Tag Archive | Yonderosa Dinner

DATELINE: Sept 3 – Lamont Ag Society

Bless their hearts. We sure do appreciate Lamont Ag. We couldn’t go into Edmonton because WELCA is in the middle of their construction. We didn’t want to go to St Albert because too many riders didn’t like all that city driving. Lamont Ag rode to our rescue.

Yes, it was muddy, but it didn’t rain on Saturday while the riders were off for their second day of riding the Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Grazing and Recreational Area. This time they rode out of Waskahegan Staging Area. The riders included my stepson who was given the opportunity to ride “Hashbrown”, a gaited Rocky Mountain Horse owned by Pinkster Julia Vanderwolf-MacPhail. (I was jealous yet again.) Stepson Kevin hasn’t been a “horse person” thus far in his life, but I’m working hard on turning him into one. *grin* From all accounts, the day’s ride was successful and thoroughly enjoyed. Kevin was amazed at how much smoother a gaited horse is as compared to a “trotter”. (Is it working, Kevin? Are we ready to buy you a Rocky?)

While the riders were off in the Blackfoot, Julia, Amanda and Cookie took to the ovens. Longrider Sue’s husband (Jim), my husband (David) and I got to setting things up in the big tent that Lamont Ag keeps up all summer long. It’s huge, and we had to move panels from the east end of it to the west end where the wind was whipping in. Once that was done, my hubby put together and set up a patio heater and another small propane heater. Suddenly the place was cozy so we started decorating. Pink glow sticks were hung from the walls and pink plastic tablecloths covered the picnic tables. Two LED-lit little trees sat in the corners and lit the room.

When the riders got back (hungry), Carole made nachos to tide them over ’til dinner.

Our Yonderosa Dinner was compliments of Lori from Sobey’s on Wye in Sherwood Park. The cooking was compliments of Cookie, Julia and Amanda. We had chicken breasts stuffed with cheese and spinach and topped with a mushroom sauce, creamy potatoes, broccoli, Caesar salad and dutch oven-made cheddar cheese buns by Julia. For dessert there was a slab cake from Sobey’s that had the Wild Pink Yonder logo on it and the words, “Happy trails to you”. And to top it off, Julia did this awesome thing with sour cherries on the bottom and double chocolate cake on top. It was fantastic! The ladies outdid themselves.

Our speaker for the night was none other than the internationally recognized breast cancer guru, Dr John Mackey. Not only is this man brilliant, but he’s personable, charming and funny, to boot. And he spoke to us in this intimate little setting so anyone who wanted to could ask a question or throw in a comment. He told us how CRINA (Cancer Research Institute of Northern Alberta) works … and why it works so well. He told us of the many things they’re doing and the success they are having matching up experts from fields that don’t normally work on cancer with their researchers who do. Because of these innovations (and many others) the end is near for breast cancer. Both effective treatment and a vaccine will happen in my lifetime. I am sure of that.

If you’re going to have a farewell Yonderosa Dinner, this was the way to do it. I can’t give enough kudos to Carole DeSchover, Julia Vanderwolf-MacPhail, Amanda MacPhail and Dr John Mackey. The four of them made the evening a resounding success. I could not have asked for more.

Next stop …no regrets.

 

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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.

 

It’s all about the passion.

CRINA researchers are all highly intelligent, highly educated folks.  That’s pretty much a no-brainer. (Ho-ho, Jane made a pun!)  But what I’ve not told you about is their passion.  We all know people with passion. (Notably, for most of this crew, it’s people with a passion for horses.)  But what I’m talking about here is people so into their jobs that they just can’t stop talking about them.  In my experience, that’s fairly rare — but that’s the CRINA bunch.  And not just one of them either.  Every single one I’ve met so far is that way! Each is sooooooooo sure that their next big discovery is just around the corner! You can feel the optimism … the energy. BAM! Take that, cancer!

I loved my time with them last week.  Their enthusiasm bubbles over and spills across an entire room. You can’t help but get caught up in it. The story about the undergrad who accidentally discovered something huge … the big advances that started with little grants …the lab that I just had to see before I left because it contained the only (insert the name of a machine that can leap tall buildings) in Canada … the full campus tour they’d like to offer to all of us. Truly — a tour so extensive it will take an entire day!  (I’ll be looking into it.  Maybe I can talk them into containing their enthusiasm to a half day!)  The excitement is palpable.

And yet, they’re so … normal.  Not sure that’s the word I’m looking for. Down to earth? These guys are definitely not stuck in their ivory towers.  I told them that Wild Pink Yonder is looking to see if we can host a two day Canadian Cowboy Challenge for Trail’s End this summer. Their response was, “Can we help?”

Now, you gotta know that this is not their shtick.  I fully expecting them to backpedal when I said that I’ll need people willing to work around horses … out in a rodeo arena … picking up obstacles that horses knock over … opening and closing gates.  You know: down, dirty and sometimes mundane.  The petite little female researcher (an imported hot shot from Quebec) indicated that if she could get up on a catwalk and shake her booty for cancer in the shadow of a bunch of pro models, she could most certainly deal with a little horse manure … or words to that effect. She grinned. So did I. Even our old friend, Dr. John Mackey, piped up and with great optimism said, “I think I can get back from my convention in time for this!”  See what I mean?  Awesome!

You have to love it when the folks you’re fundraising for are gung-ho to put their shoulders to the grindstone right beside you!  So … to sum it up … we’re on the trail to a cure with an amazing bunch of researchers … and Trail’s End could be a very interesting place to be this year.