Home on The Range and Away We Go

Howdy Chuckwagon Friends

Oh, I have thought so much about writing, but just never found the time to sit down and share my stories, until now.  The Month of May has, and always is such a busy month, preparing to go down the road, as well as fulfill all the outside yard duties around the Ranch before we head down the road.  This year was no different from the rest, as I kept myself on full-speed ahead, but still took time for the important things in life.

I retire to bed fairly early on most nights, as my mornings usually begin at 5ish, as I’m an early riser.  I had been laying in bed reading, when I heard these pitter patter little feet coming down the hall way.  I pretended to be sleeping.  My 6 year old little grandson, Coy, left me a note on my night table, along with a little flower.  It read: “I miss you so much, that I have so much fun with you. Thank you for taking good care of me.”  He just melts my heart.

Lego Library date

Date Day at Lego Library

Coy and I spend quite a bit of time together.  I love being a Nana.  One of our special together  times this spring, was our dates going to Lego Library after school on Thursdays.  And most times, we would fit in a Wendy’s frosty stop as well.  Memories cherished forever!

Our other new blessing, is baby Ryker, born to our daughter Kaylee and husband Chris.  What a sweetheart.  He is the best baby, that never cries!  I am so grateful to have Snap Chat, Skype, Email and Facebook to keep up to his growth, while we are on the road.

on stage at Ponoka auction

Ponoka Stamape Chuckwagon Canvas Auction

On May 6th, we attended the last of the Chuckwagon Auctions, for the Ponoka Stampede.  Things went quite well considering the economy in our province of Alberta today.  Grandson Coy always likes to dress up and join Papa  on these ventures.

During the auction, we snapped a photo of Rick, son Cody, and Rick’s cousin Troy Dorchester standing beneath their late Grandfather Tom Dorchester’s Chuckwagon.  You will see this mounted just outside the race track in Ponoka, Alberta.  Cody will race this season on his first World Chuckwagon Tour with the WPCA.   He will be the 4th generation in the Dorchester family to do so.

Rick Cody Troy May 2016

Rick Fraser, son Cody Fraser, cousin Troy Dorchester

If you ever get a chance to attend a chuckwagon race or rodeo,  the Ponoka Stampede must be one of them.  It is one of the best ever, held in the small community in central Alberta, and they put on one of the largest events around, and they do it up right!  There is free camping for everyone, a parade, pancake breakfasts, farmers markets, rodeo day performances, the evening chuckwagon races and so much more.  This year, Ponoka has several different events beginning on June 25 continuing on to July 3.  Checkout http://www.ponokastampe.com for more info.

Codys Chuckwagon

Cody Fraser’s Chuckwagon, ready to roll

The design has been revealed!  Our son Cody, qualified to race in his first season on the World Professional Chuckwagon Circuit this year.  Cody designed his wagon implementing a few things.  The swirls represent his dad Rick’s design, the diamonds represents his late great-grandfather Tom Dorchester’s design, and the stars represent his late Great Uncle Dallas Dorchester’s design.  The 48?  Well, Cody is the fourth generation of the Dorchester Chuckwagon family to race, and is the 8th driver. So proud of our son and excited to see him compete with the best of them.  He will do well.

I was pretty pumped when “Ricky” asked me out on a date for supper before we headed out on the Chuckwagon trail.  Just the two of us.  In his 1972 Chevy!  We cleaned all up and headed to the local Huckleberries Restaurant.  I really wasn’t sure if he was more excited to be with me or to be driving his new shiny white and orange pickup!  Pretty close call!!

As the years come and go, so do our birthdays come and go.  And mine just happens to fall shortly before we head out of dodge.  This year, among all the craziness of preparing to go,  my family and friends helped me celebrate.  My son Cody, surprised me with a special note and a bouquet of flowers sitting on the table first thing in the morning.  Our special family friends the Demer’s and the Hanson’s came by to spend some time to visit.   I was treated to a lovely dinner with 6 special girlfriends.  I had many special birthday wishes on Facebook from so many friends from far and wide.  I got especially excited when I found this gift certificate tucked away from last year, (which I had forgotten about)  given to me by a huge chuckwagon fan and friend.  Best of all it was for the local Ponoka shop, Busted Ladies Lingerie!  It didn’t take me long to head on over with my 2 daughters and enjoy some girl time out.


Fine Wine in Mexico


At the beginning of 2015, at the age of 49, I decided to set some goals for myself.  I had gone through some challenges, gained some weight, and was not happy with myself.  I was never a big believer in goals, but I stepped out of my comfort zone and decided to join a 12 week fitness and nutrition challenge. My goal was to “Feel Fabulous and Fit at 50.”  Well, 1 challenge, turned into 2 and 2 into 3!  I was feeling great and just always needed a bit more.  My challenge was guided by the lovely and very informative Nadine Dumas from the Cayman Islands, all through the world of internet.  I was accountable to someone, I learned so many great things about me, my body, fitness and nutrition.  I must say, I feel great today because of this.  I usually am not one to talk about this kind of thing, but having gone through what I did, I think it is important to share, in order to maybe inspire others in one way or another.  http://www.nadinedumaslivefit.com/  This is the link to Nadine, for any who may be interested in being a better you.  I have no regrets today, at the tender age of 51!

Well the day has come, Wednesday May 18th, our departure day to begin our 2016 Chuckwagon Journey.  Our crew was up and at it by 5 am, loaded and gone by 8 am, to the city lights of our first stop, Grande Prairie Alberta.  We always hope and pray for an uneventful trip, but one never knows whats in store.  This year with the early spring, we have been enjoying our lovely lilac bushes.   I brought some with me in my truck, just to have a little bit of home along the way.


Just outside of Whitecourt AB,  a tire blew out on the back end of our horse trailer.  Thank the Lord, we were only 8 kms out.  I slowly made my way into town to the local Kal Tire where Rick was waiting for me.  Thank goodness he stopped for me, as there was a flat on his big rig too!  With the efficient crew on staff, they had us up and on our way in an hour or so.  But, I must tell you, when Rick and I went in to pay the bill, the man at the till, handed us the paper, and said ” Have a good day!  This ones on us!”  Oh My Gosh!  We couldn’t believe it!  I wanted to cry!!!  We shook his hand and were on our way.  We definitely will pay it forward somewhere along our way.  There are so many good folks in this world today.

raining at the barns Grande Prairiie  May 19th 2016

And the rains came down


And the snow came down

We arrived in Grande Prairie to good weather, got busy and settled the horses with feed, water and straw for their beds.  Today we awoke to dark skies that led to rain, then snow at our feet.  This makes for extra work in the barn, but I’m thankful to see the moisture as the ground is so dry.

Tigger and Me

Put Your Happy On

So as I close to say goodnight, I wish for you to put your Happy On!  I am so grateful for all that I have shared and more!


From the Travelin Trailer

Sue  and  Rick and Team 23



The only way you can truly control how you’re seen, is by being honest all the time.






13 thoughts on “Home on The Range and Away We Go

  1. Happy, happy, happy to see you two on the trails again! Love this Sue! thank you for sharing!

  2. I was so excited when I saw your email. I love reading all of them and I wish you all the best year and safe journeys all the way through. Good Luck TEam 23 and can’t wait to see you in Ponoka,

  3. Dear Sue:
    It is so nice of you to share your life with all of us, and such a pleasure to read, I look forward to reading with my morning coffee! I’m a faithful fan and listen to all the races on the radio, when I can.
    Sue you are absolutely beautiful!
    I hope you have a great and safe tour!
    Will be waiting to read your blog.

  4. Have a great racing season – to your whole family! What an exciting year ahead for all of you. Thanks for sharing the great pictures and wonderful stories along the way. Layna, Chris and family

  5. Good luck this season everyone. I sure hope Cody has a piece of baler twine or haywire on the wagon for Dave!!!! 😉

  6. Dear Sue, Rick, and Cody, and all,
    It is so nice to hear from you. Absolutely get excited when the blog starts up again. So here is wishing you a very, very good summer. Good job, Sue.

  7. Splendid post Sue. Thank you for taking the time to let us all share your journey. And it is a great one. Best of luck to the entire crew this summer.

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