Strathmore Heritage Days: Day 3 (August 2)

Howdy Chuckwagon Friends,

Happy Sunday! With a few more bodies in our camp, this means things are a little busier but a whole lot more fun. We have all three of our kids here, Amy, Kaylee and Cody, our grandson Coy, our son-in-law Chris, and Cody’s girlfriend Allie. Our good friend Paul is here too with his daughter Carrie and her daughter Anna. Oh, and I can’t forget my so-called adopted daughter Candice too. With all this crew around, my time in the barn pretty much becomes nil. They look after things really well.

This leaves me to tend to the meals. It’s worked out pretty good the last two days. I dug my heels in and used up all my food in the refrigerator and freezer. It’s amazing the things you can put together when you put your mind to it. Nobody complains and they go away with their tummies full. The work gets done so it’s a pretty good trade.

A DQ Treat

A DQ treat

On hot days such as the ones we’ve been having, Rick scooped up a few kids and snuck off to the local Dairy Queen for a nice cold treat. The kids loved it!

A Crappy Move

A crappy move

When things have to be done, no job is too big or to small. Just call the retired vac truck operator. I’m not quite sure if I would be trusting him to be going in the portable unit as he attempts to move it.

Fixin the Wagon

Fixin’ the wagon

As the first few heats are going, last-minute checks happen on the wagon. Just a good safety measure.

Tales on the Trail

Tales on the trail

And then there are always time for jokes, pranks, tales and laughter. Good for the Team 23 moral.

Coming off the 2 barrel tonight, Rick hooked the same outfit of Left Leader Spirit, Right Leader Spin, Left Wheel Keenin and Right Wheel Zorba. With Keenin being a newer horse, these runs are important for him. So far he’s doing pretty good but still needs some work. But from what Ricky says, “He’s gonna be a good one!” Some of the horses are like a good glass of wine…they get better with age.

4 Abreast

Four abreast

All four outfits were four abreast. Then Obrey started to make a move on the back stretch while on the rail. Rick said two wide where he was running was a bit heavy from the watering of the track. Kirk came along the outside and passed Rick to come second. Rick was third and Kurt was fourth. It was a pretty good wagon race.

The Outriders are in Line

The outriders are in line

Huntin him down

Huntin’ him down

Outriders Cole and Dustin didn’t miss a beat, riding Beau and Trixter.

A Happy Little Guy

A happy little guy

This young fella was pretty happy when he received the mini chuckwagon giveaway tonight after our race.

Tomorrow the races begin at 1pm. We will be departing from Strathmore for home immediately thereafter, stay the night at the Ranch and head for Dawson Creek in the morning on Tuesday.

When life changes to be harder, change yourself to be stronger.

Strathmore Heritage Days: Day 2 (August 1)

Howdy Chuckwagon Friends,

I woke up earlier this morning, put the coffee on and enjoyed the morning silence. A few folks are just getting going around the barns at this time. After the horses were fed their oats, Rick was out on the local tractor pushing up the manure into one big pile. The kids got going with the chores. Cody and his girlfriend Allie arrived in the wee hours of the morning. So we scheduled to hook an outfit during track time. Things went according to plan.

After I served my ham and egger breakfast buns, it was time for cleanup. Shortly after, our friend and chuckwagon historian stopped by. Doug is collecting video interviews from different folks along the trail. Doug interviewed me about life on the chuckwagon trail over the years and then also interviewed Rick. It’s fun to reminisce of days gone by.

An interview with historian Doug Nelson

An interview with historian Doug Nelson

The rest of the day was pretty relaxing until I found I was having some issues with my computer. Pop-up viruses, that is. A call went out and Ed Wittchen, our WPCA President, came to the rescue. He came on by and with the aid of a friend in Calgary they got working on my computer to clean it up and install some protection. I think we got  a good chunk of things figured out and I thank Ed a whole bunch for his help.

Canal Bridge Jumping

Canal bridge jumping

While I was dealing with that, the kids from Team 23 and other barn hands from the grounds headed out to the local cannal bridge for some jumpin’ fun! Yes, they were brave and jumped off into the water. They all came back, saying it was a blast. Oh, to be young and full of no fear again.

Helping Troy

Helping Troy

As the first few heats got underway, some from our crew helped cousin Troy prepare for his run.

Law peaking out

Law peeking out

As we prepared our horses for the evening races, Law stood patiently waiting.

The backstretch run

The backstretch run

Our hook tonight off the 1 barrel was Spirit on the Left Lead, Spin on the Right Lead, Keenan on the Left Wheel and Zorba the big grey on the Right Wheel. Cole rode Beau and Dustin rode Tixter. These boys did a great job!

When Rick came in and Cole went to grap the lines to put them straight, they went far over to the right. Rick was out of shape! The team was sucking to the right. When the horn blew, Ricky managed to drive the team around the barrels in a clean state. Our time gave us a 14 on the day. Pretty respectable. lucky mini chuckwagon recipiets

Happy little chuckwagon recipients

Happy little chuckwagon recipients

Yesterday and today, the happy and lucky little recipients came by to say thank you with the big smiles on their face. What a joy this is for me to see.

Sometimes we need someone to simply be there. Not to fix anything or to do anything in particular, but just to let us feel that we are cared for and supported.