Bonnyville: Night 1 (July 23)

Howdy Chuckwagon Friends!

Yesterday was pretty much a slow day. Yes, the chores still had to be done, one outfit had to be hooked, water buckets had to be emptied and refilled, manure had to be hauled away and new bedding had to be forked in, but with that all aside, it was pretty much a relaxing kind of day. Pontoon Party at the Lake Our two hired gals, Kim (AKA Fiona) and Cayley (AKA Rapunzel), were excited and thrilled to go to the lake to go on some pontoon boats with many of the other WPCA members, families and hired hands. You see, the Bonnyville Chuckwagon Committee members  donate their time and their boats to give our group a day at the lake. So awesome to get away from the grounds, have some fun and take a much-needed bath in the lake. This committee here does it up so good for us. We do appreciate them.

Baby Rose

Baby Rose

I, on the other hand, got to do some cuddling. I was the lucky gal who got to look after baby Rose, while her mom and dad Adrian and Evan enjoyed time at the lake too. I think I was the spoiled one. What a beautiful baby she is. Will take that job on at a moment’s notice; just call me Nana Sue!

The evening came and we were treated to a lovely meal by some of our local friends, Nicole and Sandy and their families. Oh, how this is so enjoyable for me because I don’t have to cook and it’s a most delicious home-cooked meal. Rick and I also had to scoot over to the Sponsors Meet and Greet tent for a bit to enjoy a beverage or two there.

Makin Bacon

Makin’ bacon

Team Meetin after breakfast

Team meeting after breakfast

Another beautiful day today. With Bruce and Bonnie, Rick’s relatives, camping with us, we enjoy our meals together. Bruce loves to cook so he brings along the grill, deep fryer and barbecue. This morning we had a classic breakfast of bacon, eggs and toast. My Ricky was excited as it wasn’t the turkey bacon I normally fry up.


Our friend Pete

Our friend Pete likes to makes his rounds in the morning at most of the camps. He is one friendly soul and makes everybody smile that he meets. Gotta love this guy.

Chuckwagon Kids

Chuckwagon kids

Scary Dinosaur Look

Scary dinosaur look

A dinosaur Face

A dinosaur face

Another Dinosaur Look

Another dinosaur look

Our grandson Coy loves to play with the other chuckwagon kids. And there are plenty. Our daughter Amy arrived with Coy last night to spend the weekend with us. This morning he could hardly wait to get up and go to play with the Gorst girls. Today they played dinosaur games and even made some pretty scary faces for the camera. Pretty good imaginations they have.

The Famous George Normand

The famous George Normand

George Normand

George Normand

When in Bonnyville, I like to go out with Bruce and Bonnie and whoever else wants to come along and venture around the community to see different things each year. Today we stopped by the local cemetery to search for a friend’s headstone. We found the ones we were looking for, and in doing that we came upon the late and  famous chuckwagon driver George Normand. At the young age of 38, George lost his life doing what he did best, driving a chuckwagon. He was on his way to being the king of chuckwagon racing. He was a great one and they named him The Bonnyville Bullet. Forever remembered.

Cole and Dustine the outriders

Cole and Dustin, the outriders

After 10 days off it was time to get back at ‘er. Tonight we continued to hire outriders Cole, holding leaders and  riding Bingo, and Dustin, throwing the stove on Andy. I tell you, these guys are doing a heck of a job this year. So much so that we don’t even have to worry about them. We are totally confident that they can do the job and do the job well.

Chad Fike helping out

Chad Fike helping out

As Cody, our son, is not here with us this weekend, we have fellow competitor Chad Fike up in the wagon box with Rick giving him a hand if need be. This is a great thing, as Chad is young and he can get pointers from Rick on some aspects of wagon racing. No different than when Rick was young and rode with the likes of his Uncle Dallas Dorchester and his dad Dave Lewis. No matter what you do in life, there is always something to learn from someone better than you. You just have to be open to it.

Boy did they start

Boy, did they start

Tonight’s hook was Air on Left Lead, Speedy on Right Lead, Trick on the Left Wheel and Law on the Right Wheel. When that horn went, boy, did they start. Almost as good as Luke Tournier on barrel 4. Luke fired out of there to grab the rail. Rick was not too far behind, with Kelly Sutherland on the inside of Rick and Evan in behind. The outfit ran hard, Rick said.  Luke ended up with a day money run and we managed a fifth on the day. Fairly excited with that.

A Fine Speedy Finish

A fine speedy finish

Looking forward to another day up north, hoping the weather stays sunny and warm.

The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.

Down Time Between Shows

Seven days at home and was I excited! With the Calgary Stampede all finished up, it was all I could do to drive our unit home to the Ranch. All of our Team 23 were pooped right out. We made it safely and had the ponies unloaded by 4pm. I had no choice but to head to my bed and go to sleep. I slept for five hours. Awoke for another couple, and went back to sleep until morning. Tuesday was a day of organizing, laundry and decluttering from all the Calgary extras that we bring along. IMG_5166 It was nice to be home. The ponies sure enjoyed the green grass and the wide-open space.IMG_5153 I love to see the hay field baled up and looking good. It brings me back to when I was a kid on the farm. Our neighbour Ed does our haying for us and seems to do a pretty darn good job. No rain on it this year, which is a bonus.

We had some special company on Friday. Ed and Vera Wittchen and family came to the Ranch. Ed is our World Professional Chuckwagon Association President. The main purpose of the visit was their daughter Tara and her daughter Aurora were in from Nova Scotia, and Tara has been my main instrument of setting up and keeping my blog running smoothly. So she came over to give me some much-needed pointers. Their son-in-law and grandson came along too. We thoroughly enjoyed the visit, with a lasagna supper to boot.

crop IMG_1951

crop IMG_1953

crop family time

On Saturday, Rick, our family, my sister Dana and I were flown out to Grande Prairie to visit my dad who has not been feeling too well. We were fortunate to have three hours to spend with him. A huge thank you to our sponsor Northwell Oilfield Hauling for arranging this special trip.

My Dad and I

My Dad and me

My kids, dad and me

My kids, Dad and me

My Beautify Girls, Dad and I

My beautiful girls, Dad and me

Dad and and my sister Dana

Dad and and my sister Dana

Coys first Plane Ride

Coy’s first plane ride

Great Grand Kids are So Much Fun  Coy and Grandpa Sig

Great grandkids are so much fun – Coy and Grandpa Sig

We visited and then he took us out on a little trip in his Kubota around the RV park that he built right on the home front where I grew up. I’ve been gone for nine years now and things have sure changed. My dad is so proud of the park, and so he should be, as he built it with his own hands. If you ever need a place to park your unit when in the area, look up Country Roads RV Park; you won’t be disappointed.

I no sooner landed back in Wetaskiwn and I was headed out west to go “glamping” with Rick’s Aunt Sharon, cousin Debbie and friend Connie. I thoroughly enjoyed my time away.

Glamping at Twin Lakes with the Gals

Glamping at Twin Lakes with the Gals

Auntie KooKoo

Auntie KooKoo

Chillin at the Lake

Chillin’ at the lake

We had good times with food, friends and laughter, and now have cherished some great memories.

On the Road Again

On the road again

Our time at home came to an abrupt halt, and it was time to jump back into the freightliner and head north to the city of Bonnyville for our next WPCA show. We got away approximately at 7:30am, arriving in at 11:30am. We made great time and it was a lovely, enjoyable trip.

Back home, my friend Mary Lynn, AKA the Red Neck Barbie, contacted me, saying there was a wicked storm a-brewing in the Ponoka area. I don’t listen to the news when we are on the road, so I rely only on the sky and my friends to fill me in on the things going on. Well, it was a doozer when all was said and done. Mary Lynn sent me all these amazing photos to share with you. storm photos IMG_9279


IMG_6710 IMG_6765 FullSizeRender_1 FullSizeRender_2Thank goodness no one was hurt that I know of. What a wicked storm it was. Fortunately our Ranch in Wetaskiwn was not damaged. Back in 2011, the day after we arrived home from the Calgary Stampede we were hit with a very similar storm. I never wish to experience that type of thing again.

Well, races begin Thursday, and we are looking forward to a fast and speedy race meet. We are the defending champions and hope to retain the title.

There are many things in life that will catch your eye. But only a few will catch your heart…pursue those.