a little for a good cause! It worked out perfectly. I was able to get information out to many interested people, sell all of my product and raise over $500 for the sisterhood. If you haven’t checked the organization out yet, click HERE.
J.O did not actually compete in this rodeo, as when they made up teams before leaving for Kona, he chose to be an alternate. We were able then to cheer the guys on, promote NSUJL and take on the task of cooking a butt load of chicken for everyone. I’m talking like 20 pounds worth. Because we didn’t have a grill, J.O was able to simply did a hole in the ground of lava rock and place our charcoal on top of the rock. We then had one of their coworkers, who lives on the Big Island, bring us a grate to lay over the pit. Instant BBQ! It was delicious!
The rodeo sponsors treated us all really well. They hosted a welcoming luau for us on Friday night and after the rodeo on Saturday they had a huge awards ceremony back at the hotel. We also had a bit of free time to roam and do as we please. Many went and saw the sights, but since we are frequent visitors to Kona, we chose to use this weekend to relax and hang by the pool. J.O and the guys even got a good game of football going in the pool one afternoon!
With these rodeos being free to the public, they are a great way for people to see up close what goes into being a lineman. They are also a lot of fun for the lineman (and us ladies!) to see old friends we may have traveled/worked with once before. We had a great weekend and look forward to our next rodeo!