It has been a busy week thus far. When we departed out of Grande Prairie on Monday morning, it had rained all night long Sunday evening, settling the dust for sure but in turn it made the ground fairly muddy to pack up in . We got away around 11 AM arriving back home on the Ranch by 7 PM. It was nice to be home, see the nice green grass and the lilacs in bloom on the trees.
We were home long enough to let the horses have a good run in the pasture and enjoy the lush green grass. I quickly got the 4 loads of laundry going as I refrained from utilizing a laundry mat in Grande Prairie. It didn’t take long to have a nice warm shower and hit the hay.
Tuesday morning came fast, and we were on the road again. With a refill of oats, hay and groceries, our estimated arrival time in the city of Saskatoon Saskatchewan was 4:30 or 5 PM. The drive was as smooth as clear waters and we landed at the estimated time that we said. Rick and I enjoyed just a little bit of home in our trucks. There is no smell like the lilacs when they come out in full bloom. They may not last more than a day, but boy they sure to smell good. As I have always said, it is just a little bit of home that we can bring with us on the road.
While in Saskatoon, we decided to do something just a little bit different with our sponsorship. We contacted Scott and Laurie about honoring their late son Evan Thomas of the Humboldt Broncos, who’s young life was taken in the tragic bus accident a couple of months ago. We had never met these folks before, but had been given their name through a friend of a friend. When we told them what we wanted to do, they were pretty excited and said yes to the whole idea. Scott and his daughter Jordyn were able to come out the day before the races and meet up with us and meet some of the horses.
One of their favorites was Louie the Grey. And Louie was taking all the lovin he could get as he is just that kind of a horse. Unknown really to the sport of Chuckwagon Racing, Scott and his daughter Jordyn were loving every minute of this new experience.
Jordyn especially like it as she came by right after school to help shovel the manure, fill the feed buckets and top up the waters. Evans dad Scott, reminisced how Evan was the kind of young fella, that never cared for much recognition. That he was a team player, and that he enjoyed more just being with the guys than the game of hockey itself. We’re looking forward to the next three days, to have the Thomas family join us in enjoying what we do, in a full days work on this dusty o”l trail we call Chuckwagon Racing.
Tonight, Rick was off the two barrel in the seventh heat. He decided to hook a couple of new horses in the line up, that Cody had drove a few times. He warned his dad that the left wheeler, Harlington Club was a good one and was a bit hard to hold. Well, Rick said after the race that Cody meant what he said. Rick was pretty excited with how he performed, along with the others as well. He had a newby, Orchid on the Left Lead, good old Speedy on the Right. Harlington Club on the Left Wheel and Bacardi on the Right. Chance Flad held leaders with Ed, and Rory Jervais threw the stove with Air. He had a pretty speedy time, placing fourth on the day. But…………………………………………………….
A little minor whoops kind of happened. As Rick pulled into the barrels, our outrider throwing the stove, calls to Rick “Hey, where’s your stove?” All Rick could do was chuckle, as the stove was still in the liner tucked away safely in the storage area where we loaded it just before leaving Grande Prairie. A minor 2 second penalty was assessed, which then brought us down to 23rd. Tomorrow is a new day, and we will just have to suck it up and move on. The positive about the race itself, was that was our 3rd string outfit ran so very hard and they proved themselves to be more.
With any sport comes judges. Third turn judge is retired veteran Reg Johnstone formerly from the little town of Bashaw. His sidekick is Connor Dorchester, son of Troy, cousin of Rick. He videos the races for the judges to review.
As the evening comes to a close, the horses are all put to rest, the camps are quiet with not a sound to be had, I reflect on my day and realize just how fortunate I am. My life is not free from the many ups and the downs. Yet it is all put into perspective when we have met the Thomas family and their young son is gone. So hold on tight to your loved ones and make everyday count.
From the Travelin Trailer
Sue, with Rick and “Team 23”
P.S. If I were to die tomorrow, what would you say to me today?