DATELINE: Sept 1 – Two Hills

My friend, Lara Matechuk, informed me that the ride she did today in Two Hills was the most challenging one she’s done. Ever. The other riders sat around the same table and all their heads were nodding in agreement. They climbed some very steep hills, went through some really big bogs … and saw some gorgeous scenery. They call it Lakeland Breakers Trail. You might want to check it out, whether you’re a horseback rider or an ATV person. There’s a quite place on it where folks stop for lunch. It’s called “The Cougar Patch” (that I highly doubt is a reference to women of a certain age *grin*). Our riders took a break there and then continued on … down the trail marked “Closed”. (They assumed that that meant you needed “real” horsepower, rather than ATV power, to get through, so off they went.)

Apparently one will see elk, moose and deer as well as bears and even cougar in the area. Our riders didn’t see any of those but they did come across bear tracks and bear scat, which had them all on high alert. Anyway, I get the feeling that a number of them will be back to ride these hills again.

That was in the morning and afternoon. Then, just after 5:00, they went on parade. I don’t know where all they went, but they were gone for a long, long time! When they came back they told me about the little Mennonite children who came running out to see the horses and to ask if we were taking donations. They also spoke of their visits to the seniors’ loge and the independent living facility. Apparently those folks had their supper early so they wouldn’t miss our visit. Every town we visit, if we’re given the chance to visit the seniors, we jump at it. It’s one of our favourite highlights. Apparently this was no different. Those seniors who could come out to see the horses did and those who weren’t mobile enough were at their windows. We love making their day brighter — and I’m always aware that one day that will be me. I hope there will still be people around on horses to come brighten my day.

in the evening, we had hamburgers, beans and some wickedly good salads with the locals at their very lovely and beautifully grassed ag grounds. Both the bathroom facilities (with showers) and the kitchen/dining area were exceptional. (If you’re wanting to ride out this way, I’m betting you could stay here.)

After dinner our Pinkification Judges went with town staff to see how the town did in its pink efforts. There weren’t any houses decorated, but many businesses were decorated inside and out. UFA was exceptional, as were the seniors’ lodge and the independent living facility. And what’s up with these post offices? Here was yet another that got special dispensation to pinkify! Sidewalks were painted with “Welcome Wild Pink Yonder” and pink ribbons. And finally, the building where we had dinner (and will have breakfast in the morning) is decorated with pink streamers and balloons.

It was nice to see riders today that were returning after having ridden with us earlier in the tour. And it was great to sit around our cozy little campfire and talk about the tour until late in the night.

It’s been a very nice showing, Two Hills. Thank you for your lovely hospitality, Willie.

Onward and upward!

Next stop: The Blackfoot and Vegreville

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