On July 1,2009 Canada Day, we left Banff and moved to Calgary. We didn't do much on the first and second day although we went to Costco for groceries and to the Co-Op supermarket ( for those from our old neighborhood there is no relation to our co-op supermarket) for milk and some produce. On the third day we took a school bus from the campground to downtown Calgary and watched the Stampede parade.
When the parade was over we hurried over to the Stampede Grounds and immediatly went to the Rodeo.
We watched all the various events which included Tie-Down Roping, Steer Wrestling, Saddle Bronc,Bareback,Barrel Racing,Bull Riding and Wild Pony Race. During a brief intermission we watched a First Nation(Native American) champion hoop dancer.
We rooted for the American contestants and many of them won. After the rodeo we got back on the school bus and returned to the campground. Upon our return we changed our clothes, got in the truck and went back downtown for a excellent meal at Il Sogno a really spectacular Italian restaurant.
On July 4th we went to the Calgary Zoo during the morning and early afternoon.
Somebody told us there were 4 young great apes (not the one above) that had just arrived from the Bronx Zoo (where we are members) we wanted to see them but they were still in quarantine. I asked why they didn't quarantine us and was told we weren't coming in contact with the local apes only the human ones.
In the evening we got back on the school bus and went to the stampede for the Chuck Wagon races. These are chuck wagons pulled by teams of four horses each. Nine heats of four wagons each race until the semi finals then the 2 heats of four with the highest score race and on the last day four wagons race for the championship.
Between the rodeo and the chuck wagon races 2 million dollars worth of prize money is given out for daily and overall winners. The races begin with unmounted outriders setting the stove and poles in the back of the wagon as it proceeds around two barrels and onto the course to race each other around the track. The outriders mount up and follow the wagons around the track. Knocking over the barrels or outriders who don't finish within several seconds after their wagon causes the wagon drivers to have time subtracted from their score. If all that sounds confusing it is even when you 're there to watch.
On the fifth we drove and parked at the zoo and took the "C" train (an above ground train) to the fair grounds where we went to the Indian Village (First Nation) where we saw a brief ceromony with dancers spoke to several interpreters and Debby went into a few teepees. Then we went to the agriculture tent where we saw agricultural exhibits regarding tomatoes, bison and bio diesel. Since we were from another country the agricultural people invited us to the International room where we had a nice conversation with a New Zealand couple. It was supposed to be for people involved in agriculture to meet people involved in agriculture in other countries but it didn't seem to work out that way.
On June 6th we left Calgary and drove about 80 miles to Drumheller also in Alberta, Driving through the Alberta plains with Canola fields to the right and left of us.
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