Tag Archive | Donalda

Quick Trip Down Memory Lane

I love Donalda! It was one of the highlights of our tour. The layout of the town. The badlands. The great horse camping facility. The *fab* food done by the caterer — and the way it was done, right out there on Main Street.

And Bruce Gartside. Can’t ever forget Bruce. He was the driving force behind our visit there.

This is the view when you slip out of town on your horse.


Did I mention that we loved the people of Donalda?donalda-hand-prints

This is their phenomenal lantern. You should see it lit up at night. It’s incredibly beautiful.donalda-lantern

Oh, yes! There were a few of us in Donalda that day!donalda-lots-of-horses

Seeing the riders coming down Main Street was a real treat! I wish every day could have had this many riders! We’d be over the million dollar mark in our fundraising if we had.donalda-riding-main-street

One last, parting shot of the badlands. Riders loved this ride.donalds-badlands-1


Judging of the Pinkest Little Town in the West

When I first came up with the idea of Pinkest Little Town in the West, I was really excited. I fully admit that it was somewhat of a take-off from Kraft’s “Hockeyville” (though I didn’t realize it at the time). I thought it was unique and I was pretty sure it would be a winner. I approached UFA to sponsor it in 2010, and the following year, Big Valley Jamboree. After I laid out the concept to them, much to my surprise, they both declined … and then within a year each came up with their own version of it! (“Small Town Heroes” for UFA and “Small Town Saturday Night” for BVJ, though neither has a charitable component to them.) If that saying, “imitation is the highest form of flattery” is true, then Kraft Canada should be flattered by us … and we are flattered by UFA and BVJ!

I wanted the Pinkest Little Town in the West to be fun; but it also had to raise money for breast cancer research. Otherwise, what would be the point? I settled on a combination point system: 50% points for pinkness and 50% points for money raised. Fun — and charitable. I soon realized that the contest was skewed toward smaller towns because it’s easier for them to “pinkify”. Also, the bigger the population, the more difficult it is to have a high per capita dollar amount. On the other hand, the larger towns have the potential for raising more money (though it has never worked out that way).

And so, towns are judged like this:

  • 50% of their total is for pinkification. (A “perfectly pink” town would score 30.)
  • 30% is for their dollar/capita.
  • 20% is for their overall monies raised.

I turned the concept over to another of my very clever stepsons. This one has a degree in business and another in law so I figured it would be easy-peasy for him. “I need a formula, Michael.” His first response? “Jane, you can’t average apples and oranges!” but as he worked away at it, eventually he came up with a means to “weight” these different entities and it’s a formula we’ve used for years now.

So, these are the numbers for the top four in each category.

Pinkification                            Per Capita                               Total Raised

Carmangay 27                            Innisfree $44.65                      Innisfree $9,823

Stirling 25                                    Carmangay $32.95                  Carmangay $8,632

Innisfree 24                                Arrowwood $25.68                 Stirling $6,000

Arrowwood 21                            Donalda $13.21                        Arrowwood $4,827

Then you apply Michael’s magic formula and the top four towns are:

  1. Innisfree – total score 1.63065
  2. Carmangay – total score 1.462215
  3. Arrowwood – total score 1.130417
  4. Stirling – total score 0.806931

Congratulations, Innisfree. You are the Pinkest Little Town in the West 2016. Well played!

I’ve mentioned it before. Though Arrowwood, Donalda, Stirling and Carmangay didn’t win the contest, in the long run, we all win because CRINA will use our “pink money” to find new ways to attack breast cancer.

The next you’ll be hearing from me on this topic will be to advise when Innisfree will have its concert. I hope to see many of you there.

DATELINE: Aug 27 – Donalda/Camrose

Try as I might, I could not find anyone to lead a ride in Camrose on Saturday, so the lovely Becky Clement from Donalda offered to take our riders back into the coulees on Saturday. Everybody was more than happy with that opportunity.

It rained in the night, but it quit by morning so Becky showed up around 10:30 and away they all went for their second ride in the coulees. This one only lasted until 2:30, but it was much appreciated by all the riders.

From there, we trailered up and headed off to dinner at the Exhibition Grounds in Camrose, compliments of the Camrose Kinsmen. Those boys (and girl) really know how to do dinner! And they are great hosts. We had medium rare steak, fab Caesar salad, corn on the cob, potato salad (man, they know how to do potato salad right down here!), homemade Boston baked beans and carrot cake dessert. Mmmmmmmmm. Excellent!

But we had a tire on the cargo trailer go on us, so we had to get back to camp (in the Camrose Regional Exhibition grounds) to wait for the KAL TIRE guy to arrive. He did and that all went smoothly, so we’re back in business.

It’s a cool and moist night and all the riders have gone to bed early. So good night, dear readers. Sweet dreams.

Next stop: chasing cows in Alliance.

DATELINE: Aug 26 – Donalda

The tallest replica of an oil lantern in the entire world is 42 feet tall. It lives in Donalda and is lit every night.

Of all the “biggest”, “tallest”, “whatever-est” statues in towns all over western Canada, for me, Donalda’s oil lantern is the best! It is impressive by day, but at night it isn’t so much a beacon as it is a glow that warms the entire town.

Why do they have a giant oil lantern overlooking their Badlands coulee? Because they also have one of the largest lamp collections in the country! Over 1,600 in total. With them, this beautiful little town is unlocking the past, and lighting the future.

And so we charged into town ready to take on the coulees. Our fearless local guide, Becky Clement, started the ride at 10:00am and then looped back to pick up more riders at 1:00pm. In total, she led the ride for 7.5 hours through some of the most beautiful landscape our riders had ever seen. They were over the moon.

After the ride, I wasn’t sure how a “pink-nic” on main street would work, but when I came around the corner and saw all the pink picnic tables, saw all the people sitting and visiting at them, saw the kids line dancing to music being played by CFCW, I knew that this was going to be one of my favourite stops on this year’s tour — and that was before I tasted the fabulous food prepared by Theresa’s Catering. We don’t often eat this well! She made the best fried chicken you’ve ever tasted and then did great cauldrons of sweet and sour pulled pork to go beside it. There was fantastic Caesar salad, amazing potato salad and macaroni salad, garlic toast … and a yummy caramel dessert.

After the silent auction, we waddled back to camp and did some housekeeping work and discussed the plans (or lack thereof) for the next day. At about 9:00 we jumped in trucks and roared off to … the drive-in movie!

Yes! Donalda has its own drive-in movie in the coulee! As you sit there you can see the cattle up on the ridge above. Our show for the night was “Cat Ballou”, so the comment was made that this would be a 3-D western! *grin* At the end of the movie, they had fireworks. What a great way to end this perfect night!


Next stop: Camrose … sort of.

People are saying: “I want to make a difference. How do I organize to ride with Wild Pink Yonder?”

Not only will you make a difference to women with breast cancer (we’ve raised over $800,000 for breast cancer research), but you’ll have a ton o’ fun doing it! So, what do you need to do to be part of the fun this August?

  1. Register: You’ll find the registration form here.  Fill it out and then snail mail it along with your $50 registration fee to the address you’ll find on the registration form. Don’t like the hassle of snail mail? Then scan and email it to Jane@WildPinkYonder.com and do an e-transfer of funds to me.
  2. Fundraise: There is a paper fundraising form available on the same page of the Wild Pink Yonder website as the registration form. You can also fundraise on-line by opening your own page here. You’ll need to raise a minimum of $100 for each day you want to ride with us. (You’re encouraged to raise more. The top ten fundraisers will choose from some pretty nifty gifts.)
  3. Things you’ll need: Once you’ve gotten this far, there isn’t much more. Naturally, you’re bringing your truck, trailer and horse. Beyond that, on the Rider Information page, we’ve provided a list of convenient things you might want to bring, but essentially we provide everything else — breakfast, lunch and dinner for you, hay and Nutrena SafeChoice for your horse, a safe place to camp and entertainment every evening. You’re responsible for some place to sleep (camper, tent etc), a change of underwear and toothbrush. (Oh! And pink stuff to put on your horse when we go on parade! *grin*)
  4. Things your horse’ll need: Its own water bucket. We do not do communal water troughs for bio security reasons. Also, we never know what kind of terrain we will be facing, so it is in your horse’s best interest to be shod. Please consider putting borium on your shoes. That way your horse cannot slip on pavement (because we do the occasional parade on main street). Plus, with borium your shoes will last a coon’s age. Personally, I not only do shoes, but pads and packing so there can be no sole bruising if we hit some gravel. There’s a list of ideas on the Rider Information page, but the bucket is mandatory and shoes are highly recommended.

Also, if Wild Pink Yonder has always been on your bucket list, this is the year to do it because it is the last year of the epic rides. (And they have been epic. I’ve not been able to find any other rides of this magnitude.) I don’t know what the format will be after August 2016, but it won’t be this big. Who knows? It might be weekend rides … or clinics … or tack sales … or … or … or?

So, come on! Please join us. We’re going to ride some fantastic trails — we’ll see hoodoos and wild horses and sand dunes — and we’re going to experience some unique pinkness! I mean, really … a pink train?