Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Calgary or Bust!

Dear friends: I am embarrassed to reveal to you our deep, dark secret: We are impulsive. On several occasions, we have taken off on a Saturday afternoon to go grocery shopping and ended up driving for hours along the banks of the Madison River, picking out the perfect spot for our next trout fishing adventure. Since we’ve lived here in God’s country for more than five years and have, each summer, bought fishing licenses without ever wetting a hook, I guess you could also say we are eternal optimists. There’s always NEXT summer, right? There’s plenty of fish in them thar rivers.

The point of this is that back in June, after I returned from spending 10 days on the road, six of them with my family, we hatched the idea of trundling up to Calgary to take in the Stampede. This was mostly inspired by Montana Barn Cat’s ceaseless moaning about how he was just going to DIE if he didn’t get to see some bulls buck soon, but I’d be lying if I denied that we were also somewhat persuaded by the memory of Reese Cates’ immortal description of his adventures in Canada two years ago. Anyway, we thought we’d just mosey up there, spend a couple days at the Stampede and see some draft horses, miniature donkeys, and bucking bulls, spend a couple of nights at the Fairmont in Banff, and then head on home. Since we planned to drive, we didn’t see any need to get our panties in a bunch about reservations and such till about three weeks before we planned to depart.

First speed bump: Montana Barn Cat realized he HAD to attend a Big Deal at the museum where he works. I totally concurred with this, so we pushed our departure date back to accommodate that.

Second speed bump: The Fairmont had been offering a stay-two-nights-get-the-third-night-free deal, which abruptly disappeared off the Website just as we were getting ready to book the room. I’m all for shamelessly indulging the Cat and myself, but that was just a little too rich for my blood. So we decided to cut back to one night in Banff and a slightly more leisurely trip home.

Third speed bump: Just as I was about to get online to make all the reservations and buy the Stampede tickets, Montana Barn Cat realized that—wait for it—his passport had expired. There was no way he could get it renewed in time.

Busted! Or, three strikes and you’re out.

So we gave all that detailed, complicated, in-depth planning the deep-six and flew to Tulsa.

Yes, Tulsa.

We flew down there and attended the Saturday night and Sunday afternoon PBR events at the BOK Center.

I plan to post at some length about the experience, being as careful as I can to avoid revealing much about the results, since I know that some of you plan to watch the coverage on Versus.

But I will leave you hanging with this last tidbit: The second night we were in town, we came back from slogging around through the 100 degree murk that settles over Tulsa like the Black Plague at this time of year, and went straight to the hotel bar for something cool. There we met up with an Australian gentleman who had just flown in from attending the Stampede. He informed us that the rodeo events in Calgary were a total bust, because apparently it poured rain the entire time he was there.

I guess sometimes it’s wisest to pay attention to the straws in the wind.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

(This new computer is going to kill me. Shannon here going anonymous again because it won't let me in again today.)

Wow! That sounds like fun. We've done stuff like that before, too. Maybe someday, we'll be able to do it again.

I can't wait to hear all about it.