Wild Pink Yonder spent the long weekend at Entrance Ranch, just 12 minutes NW of Hinton. It is a hidden treasure, and it’s owner is a real gem. We had eleven riders, almost all of whom were pinked to the nines. (It was heart warming.)
When we finally got away from home (you knew it would be late <grin>), we hit the worst traffic back-up in the history of the Yellowhead … from west Edmonton as far as the eye could see (turned out to be until well after Stony Plain). I could have crawled on my hands and knees faster, so we headed north and travelled on alternate routes, which helped, but made our journey longer. We didn’t arrive at Entrance Ranch until almost 10:00 p.m.
With the exception of Julia and Amanda McPhail (who were with us), all the riders were there already — campsites set up and horses tucked in for the night. All we had to do (“All” … ha hahahaha!) was set up the McPhail’s outfitter’s tent and cots, get their wood burning stove going and put our horses away for the night. That took until 1:00 a.m. Then we all crashed.
Good little cooks that we were, we were up at 6:30 a.m. to get the coffee going and start the grills. Soon enough our riders moseyed into camp for breakfast around a roaring campfire that took the dew off their socks and the chill out of their bones.
The plan was that after breakfast, the riders would go with our host, Rocky, for a two-hour ride around Entrance Ranch. They’d return to camp for lunch and then take off again for a four or five hour afternoon ride. But first, they had to go “pink up” for the pinkification judging.
Man, did we have pink! We even had a horse trailer that had bras tied all over the outside of it … up the ladder … across the tailgate … along the sides. Apparently a lot of people out on the highways honked and gave them the thumbs up. (Next time we’ll have to get them to write “Wild Pink Yonder” on the sides too!) I wish I could find the picture of the horse trailer. It was a classic! But here are the horses and riders. I think the only ones not in pink are our host, Rocky (far right) and his hired hand (second from the right).
I’m not exactly sure why I don’t have a picture of Tyler. This guy went all out. His hair was dyed bright pink! We asked how he managed it. Turns out he had to bleach his hair out first and then apply the pink dye … so this is not some “It’ll wash out” thing! It’s here for the long run! Way to go, Tyler!
There was so much pink that I had to change the rules! There was to be one winner in the pinkification department. I wound up awarding six!
And then, away they went. From all accounts, the riding (both morning and afternoon) was excellent. Beautiful trails. Tons of forest. Great views of the Rocky Mountains and the Athabasca River down below. This is foothills riding at its finest.
When the day’s riding was done, they put their horses away and came back to camp where we had chili, corn on the cob, Caesar salad and cheese cake waiting for them. We all sat around the fire for a while after dinner, but everybody was pretty tired so they crawled away relatively early.
All that remained was to clean up after dinner, get ready for the morning and slide into bed ourselves. Mission accomplished by 1:00 a.m.