Friday and its the second day of racing here in Medicine Hat, Alberta. This morning, Rick was to give a local radio disc jockey a ride in the Chuckwagon during a practice run, but unfortunately, it was raining and they wouldn’t open the track up for use until it stopped. He was going to be live on the radio while he was in the box, going around the figure eight and the track. It would have been neat to hear what his reaction would have been. Maybe he was happy after all that it was raining and he didn’t have to go. Maybe next year it will work.
So much preparation goes into our race days and every day for that matter. Our saddles have been around the track a few times, and they are showing their age. It is important to check over all the equipment regularly, so there are no mishaps during a race. We happened to notice a bolt was missing on one of the saddles stirrups. We got that repaired before the races began. Oh, there are many stories from over the years of little things that have gone wrong. It’s interesting to hear the drivers, riders and family talk about some of these things.
The colored coats hanging in the background are for the driver and his helper. Each barrel that you are on, there is a certain color of coat you need to wear. Barrel one is white, barrel two is red, barrel three is black, and if there are 4 wagons to a heat, barrel four is yellow.
When it comes to the race, its down to business as usual. But throughout our season, our camp likes to have some fun as well. So, my hubby Rick is never short of ideas. He comes by it honestly, as he comes from the Dorchester family. The late Grandpa Tommy Dorchester was quite the character. Today after breakfast, the crew headed out to start the chores. I stayed back to clean up the dishes. I watched them as they headed to the barn. Karina made a pit stop in the porta potty. Well, Rick didn’t miss his opportunity. He drove the Kubota buggy and parked it right in front of the door so she couldn’t get out. He went back to the barn and began the chores. Well Karina made it known that if she stayed in there for long, Rick just had more chores to do. Well you guessed it. Karina was let go in short order. He never thought of that. Oh my, there is never a dull moment around here.
Our Chuckwagon family grew last year by at least a half a dozen members. There were quite a few babies born in 2016. Little Rose watches the races with mom and baby Cash from the fourth turn along the chain link fence. It’s better for the kids, than trying to make them sit on a bleacher and be still for 2 hours.
As the race night drew near, so did the dark clouds above. We brought out the mud pants, rain coats and hat covers to be protected just in case.
All 36 families have many different dynamics to them. All of the ladies on the trail take on different tasks to make things go smoothly. A number of years ago, I remember chatting with a wife of a driver who was deathly scared of the big beautiful thoroughbreds. She didn’t feel comfortable handling them. I assured her that she shouldn’t have to tend to that job, and that there are so many other things that one can do. There are meals to be made for the crew, laundry and groceries to be done. Kids to look after and the list goes on.
Rick had a slower start when the horn blew. But they did go good once they got going. He put a new horse on the Left Wheel. His name is Louie. Beside him on the Right Wheel was Spin, Nickle was on the Left Lead and Ranger on the Right. Andy and Ernie were rode by Rory and Casey. We had a penalty free run posting a 1:03.77 splitting 9/10th with Luke Tournier. This put us in 10th overall in the show.
After tomorrows races, the top 3 Chuckwgon outfits will advance to the final heat on Sunday afternoon to vie for the title of the Medicine Hat Championship.Its always good to see the smile on a young ones face when they have received our mini chuckwagon giveaway after the race.
From the Travelin Trailer
Sue, with Rick and “Team 23”
P.S. Many things aren’t equal. But everyone gets the same 24 hours a day. 7 days a week. We make time for what we truly want.