Sunday, 13 July 2008

Dinner in the Barn

(It's a Stampede thing)
Yep, in an actual barn.
We should have sat in the driver's seat for our picture, dagummit. I am much more duded out than Ken is, but this was my one special Stampede night and Ken had to dress western for work all week, so he paced himself. He is wearing cowboy boots, you'll have to trust me on that. And his shirt has a pony on it.

Ken and I were invited by his bankers from work to have dinner with the driver of their sponsored chuck wagon, and then to stay and watch the chuck wagon races. The dinner was spectacular, though Ken and I ate ours just outside of the barn at the rain barrel tables.

The best part of the night was getting a tour from Chad Harden, the chuck wagon driver, and learning about his horses. He brings 24 horses to the Stampede, but only hooks 4 of them per night. He considers the racing situation and strategically plans which horses to use based on which barrel he's starting at and the conditions of the field. And which horses get along with each other. I liked the short explanations on the signs next to each stall. (Do you think the bankers are getting enough recognition from me here? Without me actually typing out the name myself?)
The races started with O Canada. The chopper must have been brought down from the army base in Edmonton just for the Stampede, because the Calgary base has been closed for several years.
The races were much more exciting to me this year now that I know what goes into putting together a chuck wagon team.
Plenty of Stampede is cheesy, but I thought our police officers looked pretty great in their cowboy hats.

Too bad that girl over my left shoulder didn't get a tour of the barn, she might have enjoyed the races more if she had.
Ken's stampede experience wasn't complete until he grabbed a giant corn dog on our way out of Stampede Park. I was too full from dinner to buy myself an entire bag of mini donuts (my Stampede must-eat food) but I still managed to leave the Stampede (ful)filled because I ran into a friend on the way out who offered me one from her bag. Yee-haw!


Neighbor Jane Payne said...

I love your stampede posts, Barb. Partly because I've always heard so much about them (my family rodeoed), but even more so because of the details you share. You look so cute in your jeans and striped shirt! It's a great picture of you both.

I'm with Ken--it's easy to eat a corndog even when you're not hungry.

Marie said...

The chuck wagons are the stampede to me. I don't watch them on tv every year, but if I see them I always stop for a couple of minutes.

Dirk got a corndog at Nathan's this week. I just cannot get aboard the corn dog band wagon.

Kelly said...

Looks like fun -- but no ride on the Crazy Flip to end your evening?

Tasha said...

Looks like fun! You look great in your cowgirl duds!

Jenny said...

What a fun experience. That SP of you with the girl in the back ground is a hoot. She looks SOO bored.

Laurie said...

The hat really suits you!

Katie A. said...

I have been seriously neglecting my blog time. You have had some great adventures! I'm jealous. What a fun, fun summer and some great pictures. And happy (late) birthday, Chloe!

Anonymous said...

Howdy partner. Love that Hat!

carlo said...

love your "girl over the shoulder" comment. you are so witty!

you look very cute and cowgirlish in the pic!!

Lucy said...

I've always heard great things about your stampede, and it all looks amazing. Although, I don't know about eating in a barn with horses nearby. I like feeling like my food is a bit more...sterile. You look awesome in your western gear!

Tiffany said...

What a great celebration--looks like you had a wonderful time! I first learned about the Stampede when it was Olympic time there--sounds like a lot of fun!

Michelle A. said...

Wow! Wht a blast Barb! I remember going as a teenager, but it would be fun to go again! You look great in your cowboy hat! So much fuN!

michelle said...

Huh. I don't know if I could get on board with dinner in a barn. You look adorable, however.