but at 8:00 a.m. we were ready and rarin’ to go put on “Tough Mothers”, our Mother’s Day Poker Rally at Waskahegan Staging Area at Blackfoot. (Ground crew for the day was stepson Kevin Thomas, friends Julia and Amanda McPhail, as well as our favourite “cookie”, Carole deSchover and WPY longrider, Joyce Bonner.) And then before we even got out of the gate, we buried the cargo trailer out in the field <sigh>, so had to unload everything (in the rain) and put it in cars and trucks. That, of course, made us late.
But we weren’t too late, and the riders who showed up were courteous. There were no cat calls about our driving skills! It’s amazing the difference an attitude makes. Those riders were optimists through and through … and they were rewarded for it when the weather shaped up around noon. No sun and blue skies, mind you … but decent riding weather, nonetheless.
Amanda McPhail had gone out Friday and flagged the route. Then, on Sunday, she went out and was the check-in for poker cards at Dynamite Lodge. (Thank you, Amanda, you’re a peach.) Meanwhile, everybody else was busy putting up signage and setting out breakfast … and Cookie was learning how to make the perfect pancake on our griddle. (It took a while. <grin>)
Nobody did much in the pink department, so I didn’t give away the Pink Prize (a really cool, solar powered, pinkish-orange metal and glass lizard). Maybe next time, riders. And then, at the end, the nicest thing happened. We let ground crew buy poker hands as well … and both Julia and Amanda McPhail won. Between the two of them they had the top two poker hands, but because we didn’t have much of a turn out, they declined to take the expensive prizes (a $200-$350 solar fencer and an extensive grooming kit). I was touched (and you will be thrilled when they are still available at our next poker rally — in June).
It was also very nice to have Jeanne DesRochers drop by (without a horse) to do the pancake breakfast So, while the day was a bit dreary, the company we kept was anything but.
Breakfast was compliments of Lori Shave and her staff at Sobeys on Wye in Sherwood Park. Pancakes with whipped cream and strawberries, sausage patties and an assortment of muffins. Then there was coffee, tea and orange and apple juice. Nobody went hungry.
It certainly was not our most successful event, but it was a good learning experience and those of us who were there enjoyed ourselves.
And so here are some of the photos from the day.