A new little village has popped up south of Okotoks.
Nope, there aren’t any tiny homes at the High River Rodeo Grounds, but plenty of RVs, campers and horses, horses, horses as the wagons have rolled into town for the annual Guy Weadick Chuckwagon Races June 20-23.
I have been fortunate enough to hang back there a few times and there is no doubt that it is a unique culture. There always seems to be work going on regardless of what time it is — drive by at 7 a.m. and there’s a good chance you will see some chuckwagon driver and his wife out there feeding some horses or doing some chuckwagon racing-like chore.
There’s always something happening but at a pace, well, so calm you are always tempted to start chewing on a down-home piece of straw, and just sit for a spell (be careful of the straw you chew, there tends to be horse manure around…)
It’s also a place where you have to keep your eyes peeled – I have more than once nearly been run-over while daydreaming by a horse being warmed up or a helping hand on a bicycle or ATV going to a chore.
It’s a friendly atmosphere – from two-time defending champion Kurt Bensmiller to the security workers at the gate, they are all helpful. So head on down and enjoy the races. I plan to grab a piece of straw and mosey.