The Wild Pink Year in Review

Wild Pink Yonder is a roller coaster.  Getting organized beforehand is always a crazy ride.  And stressful … but then we hit the open road, knowing where we’re meeting up with “the Pinksters”, and the stress starts to slide away.  We met up with old Pinksters and new ones at Medicine Hat.  Other than my Rosie being heat stressed, it was a good time (especially in the Cypress Hills) … until …

Tilley!  The day sure started out fine.  Sure didn’t end that way!  100 km/hr winds, more than 1″ of rain in less than 60 minutes, amazing lightning that struck a tree and set it ablaze and booming thunder. Everybody was challenged.  We all rose to it though, and each showed a little swagger the next day.  We survived!

But for the most part, we had beautiful sunny days with the wind at our backs and our ponies behaving well.  Towns were friendly.  Some of them went overboard.  (We love that.)  Can’t ask for better … until we reached Edmonton for Trail’s End at WELCA in the river valley.  Saturday wasn’t too bad.  Riders rode the river trails, mounted shooters did their thing, Lord Strathcona’s Horse performed.  The weather wasn’t perfect — cold, but it was tolerable.  Then Sunday happened.  We were completely and utterly rained out, plus frozen and wind-whipped!

But at the end of the day, how did we fare?  Well, we raised nearly $110,000 for Alberta Cancer Foundation.  That, dear Pinksters, puts our total at more than $440,000!  That ain’t no chicken scratch!  You need to puff out your chests for a moment and enjoy the knowledge that without you it would not have happened.

And just today I learned how we’d done here on the blog.  Would you believe that we had 13,000 views in 2012?  There were 88 new posts and 108 new pictures added.  Our busiest day of the year was August 27th with 1,471 views!  That’s amazing!  There was more than one post that day, I think, but the most popular was the one titled, “Dateline August 26: Bejeweled, Bedazzled and Beguiled in Killam”.  We had visitors from 55 different countries!  Imagine that!  Obviously, most were from Canada, followed by the US and UK, but there were others as well.  We’re followed in Europe and the Middle East!  And then there were our valued blog commenters.  Our most active commenters were (in descending order): Peggy Steffen, Donna Rodtka, Kari Fox-Newby, Sandy Shortt and John Samtak (from the US).  Thank you, all of you.  I know now that we get a lot of traffic here, but I didn’t know it then and without you I’d have wondered if I were writing to the wind.

And so, what’s next?  Rusty and I are already working on the Peace Country route.  We’ll be up there talking to towns in January.  And you?  Do your New Year’s resolutions include a resolve to ride with us in 2013?  We sure hope so.  It looks to be an interesting route.

Happy New Pink Year to one and all.

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