When you are situated just beyond the mountains, one can never really predict the weather to accuracy. It can change in a moments notice and you better be prepared. Many of us have awnings on our trailers, and most of us have learned to never leave them open unattended. On Wednesday evening, a big wind storm came through to which there was no warning except the dust in the distance to the north. By then we had minutes to tie things down and run for cover. Thank goodness it only lasted about 45 minutes and no damage was done that we heard of on the Agriculture Grounds.
Everyone loves a present, and that is just what we received when we returned from our outing on Wednesday. A bag of goodies was left in our liner from a local company called Bar T5 Trailers North Inc. What a generous gift to welcome the drivers of the World Professional Chuckwagon Association. A huge thank you goes out to them.
Over the many years that we have traveled and the many miles up and down the road we have driven, we have had several different folks that have come along side and have given a helping hand. Some were paid employees, others were family and/or friends. One such helper was my brother-in-law Don. This fella was trucker by trade. Back in the 1990’s, Don and his wife, Dana (my sister) and their son Morgan spent many weekends coming down the dusty trail helping out with the many chores that go along with our interesting lifestyle. Don drove our truck and liner with horses, helped harness and rode in the Chuckwagon as Rick’s right hand man. Dana helped me out in the cooking department. Back then we had 4 kids between the 2 families, and then 6 more when my other sister and family came along as well. Those were the days. We have so many great memories from back then, and enjoy reminiscing about them when we get together. One of the things Don always said to me when we were together and I will always remember, “Don’t worry, it will all come out in the wash.” This has stuck with me till today, and will continue for a very long time. Whether it was lending a dollar or two or more, a helping hand or whatever, we knew it was always paid back one way or another. Today, when we pull off the grounds, headed to the next show, I pick up the phone and dial Don’s number, to let him know we are on our way. Thanks Don and Dana for all the good memories past. They will never be forgotten.
Rick’s cousin Troy Dorchester competes as well. He races in heat #4. Brace, another relative of Rick and Troy’s arrived today, and jumps in the wagon to give him a hand. Troy came off the 2 barrel tonight and posted a time to give him a 13th on the day.
I head over to the infield with the outriding horses after the horn sounds of the 6th heat. This gives me enough time to get to the back gate just as the race is finishing. We wait in the infield until it is our time to race, then I give the horses to our outriders, Chanse Flad and Chanse Vigen. Tonight they rode Ed and Ice. They both stood very quietly while waiting their turn. They are very attentive to all the action that is going on around them as you can see in their photo. Their ears are pricked up high, as they see the chuckwagons on the track.
Black is the color of three barrel, and tonight that is what Rick was on. He hooked Speedy on the Right Lead, Barcardi on the Left. Law on the Right Wheel, and Jim on the Left. The skinner got them around the barrels when the horn blew. Kurt Bensmiller got to the rail first. Rick was three wide then pulled in behind the leader. When the dust settled, he crossed the finish line 3rd in his heat and posted a 1:16.32 good enough for 10th on the day and sitting at 9th overall after 2 days of racing.
We couldn’t be more happy to know that this young lady received our mini chuckwagon give-away tonight. She was so excited, and she made it known, she is going to be taking it down for breakfast with her in the lodge to which she is living to show it off. Now how good is that? I think Rick and I might have to top it off with a little visit as well. And by the way, she by no means looks like 95 1/2!
After the races, we met some lovely folk all the way from down under from Deniliquin, Australia . You see, these folks have been touring Canada. They happened to be in Blackie, Alberta and seen a poster for the Guy Weadick days here in High River. Well it peaked their interest and so they came. One thing led to another, they met our friends up in the stands. They were brought back to the barns to meet us. Well we showed them around, they met the horses, sat in the Chuckwagon, got a signed poster and book and even threw the stove a few times.
To Rick and Sue and “Team 23”, this is what our life is all about. Sharing it with others that cross our path. They will go home now and spread the word to what they experienced here in Canada. Maybe one day we will venture on down their way, and see the sights of Australia.
From the Travelin Trailer
Sue, with Rick and “Team 23”
P.S. It’s the friends we meet along the way that help us appreciate the journey.