A Travellerspoint blog


Chuck Wagon Racing on Canada Day

Canada Day

sunny 24 °C

I just remembered Canada Day! I was given most of this day off. We headed out together for a free pancake breakfast at the local Lacombe Co-op store which is a grocery store. They blocked off a aportion of the carpark and had free pancakes, mini sausages, and drinks. We sat at different tables as there wasn't a full free one to sit at. On each table they had a variety of syrups including maple syrup. I ended up sitting next the local baptist minister and chatted to him for a while. I headed home and researched the trip to England and the surounds for most of the afternoon. At 6pm I headed off to Ponoka for the Ponoka Stampede. The day was filled with bull riding which i had seen before in Australia but from 6:30pm onwards they had what is called chuck wagon racing.
The object of chuck wagon racing is for the 4 out riders to throw a barrel and two poles into the back of the wagon and then the wagon driven by 2 people and pulled by 4 horses to get around the track first and all the out riders to arrive at the same time. Here is a video showing this...

Here are some random pictures taken recently.

Posted by classique 15:10 Archived in Canada Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

July 19th

Water World - West Edmonton Mall

overcast 15 °C

Ever since I had first seen pictures of this indoor water park I knew I had to go! It is the largest indoor water park in the world using up about 20 hectres of land. I had the day off and as the water park didn't open until 10:30am I headed off around 9am to pick up Jacob and Jonothan. I wasn't really in the mood to go anymore as the adrenaline and stress of going was starting to kick in and saying good bye to most of my freinds the night before wasn't the greatest feeling! Anyways, after picking up Jonothan and Jacob we continued on and eventually arrived at West Edmonton Mall. We walked in through the shooting gallerya and watched a few gys firing pistols and then headed straight for the World Water Park. As I didn't have any boardies I stopped by te shop at the entrance and bought a pair of boardies for $62 and got a free pass worth $37.50 to get into the water park. We headed in, hired a locker for $7, changed and went into the water park. I cant remember exactly what we went on first but yes we did go down the red and purple water slides. Your back hardly touches the slide on the red one until you get a bit of the way down and you get airborne off each of the jumps on the purple slide! There was a completely enclosed dark blue slide which gave me a rush and was probably my favorite. I also loved another ride where you hopped onto a board and slid down a very steep decline before skipping over the water to the edge of the pool. We headed off to lunch, I had Swiss Chalet and the boys had super sized Mc Donalds meals! We headed straight back but instead of being able to run up the stairs 2 by 2 I was suddenly struggling to get up them. Time really seemed to fly now and suddenly the time was 3pm and the time that i wanted to leave. We went on two more slides hopped into the spa for a couple of minutes and headed to the change rooms. We stopped off at the pet shop on the way out and checked out the puppies which were mostly over $800, checked out the aquarium fish and reptiles. We got to the car at about 4pm and head back to the pastors place. We made good time and after farewells I headed of to Garret and Joannas for a lovely supper!

Posted by classique 14:58 Archived in Canada Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

July 10th

Riding Kananaskis Country

16 °C

Today the alarm rudely awoke me at 5am and after a lot of procrastination I finally got up and ready. I packed a bag with a few essentials including my camera and headed out the door to Kananaskis country. It took about 2.5 hours but I finally arrived in the foot hills of the Rocky Mountains. I was due at Boundary Ranch to go on a horse ride through the foothills. I had been tossing up as to whether I should ride for 2 hours, 3.5 hours or the whole day. In the end I got an invitation to go water skiing in the afternoon so I decided to do the 2 hour ridge ride. I arrived about an hour early as I wished to track down a mountain that I had seen in a picture and after about 20 minutes I still hadn’t found it so I headed back to Boundary Ranch. After checking in I realized that most people present were wearing a cowboy/girl hat and here I was wearing a baseball cap. Oh well… I ended up joining a group of 5 people and climbed aboard my horse whose name was Cash. About 15 minutes into the ride I began to think how much fun this was and what a cruisy job the trail guide had.
Cash turned out to be an absolute laugh. Cash and I were placed about middle of the group which was riding single file and Cash had a major gas problem. From time to time he would squeeze out a little flatulence in between every step and at other times he would just let rip in a big long rip snorting fart. The guys riding behind me started dropping back gradually. Cash let rip again and the horse behind started coughing up a storm. Eventually, one by one, the guys behind me moved past me as they couldn’t stand the smell anymore. NO, IT WAS NOT ME! Many comments came my way and one was “Trail horses aren’t meant to leave a trail like that!” I was laughing my backside off most of the time except of course when he let rip while we were stationary. There were some nice views and lots and lots of pine trees. We had been riding for about 1½ hours and my backside was getting very tender.
I had gone from moving around on the saddle from time to time to standing for long periods of time and stopping. The problem with stopping was that we had to gallop to catch up with the group again which was even more painful then just walking. Needless to say I was absolutely stoked that I had decided to do the 2 hour trail ride and not the 3.5 hour ride or even like the couple I had seen earlier in the day, a whole day riding! As much as I enjoyed it I was extremely thankful when it was all over. When I arrived back into Lacombe it was drizzling on and off so the water skiing was off which was fine with me. My backside needed some tlc!

Posted by classique 11:10 Archived in Canada Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

Friday June 25th

River Cree Rocky Mountain Nitro Jam Nationals 2010

all seasons in one day 24 °C

Today I started work at 3:30am for the morning milking, fed the milk cows and calf’s and finished up at around 9:30 am. I got ready and headed out to Pastor Lewis’s place to pick him and his 2 eldest sons, Jonothan and Jacob, up. When I got there I showed them my new laptop and carry on back pack. We headed off at around 11:30 and stopped off at a Taco Del Mars for lunch where we had some super heated burritos. Look, I like the Halapeno's but these tasted like they had been marinated in battery acid! Boy, were they hot! After lunch we hit the road again on the search for speed. We got off at a few wrong off ramps and then back onto the highway at what turned out to be the right one. After doing a u turn we finally arrived at our location… The Castrol Raceway in Edmonton.

Today was the 1st day of the IHRA River Cree Rocky Mountain Nationals of drag racing. We bought the premium seats so we could sit right in front of the burnout / start line. We sat for about two and a half hours watching the drag racing with the fastest time being a 7.2 second quarter mile. We were all enjoying ourselves and looking forward to the top fuelers which do a quarter mile in between 4 and 5 seconds and the jet trucks which would come later in the night. We headed out to the pits and checked out a whole bunch of the cars and the jet trucks. By the time we headed back to the stands and the crew were working on burning the rubber off the start finish line whilst the dryer trucks where going up and down the track. Finally after 1 hour or so they told us that the water table was so high and the track so hot that the water was starting to come up through the track. They would have to wait for the track to cool down again for the racing to resume. We were told to come back at 7:30pm so we jumped into my car (not literally) and headed to West Edmonton Mall which is one of the biggest malls in the world. We went to one of the food courts and I ordered a kebab. After downing our dinners we checked out the worlds largest indoor rollercoaster and headed back to the car and as we entered the car park a nice big dark blue horizon greeted us. I floored it and tried to get us back to the track as soon as possible but by time we arrived at the track at 7:30pm, which was the official restart time, it was starting to spit. Well we waited for about another half hour or so till 8 pm and then the race night was cancelled. As there were no refunds I must say I was quite stoked that we went early in the day and caught some of the action in comparison to those who went after work.

Posted by classique 10:54 Archived in Canada Tagged events Comments (0)

June 10th

Hutterite Colony

21 °C

Today I finished up work a little earlier then normal and showered and shaved. Phil picked me up at around 6pm and we headed off to a hutterite colony to celebrate a day of chivalry. It is just one of the five days celebrating a hutterite wedding. Hutterites are a communal branch of Anabaptists who, like the Amish and Mennonites, trace their roots to the Radical Reformation of the 16th century. We arrived at 6:30pm and were seated facing each other along one of the long bench seats and tables in the communal dining room. About 150 to 200 people turned out for the evening. The bride and groom to be, sat at the head table with the minister, ministers assistant and several others including the bride’s sister. After the bride and groom were seated several of the men and women sang a song in German for them. Once the song ended the minister said a prayer in German and the food was brought out dish by dish, platter by platter. Each dish/platter that was brought out was divided between 4 people. First we had marinated prawns, and a dish of salad which had walnuts in it. Then the women brought out a pot of wonton soup. Then came a platter with stuffed mushrooms, and dim sum. Then out came a platter containing a whole chicken, carrots, and other veggies. Then we had cake for dessert, all the while we supped on our rhubarb wine which is about 30% alcohol. Most of the food and drink were made on and at the colony and most of it was prepared that morning. After reading my fortune cookie paper and eating the cookie, we headed to our host’s place. I asked our host “When the men get married they grow a beard, what do the women get”, to which he responded, “They get a double chin”. Their homes are basically back to back units set in blocks and are pretty much all identical inside. There are no pictures on the walls and they do not have photographs as they believe it goes against the commandment of having graven images. We sat and chatted for about an hour and had a can of Bud whilst awaiting the visit of the wedding party. Finally they arrived and in raced the brides sister who sat right across from me and said “hey good looking, what you got cooking?” Needless to say… I was tongue tied and twisted! Everyone burst into laughter and every response that came to mind didn’t seem utterable considering we were sitting in a hutterite house. I certainly didn’t expect a comment like that from any of the seemingly reserved hutterite ladies. I took my glass of salute from her and wished the couple a good marriage and sat back down. She offered another glass of the concoction, and I agreed to half a glass to which her response was “your not half a man, you’re a full man” and poured me another full glass. Still staggering from her last comment I downed the glass and by the time I had thought of a suitable response they had already left. We then went for a walk and checked out their ducks, milking parlor and a few other odds and ends before heading back to the communal dining room. We sat down at our seats and began to make an indent into the bowls of chips and dip before us. Before long they began a German song of which the preacher read the line and then the gathered people sang the line and so on. This particular song was very long with about 15 verses. Then the ladies brought out yet another platter with lots of different kinds of berries and another dip. We had hardly finished this when yet another platter came out with pickled eggs, ham, bread and yes you guessed it, yet another dip. By this stage I was stuffed and couldn’t eat any more. And to top it all off our hosts kept commenting that if I wanted to join the commune the bride’s sister was obviously very interested considering the smiles she kept sending my way. Finally at 11pm we hit the road for a late nights rest.

Posted by classique 10:28 Archived in Canada Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

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