Dateline: August 23 – Vilna to Bellis

We were 17 riders strong on this leg of our journey and they had a lot of fun.  In places the trail was beside the highway, but when it wandered into the bush, it was beautiful.  Seems it was so beautiful that our cowboy, John Stevenson, got distracted long enough to wind up eating dirt!  *grin*

When they arrived in Bellis they were greeted by councillors and RCMP officers who led them on parade through town … and apparently that little town was PINK!

Once the parading was done, our riders got settled in camp.  Something I just learned about is the County of Smoky Lake’s disaster bus.  Apparently they have delivered it to wherever we’ve been camping.  This bus has washrooms in the back, a huge first aid kit, bench seating and tables … all enclosed in a bright yellow used-to-be school bus.  How very inventive of them!  If there is a tornado (or something) they dispatch this bus to pick everybody up and get them the heck out of there!  It seems our favourite teenagers (Carly and Maddy) camped in there for the night.  

Off they went for an awesome meal of fried chicken, perogies, cabbage rolls and lots more.  Again, the festivities included our Pinkification Judges awarding prizes for the pinkest residence in town and the pinkest person from Bellis.  (What would they be called?  Bellisians?  Bellisites?  Bellisonians?)  And then there was a switch!  They awarded prizes to OUR pinkest teenager, a young lady named Tyra from Andrew, and another prize for OUR pinkest child, Erica, the 8 year old daughter of one of our riders.  (She’s the cutest, nicest 8 year old you’d ever want to meet, and she happily rides in one of our trucks while her mother goes on the trail.  She’s the darling of the camp.)

Another lovely surprise was that Bellis awarded a beautiful horse statue to our Longrider Stacy Whalen for being a breast cancer survivor.  (Stacy is thrilled with it and will cherish it, Bellis.  Thank you for honouring her.)

imageAfter the program we had another campfire with the almost-getting-predictable Pink Shenanigans.  (Riders sure love that — both the camaraderie around the fire and the shenanigans. *grin*)

Honourable mention goes to Lara’s horse for getting caught up in the electric fence and not freaking out.  Fortunately the wire wasn’t hot, but still.  Other horses have not been so calm about it. (Eh, Rosie?)

And finally, John ate dirt and is too sore to continue riding, but he’s enjoying the group enough that he’s hanging out for a bit to help before heading home.  I hope to see you in camp this evening, John.

That’s it for today.  Thank you, Bellis.  Our riders had a great time in your town.



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