Saturday 12th August 2000
Had a reasonable night. Rachel woke me up about 7.30am. I washed and dressed and then went for breakfast. Gladys, Harry and Rachel were waiting for me. Had cereal, bacon and egg for breakfast.
Very heavy fog and visibility very poor, however we got ready to go to the rodeo in Barrhead. About 20 miles away. We parked the car and went in for coffee before the parade started. Harry had packed chairs, cushions and blankets in the boot and we carried them outside onto the pavement giving us a grandstand view of the pageant.
Soon it started with a “warning” given by a police car siren. It was led by the Mounted Police, soldiers, brass and drum bands, followed by so many decorated vehicles, cyclists and cartoon characters all doing crazy things balancing on one wheel cyclists, twisting and turning. Cars were throwing candy to the children. I was very impressed with two tanks of the military and when they came by their big guns swivelled round and pointed to us -you could imagine what they would be like in battle.
We then drove to the sports area. First thing we had was a hot dog and coffee. Very tasty. We then wandered about the show ground, watched some ball games – a type of baseball -using a soft ball for mixed male and female and hard ball for males. The rodeo started at 2.00pm we were at the top of the stand sitting on cushions. The National anthem “O Canada ” started the programme and we stood to attention, the men, hats off and arms across their chests – then this was followed by the “cowboys prayer”.
There were several classes in the rodeo, bucking broncos, riding on bulls, roping calves, racing round barrels.
Most of it looked very dangerous -but it is a traditional show for Canadians.
Jacky, the daughter of Harry and Gladys joined us at the rodeo and was such a friendly person. I believe she will come and visit us one day.
After the rodeo was over we watched soft ball and got a better idea of how the game is played – very similar to our rounders but it plays an important part of sport in Canada. We had a lovely supper in Barrhead. in a typical “fast food” restaurant then came back to Assiniboine. Tomorrow we drive to Calgary, our last stop in Canada – it has been a wonderful fortnight seeing so much more of the real Canada than with a tour and listening to Harry and Gladys -married for 60 years and still young in heart and telling us of the early days of the pioneers who have made the country what it is today. “O Canada” forever in our memories.
Woke up at 6.30. Got up at 7.0. Gladys cooked fried eggs, bacon and toast. Left farm at about 8.30 to go to Barrhead for a parade. Gladys drove the 25km.
Got there and it was very quiet. Had hot chocolate in café and went and sat on chairs in the street to watch parade. Started at 10.10. A carnival of floats and displays from businesses etc. from Barrhead. Gladys and Harry’s daughter Jackie and Ed came and met us there.
Left the parade and drove to the rodeo site. Had beef burger and watched some baseball. The rodeo started at 1.00. There was calf roping, steer wrestling, saddle bronc, bareback riding, bull riding and barrel racing. All very exciting- a real experience especially as we were probably the only tourists there. Had a couple of beers from a Budweiser wagon.
When the rodeo finished we watched a whole game of slow pitch which was also good. We left and had a KFC. Got back to the farm where Jacky and Ed were. Sat outside for a while. Caroline rang. Thunder storm in the night but slept well.