The afternoon is winding down and I’m having some beers in
the lounge car of the Vancouver to Whistler Alberta train with country star
Aaron lines, Chuck wagon driver Kurt Bensmiller, and Bull Riding champ Ty
In case you don’t know, Chuck wagon racing is the big event
at the Calgary stampede. You could
say the venue is the Olympics of Chuck Wagon, with a million dollar purse up
for grabs. This ain’t Canadian
Tire money. Within the sport are a
few family dynasties. The
Bensmillers are one such family.
“My mom cooks for all four camps.
My dad, myself and two brothers.
We’re all married now too, so every day we all congregate as a family
and have meals together.”
The Bensmillers definitely have a competitive spirit, and
are taking the Alberta train to the games for three days. “it’s funny,” says Bensmiller. “People come up to me and Ty and say
how crazy our sport is, but we were at the luge today and we think they’re
insane. Then there’s the skeleton
which is even worse.”
Like being at the Canadian finals rodeo, Ty notes how the
games have, “a similar atmosphere you can’t get on television. The best part is the people and being
in the crowd watching, even though you can’t see the whole event.” They both agree the Alberta train is,
“the only way to travel as everything’s at your fingertips, you can move around
and meet people in a familiar Alberta setting.” As crazy as their sport is, if they could pick any sport to
do outside of hockey, they’d be in the snowboard halfpipe.
Ty, Kurt, and Aaron are great of examples of
what makes Alberta, the train, and the games great: the people.