Howdy Chuckwagon Friends!
WOW! Day #10 of the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth in Calgary Alberta has arrived and is completed. The days have really gone by so quickly for us. When one’s schedule is so regimented, and you just know you have to keep getting up early, and staying up late, day in and out, time passes us by. Yet having said that, we have met many new Chuckwagon fans, friends and potential sponsors for the future.
I was pretty happy when my seven-year old Grandson arrived on the grounds. Coy was too. We hadn’t been together for a few weeks now. He brightens our days and just loves life to the fullest and is a gentle caring soul.
As Sunday was our last breakfast together with the Dorchester crew next door, and pack up time was happening, I thought I would be ahead of the game preparing a dish the day before, called Christmas Morning Wifesaver. A delicious meal with everything layered all in one. Your bread, ham, bacon, cheese with another layer of bread, topped with a mix of eggs, milk onion, green peppers and spices baked for an hour in the oven. Quick and easy. Along with that we fired up the grill to cook some hash browns to go with. You know when 10 days of Stampede are here, and you think your losing it. When I was attempting to light the grill this morning, I was turning the leg height adjustment knob instead of the burner dial! Oh my gosh!!! No wonder it wouldn’t light. And it didn’t go unnoticed by the crew either. We all had a good laugh. TAKE ME HOME COUNTRY ROADS!
Normally, we are so busy we don’t get to see any of the Rodeo, yet once in a while we meet some of their competitors as we share the same barn. Rick and daughter Kaylee met professional barrel racer Amber Moore from Keizer Oregon. They got to talking about each others racing profession. One thing led to another, and Amber was going for an early morning ride. She was thrilled to pieces to be able to experience this.
Amber likes to be fast with her barrel horse, so going full-out with 4 amazingly fit thoroughbreds pulling a Chuckwagon around the track at around 60 km an hour speed was an experience of a lifetime. Amber made it to the Rodeo Sunday Showdown here in Calgary and we wish her well.
Chores! Chores! Chores! Our days are consumed with chores. But with a great team day in and day out, they all get done efficiently.
This Calgary Stampede marked some very momentous moments. Outrider Eddie Melville is hanging up his riding shoes for the last time tonight. Eddie is the grandson to the late Orville Strandquist, Chuckwagon Driver and excellent outrider back in the day. The Calgary Stampede recognized and honoured Eddie tonight with a bronze trophy. Eddie was also knownn for organizing the prestigious Equine Award on the World Professional Chuckwagon Association as well as at the Calgary Stampede. Because of Eddies love of the sport, I’m pretty sure he will still be involved to some capacity one way or another.
The other person recognized yesterday and today, was Kelly Sutherland for all the 50 years that he has been driving and competing as a Chuckwagon driver. He’s hangin up the lines after 50 long years going down the trail. The outriders came out to shake his hand during his post parade after his last race at the Calgary Stampede. Competitors are not allowed to race after the age of 65. He won plenty of races during his span of fifty years. I’m thinking he’s ready to sit back and enjoy all his grandkids and great grandkids. And so he should.
Tonight Rick was slated to run in the 7th heat and on barrel two. He hooked Spirit on the Left Lead, Sporty on the Right Lead, Jim on the Left Wheel and Law on the Right. Our outriders were David Bensmiller holding the leaders and Eathen Motowylo throwing the stove. When the horn sounded away they all went. The team started hard and charged to the race, along fellow competitor Mike Vigen.
The race was a good one, and on the back stretch, Rick and Mike Vigen were racing along chatting about something. Rick always likes to make small conversation.
As the day is done, so am I. Tomorrow we will head north to our ranch, unload the horses, laundry and food, and then relax and get some much-needed sleep. As a matter of fact, I better get to bed now as I’m dozing off at my computer.
Until Next Tomorrow
From the Travelin Trailer
Sue with Rick and “Team 23”
P.S. BE CONFIDENT! To many days are wasted comparing ourselves to others and wishing to be something we aren’t. Everybody has their own strengths and weaknesses, and it is only when you accept everything you are – and aren’t – that you will truly succeed.