Tag Archive | Wild Pink Yonder

Game on!

Happy New Year!

I don’t have the whole summer mapped out yet, but today I spoke with Rocky from Entrance Ranch in Hinton. We had such a good time there last summer. I don’t think there was one rider who didn’t want to return. So, we will!

We’re going for a three day weekend! It’s not a regular long weekend, so you’ll not be letting family down. We will arrive on Friday, June 22nd (late afternoon or evening), in order to ride June 23, 24 and 25. Where will we ride? Your choice. We can do Willmore again. We can do Cadomin. We can ride along the Athabasca River right out of Entrance Ranch. The choice will be yours. You gotta know that no matter where we ride, the scenery will be fantastic. (And the company won’t be too shabby either!)

I haven’t started on the prizes yet, but there will be at least a $1,000 shopping spree at Peavey Mart. If he comes through, there might be a shopping spree at a well known tack shop. Who knows what the prizing might be! But if you want to win, you better get fundraising!

Meanwhile, our Hinton host is looking to buy a horse so he can ride with us! If you know of a 15-15.2 well broke trail gelding for sale, let me know and I’ll pass it on to Rocky. This horse should have good bone. Rocky says that the breed is not an issue, nor is colour … though he specified that it can’t be pink. <grin>



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

Let’s make southern Alberta our first ride of the year — but where?

I don’t know which of these options I might be able to arrange, but if I can do it, which one of these (or another) would you like to ride in the spring?

I’m choosing southern Alberta as our first ride so that we can do it before the heat is so intense. Last August we rode Sandstone Ranch and Knight Ranch and everybody loved it, but it sure was hot! Too hot to ride for more than 2-3 hours. So I’m thinking that in May or June, it might be just about perfect.

So here are some options I’ve come up with. If you have others, please choose the “Other” option and put your suggestion in “Comments”.

Where do we go from here?

As you all know, the Wild Pink Yonder Longrides are a matter of history now. They are just too hard for one person to pull together … and I’m tired. Dog tired.

But when we had Wingding at the end of this year, our riders all agreed that it would be a shame to let Wild Pink Yonder just die. We have over 3,500 people (riders and others) who follow us on Facebook. They are all concerned with finding a cure for breast cancer, and that war ain’t over … so we’ve decided that Wild Pink Yonder’s not going to quit! It’s going to be legendary … again!

But how?

The consensus at Wingding was that riders would rather have trail rides than clinics or competitions. We talked about having three rides a year: one in the far south, one in central Alberta and one up north. Maybe you agree with this idea. Maybe you don’t. Either way, we’re hoping you’ll contribute to the poll below (and do it soon) because I have got to get hoppin’ if this is going to come together for the summer of 2017!

Are you wondering who the top fundraising riders are for 2016?

Each year I go find prizes at Peavey Mart to use as incentive to get riders to raise more money than they are required to do. It’s been a wonderful motivator over the years … and this year’s riders didn’t disappoint.

I only intended to have gifts for the top five riders/teams this year, but then there were two who really needed honouring, and they came in at #6 and #10, so I am digging deep to find prizes worthy of the top ten.

Why did I want to include Roberta Dersche and Donna Buckland in the winners’ list? Because neither of them had to raise a cent. They both won their riding time on a free draw at The Mane Event … and yet they chose to help the cause anyway. Roberta did it because that’s the way Roberta rolls. Donna did it partly because that’s how she rolls, but also because she has a very close relationship with breast cancer. I love these two women’s passion and I appreciate their caring souls.

And speaking of passion and a caring soul, note who #4 is. Yep, our own Hughie. Ever since he saw our ad in the Edson newspaper in the spring of 2014, Hugh has had a passion for Wild Pink Yonder. In 2014 he was 76 years old. He was a Longrider in 2014 and 2015 and intended to longride in 2016 as well. He has always been in the top five for fundraising. This year he is #4 in fundraising and yet, due to poor health, he couldn’t ride with us for even a day. We did, however, enjoy having him in Big Valley when his wife and son brought him to visit. We rode around town in style in a gorgeous vis-a-vis pulled by his son’s big, beautiful Percherons. We salute you, Hughie.

On that note, this year’s top fundraisers are:

Ranking including the 3 teams:  Total: Rank
Sue Meier  $7,526 1
Barb and Mark Pennie  $5,240 2
Amanda and Julia McPhail  $2,385 3
Hugh Ashwell  $2,189 4
Debra “Stewie” Stewart  $1,730 5
Roberta and Harvey Dersch  $1,500 6
Lara Matechuk  $1,451 7
Kim Pielak  $1,183 8
Sherry Hanson  $1,081 9
Donna Buckland  $725 10

Now that we know who the winners are, we have to figure out how/where/when to give away the goodies.

I’m open to suggestion. Do we want another Wingding (when and where)? Or do we just give prizes away on-line and have folks pick them up in the Edmonton area?

Send me a message if you have an opinion. (Ha hahaha! Like horse people don’t always have an opinion! *grin*)

KAL TIRE to the rescue again … and again.

As some of you know, I am a huge fan of Kal Tire. Always have been. They call it “True Service”. I call it “Truly Great Service”.

A few years ago, Kal Tire showed their true colours (and their True Service) when AMA refused to change the tire on our stock trailer on the side of the TransCanada Highway unless I took all three horses out first — *eyes like saucers* — on the side of this very busy highway. When I refused, they would not come. Kal Tire to the rescue! They came. They saw. They got me back on the road without endangering the lives of my horses (and passing motorists who could have been killed as well if a horse had spooked from a passing highway transport). All these years later, I’m still mad at AMA over that. And I’m still so thankful that Kal Tire exists.

This year, after about a week on the trail, I noticed that it was getting harder and harder to start my motorhome so I took it in to Kal Tire in Stettler. What great people they are! Apparently my batteries were pooched. Apparently they are not that common. And apparently they’re particularly difficult to get at. That didn’t stop these guys! They found the right batteries (two of them …. with the posts on the side, not the top) and got me up and running in record time. They even gave me a substantial “breast cancer fundraiser discount” on the price.

Have I mentioned that I love Kal Tire?

And then, a little more than a week later, we had a noticeably bulging tire on the cargo trailer! I mean bulging as in “gonna blow sometime very soon”. It was a Friday night. About dusk. Every average store was closed. But Kal Tire is anything but average. They sent a new tire and a technician to put it on our rim, inflate it and install it — in the dark. Again, this was done in record time and with a smile.

Did you know that their new slogan is, “If we sell it, we guarantee it”? Gawd, I love Kal Tire!

Kal Tire has been a sponsor for Wild Pink Yonder for the last three years. They offer True Service. I am a True Believer. Thank you for being there, Kal.



DATELINE: Sept 4 – Lamont Ag Society

This has been the rainiest summer we’ve had in a long time. It rained again Saturday night. Fortunately, it didn’t rain until quite late, so the Yonderosa Dinner went off without a hitch. But it rained. The ag grounds were sopping wet in the morning. Playing “Silly Horse Games” was not an option. Instead, our Longriders (and almost Longriders) came and helped us tear down.

And then they were gone.

All that was left were Julia Vandeerwolf-McPhail, Amanda McPhail, Carole DeSchover (“Cookie”), my ever-so-patient stepson Kevin Thomas and me. We were eight miles from my place, but I was in no hurry to go home. You see, about four days prior to this we had two big fires at my place. First, our two-car garage caught fire and burned completely before the fire department could get there. During that fire, sparks were thrown onto a granary and our big old barn that was built in 1906. The firefighters got the granary fire out and thought they’d extinguished the barn as well. They hadn’t, and because the wood in the barn was so old and dry (and because there were two layers of old, old, old square hay bales in the loft), in the middle of the night it burned to the ground before the firefighters could get back again.

I wasn’t in a hurry to go home and see that. But also, Carole was waiting to see if she had to go to Banff to pick up her grandchildren. So we all sat at Lamont Ag. Carole, Julia and I got into the white wine while sitting in Carole’s camper. Not being in a drinking mood (on a Sunday afternoon), Kevin and Amanda solved all the world’s problems while sitting in my motorhome.

In the long run, Kevin and Amanda brought pizza for dinner and then the McPhails went home, Carole went to sleep and Kevin and I decided that we could not leave Carole alone in the ag grounds, so we went to our motorhome and worked until midnight.

At 11:30 pm Carole showed up at our door and said she was heading for Banff. But it was dark out. Kevin and I couldn’t see the grounds to know that everything was picked up, put away and restored to its original shape, so we spent one last night in the motorhome. In the morning we did one final check in daylight and padlocked the gate on our way out.

It was a quiet end to the Wild Pink Yonder Farewell Tour and Monday morning saw the dawn of a new era. It isn’t bitter sweet. It’s just sweet. I have no sorrow for this being the end. No regrets. I will finally have some time to be able to enjoy my new horse and ride the Blackfoot with all the friends I’ve made on The Pink Trail.

The timing is good … and the future looks bright. My exit strategy has always been to have 4H take up the reins and have Wild Pink Yonder carry on with “Wild Pink Weekends” that will fund breast cancer research and the 4H ideals.

I’m in negotiations with 4H now. They seem quite excited about the possibility but won’t have an answer for me until November. In a perfect world, Wild Pink Yonder will become one of their signature events and I will stay on to mentor individual 4H groups and handle the behind-the-scenes stuff. In a less-than-perfect world, I don’t know. We’ll still do something for breast cancer. Day rides? Weekends in interesting places? I don’t know.  For now we just wait to see how perfect our world might be.