The Phoenix One Journals Stories from the dawn of RoadTrip America
The Calgary Stampede is the world's greatest rodeo, but it's a whole lot more besides. "The spirit of Stampede infects the whole city," explained one native. "Even the bankers wear boots and jeans. Everybody gets to be a cowboy for a couple of weeks a year, even if it's only the urban kind." As you can see from the picture, we succumbed to the Stampede siren and became fair-weather cowboys, too. The hats came in handy on the warm sunny days. You won't see us riding any bucking broncos, though. We're happy to sit in the stands and admire the skill of the professional rodeo stars who've qualified to enter "The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth."
Chuckwagon food is a big part of the Stampede scene. If you play your cards right, you can eat breakfast free somewhere in Calgary every day for ten days. On Monday, we enjoyed a neighborhood breakfast complete with live country music sponsored by a shopping center in northwest Calgary. Tuesday night found us at The Keg steakhouse, where the Stampede special was barbeque prime rib.
After a day at the rodeo on Wednesday, we spent Thursday enjoying the animals on display at Stampede, from miniature horses to a retired cow. On Saturday we visited the authentic Indian Village, where we watched the teepee raising competition, learned about the heritage and culture of the Plains Indians, and met princesses Nicole Yellow Old Woman and Lisa Starlight.
If you like GIZMOS, we have a mysterious device to baffle you from our visit to the Seattle area. We also visited M'Liss Edwards (Megan's sister) and her family in Calgary.
On Monday, we'll be bringing you one of the most remarkable Stampede events of all, the Chuckwagon Races. These wagons, each pulled by a four-horse team,are not designed for serving pancakes, but rather for running flat out around a 5/8-mile track for a prize money totalling CDN$357,000. We hope you'll join us for the ultimate in Stampede excitement.