I have just returned from God's country!
Mom, her friend, Hedi and I have spent the last 5 days in God's Country. I swear I have not seen such beautiful, picturesque Ranch Country in a long time!
The three of us were taking part in a trail ride aimed at raising money and awareness for Breast Cancer. The ride is 22 days long and covers a big chunk of Alberta, from Waterton to Sherwood Park. Mom, Hedi and I were not able to participate in the entire ride, however we were not going to miss the kick off of this event nor were we going to miss the opportunity to ride in Waterton Park! We signed up for a couple of days of riding, raised some money for a great cause and spent some time in the most beautiful part of Alberta's Ranch Country with some great characters! Among the people I found fascinating was, Amanda Marshall from the hit Canadian TV show, Heartland. (To my American readers, this show is going to be making a move to US TV so if you love shows set in the country, this is one to tune into!)
Tyrell Duce, the outback guide who took the riders through the pass between Waterton Park and Payne Lake was a real cowboy literally dragging unwilling horses across rivers in order to get his charges to their destination safely. There was "Red" the Harness Driving Pro from Claresholm, Kenny, the die hard older man from northern Alberta, tagging along for the entire ride who gave out 22 calibre bullets as keychains to everyone he met. There was Jim and Bev who had once big Car Dealers in Ontario who gave it all up recently to move to Alberta to become "cowboys," a dream they had always had. So many interesting people made the last 5 days memorable, it was fun that the common dream (hope of finding a cure for cancer) was what brought us all together.
As we drove and rode through ranch country, sharing our adventures with real cow hands, farmers and ranchers, my heart ached. I had always imagined that I would truly have made a life of my own out in Ranch Country with a rancher husband on a huge stretch of land, riding and roping daily as a part of Ranch life. That was Plan A and Lord knows the heart has a plan of it's own, mine falling helplessly in love with a tal,l blond haired, blue eyed hockey playing, rum selling hottie who knew nothing of horses and ranch life. I followed this man to the big city, insisting we live on the edge of it. I am happy here with our puppy and our Country style home, my horse just a short drive away, however my heart still aches for more open spaces, more animals and more ropin and ridin! Marty, looks sexy in a cowboy hat and he even owns cowboy boots. He busts them out f the closet every July for the Calgary Stampede and he struts up and down the streets of downtown in his snap up long sleeved western shirt, his blong hair poking out of his straw hat and I see his heart wrap around the idea of maybe, one day, actually wearing this "cowboy" get up other places, like in a saddle on a horse!!! We may never actually live on a ranch, however I know we will ride through God's Country together one day!!
Mom in Waterton the day before the ride. Yep it was a rainy, cold day!
A lady with big spirit! Pink is the color of Breast Cancer Support!
All the riders heading out, there were 30!
Jane Hurl, the creator of "Wild Pink Yonder" the 22 day trail ride to raise awareness and money for breast cancer. This is her, with a tear in her eye as she watched her "dream" head off into God's Country.
This would have been a really wicked picture, except Mom is making a big face!!
Wild Pink Yonder
Hedi and Ember