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.