Wild Pink Yonder has ridden Cypress Hills before, but not with a guide. And certainly not with a guide as knowledgeable and engaging as the ones we had. What a difference that made! (Don’t get me wrong. Cypress Hills is a beautiful place, no matter where you go, but with guides who know the countryside, it’s beyond beautiful!)
We stayed in Irvine, AB, at the rodeo grounds. It was perfect. Horses had individual pens and we people had electricity and running water.
Our first day of riding was Saturday, on the Saskatchewan side of the hills, on land that belongs to a woman named Rosemary Doonan. Rosemary is a delightful 74 years young woman who raises purebred Angus bulls for a living. By herself.
She took us on a two hour ride amongst her herd on her three quarter sections that overlook the Cypress Hills ridge and look down on Maple Creek. Truly beautiful. I wish I’d had my camera with me. (Sorry.)
The day was hot — 35C — but because our elevation was high and there was a breeze, it kept things nice. From that vantage point, we could see forever! Long rolling hills that ended in a ridge that ran most of the way across the horizon. And to the west, a beautiful little town called Maple Creek. After the two hours, we stopped for lunch, and then sent the more adventurous riders off to investigate a “road allowance” that was never turned into a road. That kept them busy for the next 3 hours.
Back at camp, Cookie (aka Carole deSchover) and her trusty assistant, Kevin, were hard at work organizing a roast beef dinner with all the trimmings.
The rest of us sat in the shade, or in front of the giant fan, and sipped a beer or two. Aaaaah, the life of a saddle bum! <grin>