Dawson Creek Exhibition and Stampede: Day 5 (August 9)

Howdy Chuckwagon Friends,

Such a busy day for me. With so many extras helping, my day just seems to fly by. I managed to sit for a cup of coffee out at the barn with the kids after breakfast before heading to the trailer to begin the cleaning and packing. Shanise, my niece, helped me clean the trailer and then I headed to the grocery store for another re-load. Made a quick stop to fill the truck with fuel for the trip tomorrow. Back at the trailer, the groceries were unloaded and put away. The fruit was cut up and supper was put into the oven. I made several batches of popcorn on the stove for the trip to Rocky Mountain House. Popcorn is a staple in our household. Everybody loves the way I make it. It’s even better than at the theatres.

No sooner had I got all that done when  the crew was in and out for supper, and Cody was harnessing his hook for the evening. Both Cody and Rick had superb runs.

Excellent Posture

Excellent posture

Cody came flying off the 4 barrel with Air, Speirman, Speedy and Vegas. So much so that he stole the rail from the other three wagons. Rick was pretty excited. I didn’t realize he was sitting where he was until I looked at my photos. A pretty proud father, he is.

Finding `Waldo`` I mean Rick

Finding “Waldo,” I mean Rick

On the backstretch

On the backstretch

Cody and Paul a happy moment

Cody and Paul share a happy moment

Father and Son

Father and son

I love these photos of the guys together. A son learning the trade from his father. How cool is that?

Pulling out from a false start

Pulling out from a false start

Tonight fellow competitor Mitch Sutherland on barrel 3 had a false start. This means his horses jumped ahead after he stopped and before the horn went. This causes a false start and all the wagons pull out and regroup, then come back in again. Rick made sure Cody was able to jump in before he pulled out as Zorba, our grey horse, is very hard to hold. He didn’t want to chance having a runaway.

Charging At The Horn

Charging at the horn

When the horn sounded after they pulled in for the second time around, the horses started hard.


Headin’ to the track

Three of the four wagons got to the track at the same time. Rick’s team had more speed and was able to overtake Gary Gorst by the second turn to take the rail. The horses were just running so fast, Spirit on the Left Lead, Spin on the Right, Zorba on the Right Wheel and Law on the Left.

On the Backstretch

On the backstretch

Ricky held the lead the whole way around. It was exciting to watch. We were hoping for a day money run.

Checkin for the outriders

Checkin’ for the outriders

Because he was so far ahead, Rick was checking back to see if our outriders, Cole and Rory, were within the proper distance as to not get a penalty. They were safe! Beau and Stadium ran hard. We ran a 1:14.32. Ricky held on to the lead for day money, up until the last heat. Then the new Dawson Creek champion, Luke Tournier, and Rae Croteau, Jr., snuck in to beat us. But we will still take third on the day. Best part about winning our heat was there was bonus cash for each heat winner. I just have to figure out a way to get it from Ricky!!! HAHA!

Better get to bed as it will be a very early morning rise. Rocky Mountain House, here we come!

What is right for one soul may not be right for another. It may mean having to stand on your own and do something strange in the eyes of others, but do not be daunted. Do whatever it is because you know within it is right for you.

Dawson Creek Exhibition and Stampede: Day 4 (August 8)

Howdy Chuckwagon Friends,

The countdown is on. In less than 36 hours, we will be headed south to Rocky Mountain House for the last show of the season. My, how time does fly. But you know, I’m ready to be done. I’m tired.

It was a beautiful sunny and hot day today. I spent the day helping out with Olana Vigen. She put together a silent auction to raise funds for the WPCA Benevolent Fund and also to give some assistance to our friend Mrs. Laundry Louise in Strathmore. Louise will be so excited to receive this gift of kindness. I’m excited to deliver it.


Ken along for the ride


Crossing the finish line

Our race evening was good. Cody had a good race but just grazed the barrel enough to have it fall down. Unfortunate…but that’s wagon racing. Cody had a new helper in the wagon tonight. It was Ken Drysdale, our sponsor from Kendal Pipeline from a few years back. Nice to see him back in the box.

Rick was off the coveted 1 barrel tonight. I was crossing my fingers we would have an awesome run tonight.

Our hook was Spirit on the Left Lead, Ranger on the Right Lead, Sneakers on the Left Wheel and Law on the Right Wheel. The horn sounded and the horses heard it. They hit it! The skinner drove those ponies around those barrels in fine fashion to steal the rail. Looked like a clean race to me crossing the finish line first.




The outriders Cole and Rory rode Beau and Stadium, and they came back saying it was good. When the dust settled, we had posted a 9th on the day and are sitting 16th in the show.

We enjoyed some visiting after the races with some special friends and family that stopped by. It’s always good to reminisce and catch up on things.
Brother Darcy with grandson Cash

Brother Darcy with grandson Cash

Ava Lynnne

Ava Lynne

A sticker of Uncle Ricky

A sticker of Uncle Ricky

Just visiting

Just visiting

enjoying a cold one

Enjoying a cold one

Until tomorrow….

A great attitude becomes a great mood, a great mood becomes a great day, a great day becomes a great year, a great year becomes a great life.

Dawson Creek Exhibition and Stampede: Day 3 (August 7)

Howdy Chuckwagon Friends,

I arose at an early 5:30am BC time this morning. I turned on the percolator, had my shower and got ready for the day. Cody fed oats, Rick had a sleep-in morning. We enjoyed a quiet morning at the barn. With making coffee in the trailer, we save a whopping $30 from the local Tim Hortons, as the guys usually show up with those fancy doughnuts too.

Not much excitement to report to you today. Amy and Coy and Kyle and Kiley Rae and their kids headed to the amusement park on the grounds to let the kids go on some rides.





Coy met up with Logan Gorst’s kids and they had fun on some of those fancy spinning, up and down rides. I did that last year, and I tell you my stomach was a little bit woozy afterwards. I’ll leave it for them to enjoy!

Before the races started, the crowd was treated to some kids wild pony racing. This is where three kids to a team hang on to a shank tied to the pony.







When the pony comes out of the chute, they try to control him and one of them tries to mount and ride the little hummer. The crowd loves to watch them. It’s a crowd thriller.

Cody was off the 3 barrel tonight. He hooked Speedy, Speirman, Vegas and one of Chad Harden’s horses. Cody had a good turn coming on to the track three wide.


The start of the horn


Headin’ to the track

On the second turn he pulled and tried to get to the rail but the wagon behind him caught up and was only able to go two wide.  A good race for experience.



It takes team work to get to the track and back, and we sure appreciate all the extra hands that help out here in Dawson Creek with all the extra work having two outfits going out.


Started hard…caught off guard!


Charging hard

Rick hooked Air on the Left Lead, Nickle on the Right Lead, Sneakers on the Left Wheel and Law on the Right Wheel.  We changed things up and put Trixter up front with Cole holding leaders and Andy went in behind with Rory throwing stove.

This was Trixter’s first time up front and I believe he did a pretty good job. When the horn sounded, they started!!! So much so you can see Rick was jolted back a bit. This is a good sign, when they start so hard. He was happy with that. We ended up with 11th on the day and 19th in the overall standings.

Whatever makes you feel bad, LEAVE IT! Whatever makes you smile, KEEP IT!

Dawson Creek Exhibition and Stampede: Day 2 (August 6)

Howdy Chuckwagon Friends,

It was kind of a soggy day here in the Dawson Creek. Not really what we wanted to see. We woke up to rain but then it stopped later in the morning, maybe even noonish. I lost track of exactly what time. What I do know is when the crew came in for breakfast, they were a little bit damp. That didn’t  matter. They still ate a very delicious breakfast of bacon, ham, eggs, hash brown potatoes from the garden and fruit salad on the side.

After Chore Breakfast

After-chore breakfast

Once I got that duty all finished with, I headed to town to stop by the post office and grab a few groceries for the next few meals. Even though I picked up the groceries, it doesn’t mean that my jobs are complete. Once back at the trailer, it was up to me to put things away and begin to prepare our evening meal. I chose to make a big pot of chili. This is one of my favourite dishes to make. It’s quite simple to put together and always delicious eating the end product.

Kyle and Kiley all smiles

Kyle and Kiley, all smiles

This week, we are thrilled to have my nephew Kyle and his wife and kids come camp with us. They are especially thrilled to be here, not only to camp with us but they are also sponsoring our son Cody’s tarp. At the end of the day,  Kyle and Cody are cousins.

A Proud Father Looks On

A proud father looks on


Cody had a very speedy run tonight but when he went around that top one he managed to clip it enough to take it down. So sad! But I tell you what, he is a good driver and is only going to get way better. Someone told me he looks like his Great-Uncle Dallas up in that box. What a nice compliment.

It takes a crew

It takes a crew

Paul and a Pony

Paul and a pony

Tonight the track was a bit heavier due to the rain. We were hoping it would not open up and pour again. And it never did.


A father and son moment

Rick chose Speedy as our Right Leader, Air for the Left Lead, Sneakers on the Left Wheel and Law on the Right Wheel. Bingo and Andy were ridden by Cole and Rory. The team started pretty good  to turn out with Luke Tournier. Rick had tucked in and followed behind but ended up coming through on the home stretch. Never quite got to the wire first but a good run nonetheless. We placed seventh on the day.

They Started!

They started!

Almost Caught Luke at the wire

Almost caught Luke at the wire

Looking forward to a sunshiny day tomorrow.

You create beauty with your attitude, your behaviour, your actions. It’s all up to you.


Dawson Creek Exhibition and Stampede: Day 1 (August 5)

Race day #1 is done and it is history. What a gloomy kind of day it was. Although it did not rain, it sure looked like it could have opened up the taps at any time and get us wet. But it never did.


A banquet waiting for its guests

a bouquet of freshness

A bouquet of freshness

Rick, Cody, Allie and I attended a sponsors meet and greet supper yesterday. I was admiring all the lovely decorations the committee worked hard on for this function. They did a really nice job. It caught my fancy enough to get me to take photos. The ideas may come in handy one day if we have another wedding to prepare for.

Here in Dawson Creek, our son Cody has entered to compete with his chuckwagon in the Western Chuckwagon Association. It has fewer members and gives many of the younger guys starting out a chance to compete and test out their driving before hitting the so-called big league.

A Practice turn on 1

A practice turn on 1

Top barrel Turn

Top barrel turn

A proud father watching his son

A proud father watching his son

Tonight Cody was off the 1 barrel. The practice turn went well. The horn sounded for the heat and away they went. Cody made a nice top barrel turn but then went a bit wide and couldn’t quite make the bottom barrel. Squished it! Automatic five-second penalty. Oh well, there’s always tomorrow.

Cody's #1 Fan

Cody’s #1 fan

Allie loves to have fun. As Cody headed to the track, she jumped in the wagon for a quick snapshot with two thumbs up.

2 young onlookers enjoying the ponies

Two young onlookers enjoying the ponies

Here in Dawson, we get a fair amount of people stopping along the roadside checking out the horses. They love to watch and call out to the ponies.

Our Friend Paul with Cody

Our friend Paul with Cody

It was a very touching moment tonight for our friend Paul. These races tonight marked a milestone for him. For many years,  Paul was involved in chuckwagon racing. Paul helped Rick’s grandfather Tommy Dorchester and his uncles Garry and Dallas Dorchester. Paul has also helped us over the past nine years and now he gets to help Cody. A four-generation stretch. He was one happy camper tonight and proud of it.

A Turn on Two

A turn on the 2 barrel

Our outfit tonight consisted of Right Leader Spin, Left Leader Spirit, Left Wheel Keenan and Right Wheel Zorba. Beau and Trixter were ridden by Cole and Rory Jarvis. The outriding crew did their job. As for the wagon horses and driver…not so good. For some reason, the left wheeler kept crowding the right wheeler Zorba.  Coming around the 2 barrel, Rick missed a line and ran right over the bottom barrel. Sometimes those things just get in the way. As we always say,  there’s always tomorrow.

Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase. You just have to take the first step.