Stampede!

“Sometimes you need a little break”—Ms Soapbox’s Mom

The fun started when Ms Soapbox’s sister Roz and her husband Jay came to town.

They flew in from Vancouver where it rains 168 days a year–to spend a week in Calgary enjoying the rain, thunder, lightning, more thunder and rain.

Ms Soapbox and Roz risked a short walk to the store, got caught in a downpour and returned home looking like drowned rats.  This started a selfie war with their sister Elle who heartlessly responded to the “drowned rat” selfie with a selfie of herself and our baby sister basking in the Victoria sunshine.  Booyah!  she said.  We don’t know what that means but we think it’s a taunt.

Yesterday we went to the Calgary Stampede.  Four of us had free passes and zipped through the fast lane.  Mini worked her way through the paying line while Jay and I made bets on which gate she’d come through.  We both lost and Mini refused to go back and do it again.

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Spin Out?  No thanks!

We’re too old for the Spin Out 360 degree rotating claw and upchuck machine (thank god) and headed straight for the agricultural barns where we learned some remarkable things like:

  • How to make pearl barley
  • Dr Oz is wrong. Canola oil is way better for you than coconut oil
  • The agency that regulates manure production has a sense of humour. Its table top display of a miniature feedlot included dinosaurs as well as cattle
  • The Soapbox family, Roz and Jay weigh 1018 lbs, that’s as much as a two year old cow
  • If you’re a human the cattle squeeze contraption isn’t soothing, it’s noisy and unsettling

It was pouring rain when we left the agriculture barn (surprise).  We popped open two ridiculously small umbrellas and headed straight for the International exhibit where absolutely nothing was happening.  We staked out a table and Mini and Ms Soapbox squeezed themselves under a sodden umbrella and went back outside in search of perogies (2 traditional, 1 teryaki), deep fried oreos and chocolate covered strawberries.

After lunch we splashed our way over to Indian Village to sample bannock with homemade Saskatoon berry jam and wandered down the midway looking for chocolate dipped ice cream bars on a stick.  We found chocolate dipped cheesecake and bananas but no ice creams (boo) and settled for pretzels and mini donuts.

Photo Credit: Bill Marsh / Calgary Stampede

Indian Village

That evening Mr Soapbox barbequed jalapeno hamburgers in honour of Stampede.  It was raining so we ate indoors (surprise).

We tried to teach ourselves line dancing from a YouTube video but the Cupid Shuffle proved to be too difficult and we got sidetracked by John Travolta (Staying Alive) and Patrick Swayze (Dirty Dancing) which led us to articles about Jennifer Grey’s nose (the internet really is a sink hole).

Today we walked over to Village Ice Cream in Marda Loop.  We were armed with two umbrellas which came in handy when the skies opened and it started to hail.

We’ve had a terrific visit.  My hairdresser taught us the Cadillac Ranch (sorta).  We played Checkers and Rummikub.  Jay showed Ms Soapbox how to find Netflix using the new DVD player and we crushed Elle in the selfie war–shots of us in cowboy hats, clinging to each other on the cattle scale and saying hi to a bull beat people sitting in the sunlight any day of the week.

Roz and Jay fly home tomorrow.  They think our weather is fantastic.  Booyah!!

This entry was posted in Celebrations, Culture, Uncategorized, Vacation and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Stampede!

  1. Glenn says:

    This is absolutely the best (worst) Stampede update ever. Gotta love life – Livin’ the Dream in 2016!

    • Glenn, the best part was sharing the experience with close family, the worst part was the unbelievably awful weather. Although I guess I shouldn’t complain, we could have had a repeat of the flood of 2013!

      • Jane Walker says:

        Great balancing! Temple Grandin’s machine has always held a fascination for me. Guess you put my questions to rest.

        Since the Stampede was a bit of a bust, I hope there is an alternative adventure that surfaces soon. Enjoy!! 😉

      • Jane, I too was interested in seeing how Temple Grandin’s machine worked, and while I found it unsettling I’m sure it works exactly as she said it would on livestock. Amazing woman. Have you read her autobiography? Her mother deserves a lot of credit for not allowing Temple to be shut away in an institution.

  2. You only write these posts hoping to cause an uproar from the Beautiful, Sunny Westcoast, don’t you? Well you have won the Selfie War – saying HI to a bull – but I have you hands down when it comes to the weather! Still sunshine, always was, and always will be for the rest of summer anyway. Maybe I’ll bring some of our sunshine with me when I visit the Stampede next year! In the meantime, I am wearing my CS apron and thinking of you all. Have a lovely time!

    • Ah Linda (aka Elle) I’ll admit you won hands down this year when it came to the weather. I’m positive we’ll have spectacular weather when you come out next year. I’ve spoken to the weather gods and have been assured it will NOT snow in August like it did a few years ago (now that was downright embarrassing!).

  3. anonymous says:

    “That evening Mr Soapbox barbequed jalapeno hamburgers in honour of Stampede.”

    Didn’t Mr Soapbox deep fry those puppies before serving? Ya know, in honour of the stampede and all? Disappointing.

  4. Baldwin says:

    Seeing Mary Burger (while aging in place on horseback) become the 2016 barrel racing champ in pure laine Alberta mud was special.

    • Baldwin, the 67 year old Mary Burger is amazing. We’ve all heard about the importance of “aging in place” but most of us think that means aging in our homes not on aging on horseback. Incredible woman!

  5. ronmac says:

    Deep fried oreos? Really? We live in a world that is full of evil and wickedness. I get that. But deep fried oreos is a line I thought we’d never cross.

    But I’m not the one who’s Judgement you have to worry about.

  6. jvandervlugt says:

    The Spin Out 360 degree rotating claw and upchuck machine sounds like a blast. Does it turn you upside down? I don’t know about going upside down. Sounds like you guys are having a blast! Awesome. 👍

    • Joanna,the Spin Out 360 degree rotating claw and upchuck machine does indeed turn you upside down…and inside out. I haven’t gotten on one of these devil machines since I almost lost it on that swing thing that goes around in circles. There are some things that must be set aside as one grows older and wiser and crazy fair rides that leave you one rusted pin away from certain death are at the top of my list.

  7. ABCanuck says:

    So looked forward to a week of camping, reserved last January, at Lake Louise during Stampede week only to reluctantly cancel upon checking weather forecasts on Parade Day Friday.

    As it turned out, it was probably the right decision as CBC reports this July, only 18 days in, is already the wettest on record since weather records began in Calgary in 1885.

    This gives rise to the “law of the pendulum”, first published here, which states that a long period of unusual weather (warm, unusually dry late-winter 2016) must soon followed by a swing to the other extreme (July 2016) to even things out to long-term averages.

    • “The law of the pendulum” I like it, ABCanuck. Looks to me like another law came into play…Murphy’s Law, what can go wrong will go wrong, especially when you plan it 6 months in advance. Hopefully you were able to substitute another activity that was equally enjoyable. 🙂

  8. GoinFawr says:

    Deep fried oreos hey? I once tried a mars bar prepared the same way, and it was delicious, so I tried another; the experience was so decadent I felt like Caligula (and not the portion of his character that restored democratic elections, if you get my drift)

    • Deep fried Mars bars…? I’m not sure what prompted the public’s urge for deep fried things GoinFawr, but I think we should all heed your warning. The last thing we need is a bunch of Caligulas running around on a sugar/fat high!

  9. Jean says:

    As someone who lived in Vancouver prior to Calgary (I still go back), the rain this weekend would have been mild to them. At least we had several hrs. in between of no rain in 1 day. That’s a bonus to Vancouverites.

    I lined up for free pancakes at K. Hehr’s meeting spot. For half an hr. After being allowed in, settling down to pancakes and sausage patty, I wondered why there was a phalanx of TV cameras in front of stage, obscuring view of sit down diners to mediocre country ‘n western band:

    Well, PM of Canada Justin Trudeau walked in..speech, handshaking. Yea, I got some real photos without even knowing he was going to show up. I live in Calgary Central riding and simply like his annual pancake brekkies for Stampede.

  10. Rose says:

    I would like to say, Roz had a wonderful time in Calgary, despite the rain. I have been to the Calgary Stampede 3 times in the last 5 years, the first time it rained so hard there was water running up the side of tents and the local radio DJ was tossing raincoats at people passing by; the second time was just after the 2013 flood and this was the third. We went to the stampede under cloudy skies, but by afternoon the weather was beautiful, the mini donuts were tasty and the cows were amazing.

    What is a holiday? Good food, good company and a good time so, yes, rain or no rain, it was a wonderful holiday. Thank you Mr. & Mrs. Soapbox for the invite.

    • You’re very welcome Roz (Rose). You summed it all up in your last paragraph, it’s not the weather, it’s the people you’re with, that make or break a vacation. Until next time let me say Yee Haw. BTW Mr Soapbox tells me that Yee Haw is wrong and the correct Calgary Stampede expression is Ya Hoo!!! I’m opening the question up to the Dear Readers…is it Yee Haw or Ya Hoo?

  11. Jasmine says:

    I’m sorry to bother you, but I just happened upon this blog and fell in love with how informative it is!
    Do you know of and have any thoughts on Bill 202 The Alberta Affordable Housing Review?

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