Saskatoon: Night One (June 4)

It’s been a busy four days. Monday morning came way too fast. I thought in my mind that if we had packed up quite a lot of our belongings the day before, it would make our trip out of Grande Prairie a quick one. But it just didn’t pan out that way. When we use box stalls instead of our homemade barn system off our liner, it adds a whole bunch more work for us. Yes, the ponies get lot more room to rest but cleaning the manure out before departure takes some time. Then there is the loading and strapping down of the wagon and the Kubota.

My job, before I head out to help with the horses and barn, is to pack up our travelin’ trailer, drain all the tanks, hook it up and have it ready to go. I also make sure there are snacks, sandwiches and beverages in each vehicle for all the crew on our journey to the next stop.

The second last thing to load are the horses. As they get loaded into the liner and horse trailer, I go along and take down the electric fence and posts and tuck them away. Then we are off.

Managed to get away by 11:30am. We headed south to the Ranch back in Wetaskwin for an overnight stay. Just enough time for the horses to have a bit of a run around in their pens, reload the bin on the truck with oats, restock with hay, and…yes…plant some trees. Ricky brought some pine seedlings home and we planted them. When we talk about Team 23, this includes our crew at home that we are so thankful to have who oversee our Ranch while we are away. This includes our kids, our relatives Bruce and Bonnie, and our good friends Doug and Deb. We are thankful for all they do.

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I really would have liked to stay two nights over at home. I was going into withdrawals as I missed my grandson Coy. You see, Coy and I have a special bond. We have spent a lot of time together in these past five and a half years of his life. I’m his Nana and Rick is his Papa. Amy, our daughter, is doing a great job raising a fine young man. He fills our life and those around him with so much joy. There’s nothing like being a grandparent, and you won’t really know what I mean until you become one.

As I only had a few hours to spend with him when we arrived home, I asked Coy if he wanted to run into town with me to get some supper for the crew. I told him we would be going to A & W. He replied, “Sure Nana, let’s go to ALIEN W! I’ll have chicken strips and fries please!” Oh the things kids say crack me up. Makes me forget all the things big people worry about and just enjoy life. Coy has a very good imagination when it comes to superheroes and costumes. He’s forever making things with paper and tape. This one day he was Optimus Prime. I’m really not sure who that is but he sure did do a great job in making his costume.

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We received a very good magazine in the mail today, with a very special article inside that we would like to share with you. If you have not already subscribed to this magazine I would suggest you do, as it has so many great cowboy country stories in it from people and places all over Alberta and abroad. We’re excited to let you know this June/July issue has featured our home. We invite all readers to come in and join us for a nice cup of coffee, and stay and chat awhile. The magazine is called Canadian Cowboy Country. Head out to your nearest newsstand and pick up a copy for yourself. You won’t be disappointed as it is a very good read. Billy Melville, our chuckwagon historian, also features a story each issue from our chuckwagon world. You can go to their website for all the subscription information:

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What a beautiful night here in Saskatoon for chuckwagon racing: nine heats of pounding thunder making its way around the track. A very good crowd had gathered to watch the performance. I think this may have been the best we’ve had yet.

Tonight Rick was off of barrel 1 in the eighth heat alongside Rae Croteau on 2, Kelly Sutherland on 3 and Chad Harden on 4. Our hook was Left Leader – Spirit, Right Leader – Speirman, Left Wheeler – Vegas and Right Wheeler – Zorba. When the horn sounded that wheeler, Zorba hit it! What a powerhouse that horse is. Ricky drove the team around the barrel and just skimmed by the bottom barrel and charged to the track to steal the rail. The team went rail to rail to win the heat. The outriding boys, Chanse Vigen and Dustin Gorst, had to ride hard on Beau and Trixter to make the finish line to refrain from penalties. So glad they made it. Our team posted a 1:17.69, which was good enough for a sixth on the day placing. Looking forward to another beautiful day tomorrow, weather wise.

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Live your life each day as you would climb a mountain. An occasional glance toward the summit keeps the goal in mind, but many beautiful scenes are to be observed from each new vantage point. Climb slowly, steadily enjoying each passing moment, and the view from the summit will prove to be astonishing.