Today, I thought I’d share some pictures from my time spent on the road this summer with the Budweiser Clydesdales.
I caught up with them just off the interstate, at the truck stop in Deer Lodge, Montana. They had just come over the mountains from some appearances in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
They were bound for Bismarck, North Dakota with an overnight in Billings.
“Hors d’oeuvres” (a.k.a., hay) at the fairgrounds in Billings, Montana while the stalls were being prepped.
East bound the next day in North Dakota.
Waiting to unload in Bismarck.
Day day three or four in Bismarck. All braided, harnessed and heading out to hitch to the wagon.
*Twice this summer I was blessed with a great vantage point in which to photograph the team. I was pretty excited about that as those opportunities don’t come along very often.
Ready to roll.
While in North Dakota there was a shopping center appearance, a National Softball function, and a few other things that I can’t now recall. Oh! My husband’s parents came over from Minnesota for a quick visit. We took in a tour of an awesome museum and a couple fantastic restaurants.
I took this picture while standing on the deck in the six-horse semi the morning we left. The horses in this trailer, and the four horses in the other, eat their breakfast while the portable stalls they’re kept in during a stay are power-washed and loaded into the back of the four-horse semi.
Four-horse and Six-horse semi’s westbound in North Dakota – Sheridan, Wyoming was the destination. An easy day’s drive. (Wagon-semi just out of the shot, the Bud van was parked with me on the on-ramp).
Dinner with the local Budweiser distributor at the “Pony” bar and grill. The hamburgers…Oh – my – gosh. So good!
Downtown Sheridan – Literally, delivering cases of Budweiser beer to a few local bars. This is what it would have looked like way back in the day, minus the cars, out-walker and “golf cart/manure pick up guys” of course – Oh, and the streets probably would have been bricked…or dirt. So other than that, exactly the same!
Yah, okay. In the interest of not being misleading and spreading bad info, I have to say they probably wouldn’t have driven an eight to deliver product. That type of freight wagon, yes. But the most that was used back in the day was a six-horse hitch or a four, or just a pair depending on the load, distance and width of the city streets. Also, the wagon size would have changed with just a pair. I remember hearing that the two extra horses, making it an eight-horse hitch, were added for impact/wow factor not long after the horses were publically introduced back in 1933. Originally, when they were first presented and for a short time, they were a six-horse hitch. I just had to throw all that out there because I’m a nitpicky person like that. Please no judging, I seriously can’t help myself.
The hand off. The nostalgia of it all doesn’t escape a single person I bet!
Delivery at the infamous Mint Bar. If you ever get to Sheridan you must take a peek inside. The place is a Western icon and full of history. The amount of brands (cattle/horse) on the walls and black and white photos of rodeos, ranching and cattle is just through the roof. Like a darn museum – Awesomeness.
Our guess on the date of this photo (from inside the Mint): 1950-Something. Looks like they didn’t quite draw the crowd on that day as they did this past summer day in June 2015. Hey, either that or they cleared the folks out of the shot for the “Kodak Moment”.
Standing back stage at the Country Music Festival in Sheridan.
The unhitching process as the sun was setting after one of the festival appearances.
From Sheridan it was a short trip over to Cody, Wyoming for the Fourth of July Festivities.
Panoramic of stall display at Riley Arena in Cody.
There were two back to back parades they did in Cody, both in the morning. The first was the Rodeo parade on Friday and the second was the Fourth of July parade Saturday.
The 1903 Studebaker wagon ready for the 4th of July parade.
For both parades I was privileged to be atop the historic Irma Hotel with the announcers. An excellent vantage point for photographing and one I wouldn’t mind for all the parades we attend!
Once the Cody gig was complete we had a two week stay at the home-base in Fort Collins, Colorado. Shortly after we arrived and because it wasn’t but a quick trip from the barn, I got to go along to pick up the brand, spank’n new West Coast Hitch puppy.
Meet April. So named to honor when the Clydesdales were presented to August A. Busch and the public on April 7th, 1933, celebrating the end of Prohibition and with that the beginning of the now iconic, Budweiser Clydesdales. As per the norm with any new puppy on the road she’s a already a big celebrity and huge hit in every town they grace. She’s a feisty, sweet puppy and quickly growing into a great mascot and ambassador for Budweiser. The next time I see her she’ll be fitting into her brass harness and riding atop the Bud boxes on that big red wagon.
They grow up way too fast!
Okay, I’m so not going there.
After the two weeks was up, the hitch headed east to the 75th Anniversary of the Sturgis Bike Rally in South Dakota for three weeks and I went home to Idaho for the same amount of time. Coincidence? Ha Ha. Hahahhahaha… Uh…No.
I caught up with them once again in Billings on my way east to Indiana to put that boy of ours in college. I hung out almost a week there, taking in the state fair with them and catching up with some old friends.
The good news is: A good time was had by all.
The bad news is: I forgot to get a Fair Food Must Have: A Funnel Cake/Elephant Ear.
But the good news is: I didn’t have a Funnel Cake/Elephant Ear.
So between my post here and this one, that was my summer in a nutshell. I hope your summer didn’t involve putting as many miles on your rig as I did mine.