Bonnyville Chuckwagon Races Day#2

Howdy Chuckwagon Friends,

What a storm that blew in last night here in Bonnyville.  It rolled in around 11 or so, and it came with a vengeance.  The wind brought in hail and rain.  When you live in a travel trailer for 3 months of the summer months, the sound of the hail pounding on the roof top can be a bit deafening at times.  And there’s not much you can do but hope for the best outcome with no broken lids up top.  Thankfully our were all okay.

We woke up to muddy pens and a bit cooler temperatures, enough to warrant a sweater.  The horses were in their element as they all wanted to roll in the mud.  The Chad Harden camp next door were all on guard, preventing them from doing so.  If they did, it just meant more time washing and bathing our big equine animals.


It wasn’t long before the sun began to warm things up and a nice breeze began to blow.  And that was just what we needed to dry up all the land around the grounds and the race track as well.

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Today, all the ladies of the Chuckwagon Family, were treated to their own special Ladies Day Spa, put on by many local businesses.  They donated their time, services and products to spoil all of us rotten.  And boy, we sure do enjoy and appreciate it.  From tarot card readings, to a foot bathing spa.  To hair cuts, massages and games.  A silent auction to which we helped raise $350 to go towards the Rednecks With A Cause.  A group of folks up here in the north raising awareness for Autism.  They also in turn support the Chuckwagon racing at the same time.  The light lunch was just what was in order.  And we can’t for get the mimosa!  A huge shout out goes to all the organizers and the major sponsor, Ross & Sylvestre LLP Chartered Accountants.  Kudos to you all!!!


Chad Harden Leaders

Our second outfit, hooked in the 1st heat on barrel four, consisted of 5 horses of Chad Hardens on the wagon, one of his outriding horses and 1 of ours.  Rick is a pretty good skinner, and was able to drive the team that he doesn’t know.  He got them around the barrel just fine and ended up 29th on the day.  The track is quite heavy so the times have been slower.


Hunting the Track


Headed for Home

It is always a crowd pleaser when the Chuckwagons are coming to the finish line full throttle four a breast.  It may have not happened in this heat, but it was good watching just the same.  The crowd goes wild cheering on their favorite team.


The Job of and Outrider

Tonight our main outfit was set for the 3 barrel.  We hooked Jim on the Left Wheel, Law on the Right.  Nickel on the Left Lead and Speedy on the Right.  Dustin Gorst  held leaders with Stadium and Ethan Motowylo threw stove with Andy.  He is really liking this horse.  It is very important to have really good trained outriding horses.  It can make or break you for a championship show sometimes.  All the outriders have to be in good physical shape to run and mount the horses after the horn blows.  It may look easy to some, but it takes lots of physical strength and stamina.  There have been many great outriders over the years.


Oh Boy!

Nobody likes to talk about those moving barrels.  Tonight rounding the top, the back wheel crunched the barrel.  An added five seconds to our time.  Not what any driver wishes to happen.  We were still able to finish first in our heat, but put us in 31st spot.  Oh well it is what it is.


Special Moments

Today, during the horses time of relaxing in the warm sun, Coy went out into the pen to say hello to his special horse Sporty.  He loves to give him some lovin now and then.  He’s got a very soft heart.  And did you notice his special footwear attire?  Oh how I love kids and how cute and innocent they really are.  They really do make the busyness and problems of life just be put to the back burner for just a little while.


An Afternoon Ride

These two boys from the Irvine Camp enjoyed some riding around the grounds today.  A great way to spend an afternoon.


A Future Wagon Driver

I got this shot in the distance of a young fella from the Logan Gorst camp.  He was right into bouncing on the seat and pretending to driving  the lines.  This kind of shot is very frequent around the grounds throughout the summer.

Until Tomorrow

From the Travelin Trailer

Sue, with Rick and “Team 23”

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P.S.  Fill you life with adventures, not things.  Have stories to tell not stuff to show.

Bonnyville Chuckwagon Races Day #1

Howdy All!

Well, I’m back in the saddle again!  So to speak.  I took a bit of time off from writing as my days never got any less busier.  The Calgary Stampede was a whirl wind as always.  When we returned home to the Ranch just outside of Wetaskiwin, Alberta after the 10 days of straight racing, it was time to shift to wedding mode.  That’s right!  Our eldest daughter Amy got married on Friday July 21st.  The family was pretty excited preparing in the days leading up to the big day.


The Beautiful Bride

We had many family, friends and neighbors join us in celebrating the beautiful ceremony of Amy and Chris.


United with a Kiss

The day couldn’t have turned out any better.  The skies were overcast with a light mist falling down.  They say those conditions are  much better for the photography setting.  Our grandson Coy, was as proud as could be seeing his lovely mom marry his new stepdad Chris.


Handsome Lad

The festivities went on throughout the weekend.  Why not stretch it out and enjoy.  And that’s just what we did.  We had so much fun, and very little sleep.


The Happy Couple

I think this was the part where Chris got to have the upper hand, as his groomsmen relayed to him in their speech.  He needed to enjoy it, as it may be the only time from then on in the days to come.

Well they say all good things come to an end, but it doesn’t mean we have to quite living.  It was time to hit the chuckwagon trail once again.  Don’t get me wrong, we do have a lot of fun down the dusty o’l road, it’s just a different kind of fun.  Bonnyville bound is where we were headed.  We had full intentions of arriving here on Monday, but we heard the rains were coming down hard for two days straight.  We held off our travel till Wednesday when the skies had cleared up and the sun came out to dry up the land just a little bit.



We are going to be just a tad bit busier these next 4 tour stops, as Rick, along with Chad Harden decided it was a good idea to put together another chuckwagon outfit to fill one of the two vacant spots where drivers have retired.  (Layne Bremner and Colt Cosgrave) Between the two of them and maybe a couple other drivers, they will put together a team and two outriding horses from now until the end of the season.  This outfit is seated in the first heat.  Rick ran a 22nd on the day with the bunch tonight.

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Our hook tonight on the main outfit  was Bacardi on the Left Lead, Sporty on the Right.  Spin on the Left Wheel, and Cowboy on the Right.  Our outriders were Dustin Gorst holding leaders with Beau and Ethan Motowylo throwing the stove with Andy.  Coming off the 2 barrel, he had a great turn onto the track.  He told me he felt how powerful Cowboy was tonight.  The track was heavier than usual, and I think he runs well in conditions such as this.  At any rate, Rick and his team, surpassed his competitors to finish first in his heat and 6th on the day.  “Team 23” was pretty happy with that.


Love Coy

The best thing about the race, was coming back to the barn to this little gem of a note from grandson Coy.  He had watched Papa’s race from the backstretch.  He cheered loud and clear.  “Papa you are the bestest wagon driver I know out there.  I Love you with all of my heart.  XOXO.  Number Team 23 is the best.”  Kids are the best!




……………so much fun!

And speaking about kids, wouldn’t you love to be a chuckwagon kid?  Tonight, after the races, a bunch of them found these straw bales and the fun began.  They must have played there for an hour or more.  No care in the world.  Our kids were brought up in this lifestyle, and there are many more to come.  They are great kids, with good manners, and all families look out for the little ones.  It couldn’t get any better than that.


All Smiles

Our young little winner of the mini chuckwagon give away came to meet us after the races.  She was one proud gal with her new shiny gift.

The heat today in Bonnyville was very, very warm.  I’m lovin it.  The forecast was to be sunny from here on out till we depart.  But as I finish up this letter, the rain drops are falling.  A mini hail storm came through, and the moisture continues.  Hopefully for not much longer.

Until Tomorrow

From the Travelin Trailer

Sue, with Rick and “Team 23”

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P.S.  Life is not always perfect, but it’s always what you make it.  So make it count, make it memorable, and never let anyone steal your happiness.