Arielle: I don’t like saying no to new adventures. Meaning, I was going to go on the two largest rides at the Stampede: the Slingshot and Skyscraper.
I went on these two rides on the last day. I had a hard time convincing someone to come on with me for the past nine days – including my usually brave teammate, Jovita. The Slingshot was great (in the video I am beaming and cheering, while my friend beside me is hanging on for dear life, eyes squeezed closed). The Skyscraper is a whole ’nother story. It’s the tallest ride on the grounds, spinning you from ground to sky, high above the city at 70kmph.
It’s the waiting that kills you. You have people behind you and in front of you – all joining in on your panic, discussing the scenarios of dying on the ride. I couldn’t help but ask the gentleman working there: “How many people have died on this ride?” He replied, unsure, “Zero in twelve years.” I couldn’t help but think what happened thirteen years ago…
Because I cannot explain the intensity of my fear, here’s a play-by-play of my experience:
I changed my mind – I want off.
I can’t get out.
Oh no, we are goin…,
Stop the ride!
Hey, this is fun!
This is going to be okay!
That is downtown UPSIDE-DOWN.
Oh no, we are stopping.
Please stop swaying.
I’m gonna die.
Tell my family I love them.
Get me off of this.
I regret this decision.
They are going to put us backwards.
No, too fast!
Slowing down – thank goodness!
Yes, I was shaken to the core after this ride, but because I live for this kind of adrenaline, I can assure you I will be on it again next year!
Jovita: Even though I had been dying to see Paul Brandt in the Grandstand show since the first day of Stampede, due to our busy schedule I saw the last possible show on Sunday.
The show was preceded by the Rangeland Derby trophy presentation and a special white hat ceremony for the young international performers participating. The Young Canadians were (as usual) flawless, showing off their impersonating talents; with my favourite part of the show: a Patsy Klein, Dolly Parton, Shania Twain and Taylor Swift tribute.
Paul made a high-flying entrance, but he wasn’t the only one. Hoop dancer, Dallas Arcand, flew in on a golden-lit eagle, landing on the stage with poise and tackling a intricate hoop dance. There was a giant birthday cake and collective Happy Birthday chorus paired with the firework show. Stampede President Mike Casey came on stage after to officially close the Stampede, and I found myself wondering where all ten days had gone!