Monday, July 17, 2017

Calgary Stampede

We left Banff very early yesterday morning and headed to Calgary for the last day of their yearly world famous Stampede. We had to get there early enough for a free pancake breakfast, which is apparently a big part of the event. Just about every church and civic organization in the city offers a free pancake breakfast at some point during the Stampede. We warned our kids to only take a polite amount of food, which meant that we ended up taking them out for "second breakfast" afterwards. We finally made it over to the fair grounds in the middle of the morning and the fun commenced. We enjoyed the livestock barns and activities, and then made our way to the indoor arena for the light horse events, including the mini chuck wagon races, which was hilarious and adorable and easily our favorite event of the morning. The rodeo started at 1:00 and was held in the outdoor arena. We stayed for the whole thing, through rain and hail and a sharp decrease in temperature. We were never so thankful for our thrifty ways, which put us way up in the cheap seats, UNDER AN OVERHANG. We stayed dry and happy, while people who paid a premium for better views scrambled for cover. Jeff and I had taken Ruth and Weston to a small rodeo when they were very little, but none of us had ever been to a big pro rodeo, and it was lots of fun to see the best of the best compete for C$100,000 payouts. Later, we watched the heavyweight class of the heavy horse pull, which was just amazing. The winning team, which consisted of a Belgian and a Percheron and their handlers, pulled a load weighing 12,500 pounds 14 feet. Finally, we made our way back over to the outdoor arena for the full-size chuck wagon races. This was a sport we were not previously acquainted with, but it quickly became our favorite. It was rodeo meets horse racing, and it was fascinating. After consuming all manner of fair junk food and after a full 12 hours at the Stampede, we headed toward the Canadian/American border, which we crossed early this morning, after a short night's rest. We are so thankful we got to experience so much of Canada's beauty and that our time in Canada ended with something as spectacular as the Stampede.

Pancake breakfast

Miniture chuck wagon racing

Making friends in
Draft Horse Town

You know a cowboy needs a rope...

Everyone loves a mini horse

Indian Village

Calf roping

Bareback riding

Barrel racing

Saddle bronc riding

Time to bring in the bullfighters

Heavyweight heavy horse pull

Ready for the chuck wagon races

The Budweiser Clydesdales

Chuck wagon race is underway

Playing cowboy

Making my mom proud
with a bowl of chocolate
chip cookie dough!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Say what you need to say