29 August 2016
Desert Park Race Day 2016
My journey began with the sawmill's whistle. My Cadillac (with the cold beers, whips, and furs in the back) and I were immediately on our way to Desert Park. On our way to do a little gambling on the only card British Columbia's interior horsemen were able to offer their horse racing fans, due to our province's genuine horse shortage and the provincial Liberal government's incompetent meddling, in 2016.
Left the fucking city straight from work so as to get through Manning Park before dusk - when the the large deer population likes to come down to the highway and scare the shit out of people. Only saw one speed trap, which an approaching motorist making his way into Dope City warned me of with a couple flashes of his high beams. Fucking cops appeared to be in a bad mood too. They all have been since they learned they soon will not be able to confiscate people's stash and smoke it to improve their dim outlook of the world.
It was dark by the time I reached the bed and breakfast I had booked for a couple nights. Once Dale, the owner, had sorted me out, something that takes one fuck of a lot less time than checking into a motel or hotel, I went for a walk in the desert night by the lake. It was on that walk I saw the full moon rise above Anarchist Mountain. When that happened I knew without a shadow of doubt Desert Park would be generous to me as Justin Trudeau is generous with Canada with his Celine Dion like charm. The walk ended at the pub I had been thinking about for four and a half hours in the car.
Had several of the draught cider on offer, Turning Point, and tried unsuccessfully not to listen to the shitcan disco that the fucking pub had thoughtfully substituted for live entertainment. Not the best cider on the planet but a lovely one nevertheless.
Next morning I was up early. Excited about my day at the races about as much as any horse owner is when they wake on Kentucky Derby Day with their horse in it to win it. Coffee was on and my breakfast of crepes with more sides than a box has put to shame every hotel breakfast I have had in my life and put a jump in my step rarely seen these days.
You can never be young again but you sure as fuck can feel like you are.
Drove straight to the racetrack once done to have a look around. If you want peace there is nothing more peaceful than a racetrack once the horses have been returned to their stalls in the hours us beer drinkers and Hell raisers rarely see. Got to see a family of mule deer making their way through the nearby golf course on to the sagebrush that is a feature of the area. A woman out for her walk who knew the deer's habits stopped a car because she knew the fawns would be soon to follow the adults crossing the quiet road.
Went to town then to buy something for Sonja. There was a farmer's market where I found her a couple bottles of wine and a little dress for a grand niece my family is looking forward to further populating a Canada so in love with it's fucking Prime Minister if he told everybody to go fuck themselves they would all do so and take a selfie of themselves to be shared with the world while they were at it.
Got a couple more things for Sonja and found myself an Anvil cd for $5, before I found a great cheap place for an early lunch. Place right where I expected it to be in such a small town - a block off the main drag. Had a Fortissimo cider with it. Fucking brilliant cider that is.
Then it was back to Desert Downs. Paid my admission and went back to my cooler of beer in the car with my copy of the past performances to see what horses I would throw my money at. Hit two of the six races with win bets for a couple hundred dollar profit on the day. Not enough to cover expenses but enough to make the experience a cheap weekend away.
The jockey on my first winner was Sheldon Chickeness who rides regularly at Marquis Downs, my favourite racetrack in the whole wide world. Good to see someone I have only ever seen via the magic of the internet.
I could describe the races to you but I bet you would prefer to either google "Osoyoos Desert Park horse races August 20, 2016" or go to the Osoyoos Times newspaper site to see a very good seven minute video of the day's activities. It shows all the races, including a horse tossing his boy leaving the gate and running the wrong way around the track towards the field of runners heading towards the finish line. The whole crowd held their breath as one waiting to see what would come of that. All the races except the last which was the one that I put most of my money into.
I would like to thank everybody, including the fucking mayor of Osoyoos, who volunteered to put on this year's Race Day. Great job everybody! Thanks to the horsemen from near and far for bringing their horses for everybody to watch. Thanks also to the fine people of Osoyoos who clearly love their Race Days. And finally I would like to thank all the CFAs like myself who love bush racing as much as I do. Hope to see you again.
Later that evening after a few more beer to cool me off I had dinner downtown. The Tragically Hip were playing their last show in far away Ontario. Downie looked thin and tired from the cross country tour. The fucking Prime Minister was there. Fucker rarely makes a wrong move if there is a camera in his vicinity.
A couple I had seen the previous night in the pub were eating and drinking there too. When the show was over they both had tears in their eyes as they made their way to the door. As did I. And I could not give a fuck about the Tragically Hip.
I am glad Anne Murray did not get a brain tumour when she was in her prime. Motherfuck cancer. That is all I have to say.