2015 Montana, Calgary Stampede, Icefield Parkway travel blog

Calgary, AB - Calgary West Campground - site E34

Calgary, AB - Calgary West Campground - site E34, another view

Calgary, AB - Calgary West Campground - site E34, and another

Ft. MacLeod to Calgary, AB 0 - our route - 116 miles

Ft. MacLeod to Calgary, AB 1 - still lots of farm country

Ft. MacLeod to Calgary, AB 2 - coming through Claresholm, AB

Ft. MacLeod to Calgary, AB 3

Ft. MacLeod to Calgary, AB 4 - probably should have turned east...

Ft. MacLeod to Calgary, AB 5 - the outskirts of Calgary

Ft. MacLeod to Calgary, AB 6 - the Bow River

Ft. MacLeod to Calgary, AB 7 - entering Calgary

Ft. MacLeod to Calgary, AB 8

Ft. MacLeod to Calgary, AB 9 - downtown Calgary

Ft. MacLeod to Calgary, AB 10

Ft. MacLeod to Calgary, AB 11

Ft. MacLeod to Calgary, AB 12 - yep, the inevitable construction

Ft. MacLeod to Calgary, AB 13 - the ski slopes at the...

Ft. MacLeod to Calgary, AB 14 - and more constructions as we...

Calgary Stampede Parade 1 - we are seated and ready - about...

Calgary Stampede Parade 2 - some performers running around to entertain us

Calgary Stampede Parade 3

Calgary Stampede Parade 4

Calgary Stampede Parade 5 - the police also are waiting

Calgary Stampede Parade 6 - finally it reaches us, about 45 minutes...

Calgary Stampede Parade 7

Calgary Stampede Parade 8

Calgary Stampede Parade 9

Calgary Stampede Parade 10

Calgary Stampede Parade 11

Calgary Stampede Parade 12

Calgary Stampede Parade 13

Calgary Stampede Parade 14

Calgary Stampede Parade 15

Calgary Stampede Parade 16

Calgary Stampede Parade 17

Calgary Stampede Parade 18

Calgary Stampede Parade 19

Calgary Stampede Parade 20

Calgary Stampede Parade 21

Calgary Stampede Parade 22 - a hearse, complete with casket

Calgary Stampede Parade 23

Calgary Stampede Parade 24

Calgary Stampede Parade 25 - street sweepers, and they were needed by...

Calgary Stampede Parade 26

Calgary Stampede Parade 27

Calgary Stampede Parade 28

Calgary Stampede Parade 29

Calgary Stampede Parade 30

Calgary Stampede Parade 31 - Canada National Park Service

Calgary Stampede Parade 32

Calgary Stampede Parade 33 - Shriners

Calgary Stampede Parade 34

Calgary Stampede Parade 35

Calgary Stampede Parade 36

Calgary Stampede Parade 37

Calgary Stampede Parade 38 - now that's a bull!!

Calgary Stampede Parade 39

Calgary Stampede Parade 40

Calgary Stampede Parade 41

Calgary Stampede Parade 42 - more street sweepers at the end

Calgary Stampede Rodeo 1 - Entering the Park

Calgary Stampede Rodeo 2 - the Midway

Calgary Stampede Rodeo 3

Calgary Stampede Rodeo 4 - on the Stampede Park grounds

Calgary Stampede Rodeo 5

Calgary Stampede Rodeo 6 - the Calgary Stampede Band

Calgary Stampede Rodeo 7 - playing "The Devil Went Down to Georgia"

Calgary Stampede Rodeo 8 - the rodeo begins!

Calgary Stampede Rodeo 9- the Calgary Stampede symbol ablaze

Calgary Stampede Rodeo 10 - saddle bronc rider mounting

Calgary Stampede Rodeo 11 - and holding on

Calgary Stampede Rodeo 12 - bareback bronc rider

Calgary Stampede Rodeo 13 - in perfect form

Calgary Stampede Rodeo 14 - some were not so fortunate

Calgary Stampede Rodeo 15 - his hand was caught in the rigging...

Calgary Stampede Rodeo 16 - what we call calf roping, they call...

Calgary Stampede Rodeo 17 - notice how the horse is trained to...

Calgary Stampede Rodeo 18 - and done

Calgary Stampede Rodeo 19 - this is young steer riding - similar...

Calgary Stampede Rodeo 20 - looks good

Calgary Stampede Rodeo 21 - but it don't last!

Calgary Stampede Rodeo 22 - this is steer wrestling

Calgary Stampede Rodeo 23 - he has to catch him by the...

Calgary Stampede Rodeo 24 - and put him on his side

Calgary Stampede Rodeo 25 - barrel racing - the gals have to...

Calgary Stampede Rodeo 26 - this one was fastest this day and...

Calgary Stampede Rodeo 27 - bull riding

Calgary Stampede Rodeo 28 - all four feet off the ground

Calgary Stampede Rodeo 29 - twisting and turning

Calgary Stampede Rodeo 30 - they dress their rodeo clowns differently than...

Calgary Stampede Rodeo 31 - this one was having at it right...

Calgary Stampede Rodeo 32 - and the rider didn't last long

Calgary Stampede Rodeo 33 - and the bull still wants none of...

Calgary Stampede Rodeo 34 - a drone taking pictures of the crowd

Calgary Stampede Rodeo 35 - this is wild pony riding where three...

Calgary Stampede Rodeo 36 - the pony wants none of it

Calgary Stampede Rodeo 37 - another attempt gone awry

Calgary Stampede Rodeo 38 - and another

Calgary Stampede Rodeo 39 - out of six groups these girls

Calgary Stampede Rodeo 40 - were the only ones

Calgary Stampede Rodeo 41 - to get er' done

Calgary Stampede Rodeo 42 - after the rodeo, a nice cold chocolate...

Chuckwagon Races 1 - getting ready for the chuckwagon races

Chuckwagon Races 2 - opening ceremony

Chuckwagon Races 3 - doing a figure eight around the barrels

Chuckwagon Races 4 - the four wagons are on the far side...

Chuckwagon Races 5 - the leader of this heat coming in

Chuckwagon Races 6 - the other three wagons and some of the...

Chuckwagon Races 7 - some magnificent Clydesdales pulling a very full stagecoach

Chuckwagon Races 8 - the kids even get in the act

Chuckwagon Races 9 - and the race is on

Chuckwagon Races 10 - and we have a winner

Calgary Scenes 1 - University of Calgary Stadium

Calgary Scenes 2 - some of the skyline

Calgary Scenes 3 - one of the many bridges across the Bow...

Calgary Scenes 4

Calgary Scenes 5 - typical downtown street

Calgary Scenes 6 - one of the sculptures around town

Calgary Scenes 7 - most streets have an overhead crosswalk spanning the...

Calgary Scenes 8 - it is a very clean city

Calgary Scenes 9

Calgary Scenes 10 - lots of glass in the buildings - this...

Calgary Scenes 11 - the Peace Bridge in the distance

Calgary Scenes 12 - the Calgary Stampede banners haven't been removed yet

Calgary Scenes 13 - the Lougheed House, a mansion, carriage house, and...

Calgary Scenes 14 - and originally known as "Beaulieu", the French meaning...

It was an easy 116 miles from Fort MacLeod to Calgary, Alberta. Again most of the trip was through farmland so not a whole lot to take windshield pictures of. We managed to give the Mothership a drink at 99.9/Liter or 3.78/gal Canadian which translated to 3.032/gal US after our credit card company (PenFed) gave us the current exchange rate. You got all that???

We are staying at the Calgary West Campground just west of Calgary (imagine that). We have a 30 amp full hookup which is side by side with a unit going the opposite directions so that we share utility posts (water and electric). This makes the other unit about four feet from our living room slide, much closer than we like. This also means that the open area on your passenger side for the picnic table, etc. is also the same space used by the unit in the set of spaces next to yours that pulled in the opposite way. I have mentioned before how much we love side-by-side hook up sites! The site is in the open and we are still able to get a good lock on the satellite this far north. With any luck, it will still work when we get to Jasper. We have good reception for the cell phone which is on Bell wireless, so we can text at will and will limit phone calls to emergencies.

Immediately after getting set up we hunted and found the nearest Wal-Mart Supercentre to restock our fresh veggies and fruit since we had depleted them for entry into Canada. After getting back we purchased our shuttle tickets for the Stampede Parade on Friday. We reserved seating several months ago for the parade as well as tickets for four rodeos and one night-time show and accompanying chuckwagon races.

You may have noticed that we posted more than a few pictures. I might should have split this into two postings but the pictures actually came from multiple visits to the rodeo and I had to upload them the very few times we had good WiFi so it was hard to split them up. But you don't have to look at all of them in one sitting!!! It has been unseasonably hot here, like many other places, and the one air conditioner we can run because of limited 30 amps doesn't quite get the job done but we survived. We expect it to be the same for the next couple of weeks.

No campgrounds up here have 50 amp hookups so we are at their mercy. If this global warming continues many of these campgrounds may have to rethink their electric supply! For those that don't know a 30 amp hookup only supplies 3,600 watts whereas a 50 amp hookup allows 12,000 watts to be used as it gives you two 50 amp lines, so you get more than three times the electricity on 50 amps. Modern coaches are made to make use of 50 amps as they have more electrical appliances instead of everything running off propane and they are larger than the old units so require more air conditioners to keep cool. That's not a good mix when it gets hot and you only have 30 amps!

You definitely want to attend the last two days of the Stampede if possible. Saturday is called Wild Card Saturday. The aggregate scores for all events for the first 8 days of the rodeo are compiled and the top eight contestants qualify for the Sunday Finals where the winner of each event gets $100,000. The remaining eight in each event compete on Wild Card Saturday with the top two in each event also going into the Sunday Finals and a chance to get that $100,000 check!

In the Sunday Finals, the ten in each category compete in a semi-final and the top four go on to the finals. At least that is what happened in all events but the bull riding. Out of the ten riders in the semi-finals only three were able to ride their bull the full 8 seconds so that was all that made it into the final. Of those three this year, one was riding a bull in the finals that no one had ever ridden for eight seconds and he would have most likely won if he had done so, but alas, that bull has still not been ridden for eight seconds! They do have the best of the best animals here for the competition and the owner of the best animal in each event also gets a $100,000 check.

Once the Stampede was over Sunday we spent a little time playing tourist and visiting a few of the local sights Monday before preparing for our departure tomorrow. We pickup Misty at the airport tonight for her two-week stay with us. We will head for Banff National Park tomorrow for a one-week stay.

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