A diary of the projects, hurdles, rewards and family life at we recorded at Wise Acres, our former homestead in Horsefly, BC. (Careers and teenagers have forced us back into the city, at least for a little while.)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Visitors, Stampede, Zirnhelt Rodeo and Reunion

Phew...it has been a busy week! We just got back from the Zirnhelt Family Reunion, we're all a little dirty, a lot tired but what a blast!

Just over a week ago, our first visitors arrived...Erich's sister Natalie, hubby Marco and baby Vincent.

It was Stampede week-end in Williams Lake, so we went and checked it out.

This was our first rodeo and we were really quite impressed. We saw our cousins Sam and Robin competing in the wild cow milking and pony express events. Wild cow milking...guess that is self explanatory...

Pony Express is an event kind of like a relay, where the rider has to change horses twice and then race to the finish line. This is Sam and Robin doing just that...

What I found most amazing is that all of these events showcase real, practical skills that ranchers and cowboys use on a day-to-day basis in their work. And, it wasn't until I saw all of the regular folks trying to do the same things at the reunion that I realized the incredible skill involved!

The next week-end was the much anticipated family reunion. Almost 100 Zirnhelts gathered at the Zirnhelt Ranch in Beaver Valley, from as closeby as Horsefly and as far away as Strasbourg, France. We just had such a great time, getting reacquainted with cousins (I think the number was about 43...of just Erich's first cousins their spouses, children) and meeting lots of new ones.

It was a very well organized gathering, with rodeo events, canoe races, a raft building competition, a huge bonfire, live bluegrass music, a barn dance, fireworks, a snipe hunt and food, lots of food.

This is Mary-Lynn Zirnhelt...she trains cutting horses... these are saddled horses specially trained to separate individual animals from a cattle herd.Mooooo!
This was a cow medicating race...contestants had to try to catch a cow and stick a piece of duct tape on it's behind and it's shoulder. No cows or people were injured during this event. Erich's team was proud to win this one.

Can you find the city slickers in this picture?


  1. Hey, my sister lives in WL and my parents were up there for the stampede. My dad had a booth. He's selling some weird exercise without exercising machine gimmicky thing... sigh...

  2. Hello:)
    just found your blog site throught twitter and what a pleasure reading it! I can't wait to show my parents the pictures from the Zirnhelt Reunion. My parents, Bob and Judy Washburn were there and had a GREAT time. I am sorry I missed it.
    Rebecca Baumbach