Rodeo Legend Twila Merrill Explains: Ain't a Cowgirl That Can't be Throwed

Twila Merrill
Scenic, South Dakota

Feeling bold – like you can’t be unhorsed?
Rodeo legend Twila Merrill recently explained to mule Polly and me that that there ain’t a cowgirl that can’t be throwed…

Scenic, South Dakota

In Scenic, South Dakota, they call it bare bronc riding. The concept is simple. You climb onto a bronc, hang on tight and try to last eight seconds as the critter does its best to buck your brains out. Traditionally, it’s been the domain of brute strength and men.

Then, in the early 1950s, Twila Merrill came along.

Recently, while traveling through the South Dakota Badlands with mule Polly and the Lost Sea Expedition wagon, I stopped in Scenic for a few days to visit with Twila. Because the focus of my Lost Sea Expedition is to learn more about the great inland sea that once covered the Great Plains, I was curious to hear about the turtle fossils Twila had collected over the years. I quickly found dead turtles paled by comparison to her bare bronc days.

Twila Merrill with turtle fossil
Scenic, South Dakota

To hear what she had to say on the subject, click on the audio player below.

Thanks, Twila, for serving mule Polly three squares a day during our visit to Scenic.


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