Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Vintage Cars ~ Tranquille on the Lake ~ Kamloops, BC

Sunshine brings out so many great things.  Today is for car lovers especially, who get to see all kinds of car shows, parades, rallies and tours when the sun comes out.  The old cars come out from a winter in the safety of their garage and after some polishing are all ready to show off.  The Kamloops chapter of the Vintage Car Club recently held a Spring Tour at Tranquille Farm Fresh where the public was invited to view 150 vehicles. 

The old Tranquille Sanatorium has visits from Vintage Car Club.
Vintage cars at Tranquille on the Lake
We went out to enjoy the ‘vintage’ at that historical landmark of Tranquille.  This is a great location for something like this, especially considering the vintage cars will be surrounded by history.  The ‘showing’ of the vehicles was set for noon to 3pm, although many of them left earlier, and there were vendors there for those wishing to eat lunch.
Some cars are completely refurbished and others are work in progress.
Vintage Cars on display including 1932 Nash 987
The license plate that is shown on some of the cars are “Vintage” and others are “Collector” so I had to find out what the technical difference between the two of them was, and then there is also “antique” but no plates were seen for that.  The info can vary depending on where you look but it turns out that the general difference is the age and a lot of criteria. 
A coupe is a two door model of long ago days
A burgundy coupe at the Vintage car show
A true antique vehicle was manufactured before Dec. 31, 1915 and carries ‘Vintage’ license plates. A ‘vintage’ vehicle is at least 30 years old and also carries a ‘Vintage’license plate. A ‘collector’ vehicle is at least 25 years old with ‘Collector’ plates and another is a ‘classic’ which would be a distinctive vehicle produced 1925-1948 as high priced and a limited quantity were built but that would carry a ‘Vintage’ plate.  Have I confused you yet?
This bright yellow truck stands out in the crowd
 1958 GMC is part of the Vintage Car show
The distinct differences are determined in British Columbia by ICBC (Insurance Co. of BC) who sets the rules with the Motor Vehicle branch and then determine the classification for car collectors.  This would explain variations with other areas.
this beautiful car is considered 'vintage'
The Vintage beauty with wooden spoke tires
I heard the story that the wheels on these vehicles would be taken off in summer and put into the Thompson River so the water would swell the spokes up and fit better thus preventing the hot weather from drying them out which might allow those spokes to fall out.  A simple solution to a potential problem.
The whitewall tires on the limo are nothing like today's whitewalls.
Packard Super Eight Touring Limo
This Packard Super Eight must fit into the ‘classic’ category as it is a might fine vehicle.  I am sure it would fit the criteria of a ‘classic’ and although I am not sure of the year of this model, these touring limousines were produced in the late 1930’s, early 40’s.  This looks like some we've seen in those old movies.
There is a variety of hood ornaments on the different vintage cars
Hood ornaments adorn the Vintage cars
These hood ornaments, called car mascots in the UK, look like art pieces and can identify the maker of the car.  These are still an important design of any car, to this day and made for a great photo group.  
Comedy skits were performed by the Laughing Stock Theatre Society
Laughing Stock Theatre Society
The Laughing Stock Theatre Society put on a comedy routine that was enjoyed by all.  They also have another show planned at Tranquille in August so watch their web page for more info on that.  
The old Tranquille sanatarium meets the old vintage cars
Long abandoned Tranquille buildings offer great setting for the Vintage cars
The setting was great and for those who wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to see these historical buildings, there were tours held for members of the Vintage Car Club.  I didn’t get the memo but I am sure the public that came to view the vehicles would have been welcome to join the guided tours that were offered after the comedy show.

These vehicles were all once part of the original Tranquille Sanatarium
Fire Hall and vehicles of old Tranquille Sanitarium
These vehicles have all been restored and likely sit the way they may have done when they were new.  The ambulance is a 1952 Austin Sheerline A125, the wrecker is a 2 ton 1945 Ford model 69T and then the fire truck is a 1937 Ford LaFrance.  Both the wrecker and the fire truck are shown as being owned and restored by members of the Kamloops Chapter of the Vintage Car Club of Canada.
For more photos of the Vintage Car Club, click here for the Easter Parade show that we attended and then did a blog page on.

There is more information about the classifications of cars on the VCC site, if you wish to learn more, click here.  Kamloops Chapter has their own page on the VCC site, to learn about their shows and see their calender of events and history, click here.

Tranquille Farm Fresh has lots of events coming up, click here to learn more about those.

For more history on Tranquille, click here, then for another I had done on Tranquille on a previous visit, click here.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Rodeo ~ Deadman Creek Bullarama

It has been so many years since we have been to a rodeo which carries on the tradition of much of the Kamloops and region history. I caught a small ad in the local paper about one happening so we decided it would be a great way to spend a sunny spring Sunday afternoon. 

The announcing booth sits above the rodeo ring for a good view
Terry Deneault sits in his announcing booth at the Deadman Creek Bullarama
We arrived just before the events began on Sunday so we had our choice of where to sit on their very old and dilapidated bleachers.  The sign said we were to use them at our own risk, and that tells the story.  But old creaky benches and no shade was not going to stop us or anyone else there from seeing the Deadman Creek Bullarama held at the rodeo grounds 30 minutes west of Kamloops on Hwy 1, right beside the highway. 
Riders on horseback carry the flags around the ring
The flags are carried into the ring during the anthem
Do not let the name fool you.  There are lots of bulls but there are also horses in this rodeo and several different kinds of competitions involving the horses.  I will try to explain, with the little knowledge that I do have and some research, thanks to Google, about the different kinds of competition that we watched. 
The horse is bucking hard to shake off the rider
Ride'em cowboy at the Deadman Creek Bullarama
In the horse riding competitions, the different kinds mean different equipment is used.  There is bareback, saddle bronc and ranch bronc riding.  All horses, none of whom has been saddle broken, have a belt that is tightened around their belly in front of the back legs which makes them buck even more.  This will be loosened by another rider in the ring so the horse stops the bucking once the ride has ended.
The rider is on the ground but moves quickly to get out of the way
The horse wins on this rodeo round
The bareback would appear to be most difficult, there is very little to hold onto!  One strap that goes around the belly behind the front legs of the horse with the cowboy holding both ends and that is it!  The other arm cannot touch anything so with one hand and strong legs, he must ride that horse for at least 8 seconds to get any points. 
This cowgirl stays on the horse to win the points
Kaila Mussel rides 'Screw' in Deadman Creek Bullarama
The Saddle bronc means they have a special saddle for this ride and that does give them a bit more to hold onto but they must still only use one hand, so it sure doesn’t make it much easier than bareback.  The rules say they must have their heels up above the shoulders of the horse before the horse’s hooves hit the ground on the first jump so as not to be disqualified. 
Getting off the bucking horse after the ride is complete can be difficult
Kaila Mussel prepares to jump off after successfully completing her ride
Each rider and each horse get a mark out of 50 for each ride they complete, so the hope is that the horse will perform accordingly and put on a good show, jumping and trying to get that rider off his back.  They are put into a chute and kept there until all things are exactly as they need to be with lots of helpers making sure, before the gate is opened and the ride begins. 
These horses can jump
Ranch bronc riding at Deadman Creek Bullarama
The ranch bronc riding means that the rider can use a regular saddle and is allowed to hold onto that saddle or a special rope with the second hand during the ride.  This might appear to give them an extra advantage but by the number of incomplete rides, I don’t think it gives a very big one. 
Barrel races are timed to determine the winner
Open Barrel Race at Deadman Creek Bullarama
The rodeo isn’t complete without open barrel racing.  I don’t know if it is a ‘ladies only’ event but there were no men in this competition, although they did have a Pee Wee Barrel race.  This ride means they must circle three barrels then race against the clock to the finish line.  Should they knock a barrel over, they must add 5 seconds to their time.

Many hoops are skillfully used as part of this native dance
Alex Wells World Champion Hoop Dancer
Alex Wells, a three time world champion hoop dancer entertained us at the rodeo.  He is from the Lil ‘Wat Nation and has traveled the world with his very impressive hoop dancing.
Bull riding is a very exciting segment of the rodeo
Bullriding may be the highlight of any rodeo
These monstrous bulls look a bit like brahma bulls, very large, horns facing back and with the hump on their shoulders but then again, all bulls are huge and they all have horns, and I don’t know ‘bulls’ so I will just leave it at that. These bulls also have the belt cinched around their back belly to make them buck off the rider, who has only a small rope to hold onto.  What a ride that must be! 
The clown is an important part of the rodeo
JC the clown performs outside and inside the ring
Years ago there was the clown who would entertain the crowd when the riders were getting ready for their ride and then distract the bull or horse away from the rider once he was on the ground.  They wore silly outfits and told silly jokes but they had a job to do and did it well.  The rodeo clown was special guest Jason Charters, JC kept pretty busy looking after things. 
Bullfighters are always there to protect the rider
These fearless 'bullfighters' will distract the bull once the rider is off
Today, the clown is still there doing his antics and entertaining us all but there are other heroes who join him in the rodeo arena for the bull riding events. They are called bullfighters. These cowboys would be right there in front of that bull and risk their own neck to make sure that rider was safe and there was more than once that they came too close for comfort, in my opinion.
No one was hurt but the bull appears to want to show who's boss
One of many tense moments at Deadman Creek Bullarama
We did see some spills by the animals, several cowboys took some air and a couple of them even took a few moments to get up after their fall but they all walked away, having been given no more than what those cowboys could take.  Several rides were the kind that might make you hold your breath as you watch the exciting 8 seconds ride but this is their cowboy life.  It takes a lot of hard work and dedication but there are cowboys out there who are keeping the rodeo traditions alive.  We offer a tip of the cowboy hat to all who participate in the rodeo circuit. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Springtime in Kamloops, BC

We love Kamloops, no matter what the season is but some certainly do bring a little more excitement than other seasons.  After spending most of the winter away, we are anxious to see what spring has brought to our home in Kamloops.  Spring is special.  New green, new color and new life.

All five calves were looking at the camera for this photo
Group photo of young calves
Spring means new life in the animal kingdom and this was my lucky day! The cattle industry has a lot of history in Kamloops and spring time is when the population increases.  We visited where there were five new calves and two more expected soon.  I couldn’t have asked for a better photo than this one that shows them all enjoying the sunshine of the warm day. Everybody say cheese!  
The colt stands for a moment for the photo
Beautiful new filly 
Spring also brought this baby into the animal kingdom.  This little filly was born 9 days ago and didn’t make it easy to get a photo of her without her mom but I managed to get one that shows her pretty face and pose.  Looks like she is getting ready to be a show horse already!    
The 9 year olds did a lot of running in these soccer and lacrosse games.
Lacrosse and soccer games in Kamloops, BC
Spring means all the kids are filling the sports fields for games and tournaments.  Kamloops is the Tournament Capital and there are school yards and fields all over the city that are full of kids, young and old playing their sports most evenings and weekends, preparing for future tournaments. 
Tulips are still in flower when the lilacs are about to burst their blossoms
Tulips and lilac blossoms in Kamloops, BC
Spring brings all those pretty blossoms and flowers to brighten up our yards.  Tulips follow the daffodils in my yard and you’ll see them in most neighborhoods as the colorful sign of spring flowers.   The lilacs are almost ready to burst open.   
Hills of Kamloops are green for a short time in spring
A path leads the way up the Kamloops hillside
Spring means green. The hills around Kamloops are green with the look of velvet before turning their desert colors once the sun has a chance to heat the area up in this semi-arid climate of summer.  
I believe these flowers are of the daisy family
Yellow daisies of the Kamloops hills
Spring brings the wild flowers to bloom and clusters of these yellow flowers are seen scattered over many of the hills of Kamloops 
These finch visit our yard often
The male House Finch 
The hardest part is to remember that March 20 is the FIRST day of spring, technically, and we will not wake up to find sunny days, green grass and blossoms galore!  Depending on what part of the country we live in, we will begin to see winter disappear and signs of spring begin to arrive, ever so slowly, at times!  . 
The robin has a great view from his perch high in this tree
Find the singing robin
Today, I heard my first robin of the year, and although he was too high in the tree for me to get a good photo, his song was loud and clear.  He waited very patiently, singing his little heart out, until I came back with the camera to get this photo.  We’ve had other birds spend time in our neighborhood, but robins are rarely seen here anymore.
These two gophers were among many scurrying about the area.
Gophers possibly discuss the spring equinox
March 20, 2013 was the Vernal or Spring Equinox, meaning it was the first day of spring The word ‘equinox’ is derived from a latin word meaning ‘equal nights’.  It is at this time of year that the sun sits directly above the equator therefore creating equal day and nighttime hours. 

There is an old lyric, from an anonymous author, known for many generations that I always think of at this time of year.  “Spring has sprung, the grass has ris, I wonder where the birdies is”.  “Anonymous” used poor English skills but in spite of that, the message is clear.  I think spring has finally sprung!