Tag Archive | Writing-On-Stone

DATELINE: Sunday, Aug 14 — Writing-On-Stone

Yesterday was the big one – Writing-On-Stone — and everybody was excited. I had to be mindful that the riders needed to understand that they were going into rattlesnake territory. In fact, the Writing-On-Stone coulees are rattlesnake heaven. The word “infested” comes to mind.

So I’m making my little speech about the snakes, and wouldn’t you know it? One of our riders is ex-military, and apparently when you’re in the military you must always wander around with a snake bite kit! As Mark pointed out, they never use dthe damned things, but he always have to carry one. So on Sunday, we were covered. Mark still had his military issue anti-venom kit.

And away they went.

The scenery down there is out of this world. (Google it. You’ll see. It is amazing.)

Les O’Hara was their guide for the day. Les is a happy-go-lucky, gregarious old soul of 74 years. He knows the history of this area and he has a wicked sense of humour. The riders learned lots and laughed even more.

At one point Roberta (our 73-year-old very accomplished equestrian) fell off her horse again! Only this time she didn’t pop right back up. She lay there with a hurt shoulder. Her husband, Harvey, and our own Ove (Pinksters: that’s Ove Aasen of Provost — big sorrel pinto gelding and a highway tractor) got her up, put a sling on the arm and escorted her back to the trail head. Well, that was the plan anyway.

On the way back, Ove, Harvey and Roberta (who was still up on her horse, hurt shoulder and all) went to cross the Milk River. But they came face to face with a rattlesnake that was sunning itself. It didn’t want to move … and said so in no uncertain terms. Ove’s horse reared up and came backwards … right into Roberta’s horse. Poor Roberta! Her mare got knocked off her feet and went down sideways into the river!

But all’s well that ends well. They made it back to the trail head. Roberta was shaken and sore so she and Harvey decided to head for home (for now). They say they’ve really enjoyed their time on The Pink Trail, so with luck they will be back.

From Writing-On-Stone we moved to Gord Hunter’s acreage by Raymond. It was lovely when we arrived, but we could see the thunderheads forming and, while dinner was cooking, down it came! Torrential. A deluge. Huge winds too. Wow!

And then … the clouds parted, the sun came out and we all had dinner sitting around … in the mud! Ha hahahahaha!

Once dinner was over the thunderheads came back. It was an early night for everybody.

Next stop: the 110,000 acre Knight Ranch.

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Let me tell you how exciting this year’s Pink Trail is going to be!

As you all know, this is the final tour of Wild Pink Yonder (at least in the 23-day 500-km format). But what a year we’re going to have!

For the first time ever, our Fandango Town (the place where we gather before we start to ride) has decided that they, too, want to participate in Pinkest Little Town in the West! So they’re going pink … and they’re having a steak dinner BBQ (with a beer garden) at the Stirling Silver Saddle Club arena, and live entertainment by Border Bound. But that’s not all! They’re having a pinkest yard/house contest, Pink Memory Main Street (buy a sidewalk, or cross walk square and they will paint a commemorative ribbon on it. You can then put your loved one’s name on it if you like), and a Pink Parade the morning of the 13th. According to organizer Lana Caldwell, “Keep your peepers open for WPY swag and nab some before it is all gone!”

From there we’re off to ride on a grazing lease that has hoodoos and all sorts of other fantastic scenery.

Next stop: Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park. It is out of this world … and weird. Hoodoos and the largest collection of ancient Native American hieroglyphics in North America!

Then we ride the Knight Ranch, an immense tract of land that belongs to the Mormon Church. They run thousands of cattle there and I’m told the draws and coulees into the Milk River are stunningly beautiful.

I don’t know about the trails at the next few towns, but I know that those towns are going pink for us!

On August 21st we’re going into the foothills to see “the wildies” with Unofficial Custodian of the Wild Horses, Darrell Glover.

Next stop: Drumheller. Can’t imagine what’s going to happen there, but Dave Carter is a man of his word and if he says, “Let’s take a run at this!” I have to believe it’s going to be fun. And they have hoodoos!

We can always count on Olds for a good time. They’re planning entertainment, a BBQ and a dance in the park. All that after we do a ride at North 40 Ranch and a pink parade through town.

Alix? All I can tell you is that these folks are fantastic! Big Valley? We’re going to have a pink train rolling into town!

And ain’t nobody gonna want to miss Donalda! These people have plans for two rides into the northern end of the badlands (one 3-hour ride and one 5-hour ride) followed by a pink parade down main street, then a “pink-nic” followed by … are you ready? A drive-in movie down in the coulee! They’re going to play that zany old western musical, Cat Ballou (Jane Fonda and Lee Marvin), in our honour.

As we head (more or less) for home, we’re off to the eastern side of the province to (hopefully) ride some sand dunes.

They tell me there is some beautiful rolling land north east of Edmonton around Two Hills and Willingdon, so we’re off to give that a go too!

Trail’s End this year will be at Lamont Ag Society. We’ve not made any definite plans yet, but the first order of business will definitely be riding the fantastic Blackfoot Grazing Reserve on Saturday, September 3rd. Then Sunday, September 4th, for all who would like to try barrel racing and pole bending (etc) without embarrassing yourselves at a competition, come embarrass yourselves with us! We will, once again, play Silly Horse Games … and none of us are any good at any of them (but there will be prizes anyway)!

Don’t know (yet) if Yonderosa Dinner will be Saturday night or Sunday night, but it will be an interesting time in Lamont Ag’s beautiful big tent. Researchers from CRINA will talk to us about advances in breast cancer research and tell us what new ideas they have for new treatments.

 

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?

“Writing-On-Stone” … here we come!

We’ve done it! Les O’Hara (the only guide allowed in Writing-On-Stone) has agreed to take our group on a 3-5 hour ride through the fabulous Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park down by the Canadian/US border.

For those of you who are not familiar with Writing-On-Stone, it has the greatest concentration of rock art on the North American Great Plains.  There are over 50 petroglyph sites and thousands of works. The park also showcases a North-West Mounted Police  (NWMP) outpost reconstructed on its original site … and the hoodoos are out of this world.

Remember the excitement over riding the Waldron last summer?  Well, this is just as fabulous (or maybe even a little bit more).  This is a national historic site that is on its way to becoming a world heritage site … and we get to ride it!

August 14th is the date.