The 4th of July means rodeo in Montana, and the Lincoln Rodeo hasn’t changed in the 20 years we’ve been going – it’s a perfect little slice of small-town America. The arena is small, with just six bucking chutes, and the spectators sit on the hillside looking across the Blackfoot River Valley at the mountains. The rodeo club sponsors the concession stand (where, according to the announcer, you “need to get you over and get one of them hamburgers – the best in west!”), and the parade on the morning of the rodeo shuts down Highway 200 for an hour and a half. It’s one of the few rodeos I’ve been to that includes barrel racing for kids under eight, and a good amount of time is set aside for a chicken race, a greased pig race, and a boot race for the kids. For me, it means that summer is really here.