Howdy Chuckwagon Friends
Just before we departed north to Grande Prairie, Alberta for our first stop on the World Professional Chuckwagon Tour, we had one last practice session which turned out to be such a beautiful day. I was busy packing while the crew was outside doing their thing, when I heard that the neighbors had stopped by, bringing some relatives for a ride and to catch an insight on just what we do.
Our grandson got right in there to help his Papa drive the team. I wasn`t the only photographer taking photos. My friend Karen brought out her Nikon and managed to get few action shots too.
There are always last-minute things to finish up with before we head on out. One of them this year was applying some new special decals onto our liner that transports our horses. Foss and Preston, from Signs and Graphics by Foss and Sons her in Wetaskiwin, came to the Ranch and did great job aligning them in a straight line for all to see.
When the final decal had been applied, it was a very proud moment to observe. The Dorchester heritage from Rick`s family in the chuckwagon world goes back many years. Rick`s grandfather was the great Tom Dorchester. He was quite the character. Rick`s dad, Dave Lewis also drove chuckwagons and was a world champion. He had married Rick`s mom, Joan Dorchester, (Tom and Joy`s daughter) back in 1969. Growing up in the Chuckwagon World, Rick had always had an interest in the lifestyle, first outriding, then switching to the driver’s seat. Our son Cody, taught by his dad, has a very natural talent up in the box driving four horses and we could not be more proud of him and his accomplishments thus far.
The day had finally arrived. The pitch forks, feed, ponies and trailer were all packed and it was time to hit the road. We like to get an early start on the day as the trip usually takes us approximately 7 hours which includes a couple of stops to fuel up and also to give the horses a rest from travelling.
We arrived onto the racing grounds at Evergreen Park situated just outside the city limits of Grande Prairie, sometime around 3 pm. The trip was uneventful and the weather was great for traveling. All the horses traveled very well in the fully air-conditioned unit and were happy to get out to run around and stretch their legs, as were we…….the crew of“Team 23“.
Grande Prairie is one of the most beautiful stops on our tour. Evergreen Park here, is an amazing place with sand, surrounded by evergreens which protect us from the winds and plenty of room for all. There are many shed rows of box-stalls here, so several of the competitors utilize them while we are here.
Once we got settled in, it was time to blow out the teams. This means, after all the training and exercise to which we have done with the horses throughout April and May, it was time to go “Full throttle!“. If you like speed, it’s a thrill of a lifetime. Our crew member, Duncan who is from Australia, was smiling ear to ear after the first run in the box. He has never before experienced anything as exciting as this. I think he`s hooked and is sticking around for a bit.
It doesn`t matter where you are, birthdays can be celebrated anywhere. And our crew member Karina from out east, said good-bye to the “teens“ and welcomed in the “twenties“. We surprised her with a cake and a bag of goodies too. And I believe, each and every one of us like to be recognized when our birthday comes around, even if we don`t say so. It just gives us that warm and fuzzy feeling inside to know someone cares.
Over the last few years, I`ve taken my health and fitness up a few notches. As I have gotten older and now have couple of awesome grandkids, I know I want to be here for them, to enjoy time with them for many years to come. So, with this concept in mind, on my journey to a healthy body, I decided to train for a 5 km run which just happened to land on Saturday May 27th while we are in Grande Prairie. Our good friend Keith also signed up for the race, but had a bit tougher trail to tread.
Keith brought his little grandson, Caldron along with him. As Caldron can`t even walk yet, Keith pushed him along in the stroller as he ran his race. I think this is was pretty impressive. It was a bit of a challenge but he made it work and he even came first in his category. I am pretty proud of Keith and his acheivement.
I tend to think I did okay too, being my first 5 km race event ever. There were 5 other female participants in my age category of 50 – 59. I ran a 27:31.02 putting me in 1st place! In all, there were 61 runners ranging in ages from 12 to 69 in the 5 km race, and that time then put me in 12th overall. I set a goal 3 months ago just to compete in the race. I met my goal and went beyond my expectations of myself. Feels Great! Now I need to sit down and plan my next goal in life.
Back home on the Ranch, a new little bundle of love arrived the day we departed. Our daughter Amy`s mini, Tickety-Boo foaled a little filly of 20 lbs. We missed meeting her by only a few hours. She`s definatley alive and well and is a friendly little thing. Coy never wasted any time getting to know her.
Only 2 more sleeps until the horn sounds for the first race of the 2017 World Professional Chuckwagon Associations first meet, up here at Evergreen Park in Grande Prairie, Alberta. If your unable to come join us live, you can listen on Sirius XM Rural Radio Channel 147 or on Country 99 FM Bonnyville and 96.5 CKFM Olds. Also, Rob Kerr on Sportsnet 960 The Fan, will be on every Tuesday for a WPCA Insider Report. You will want to catch that to follow along with all the action of the 36 drivers of the WPCA.
From The Travelin Trailer
Sue, with Rick and “Team 23“
P.S. The HARDER you work for something, the GREATER you`ll feel when you acheive it.