Well I promised to take you on a journey to a place that is special to my wife and I. It is the place we chose to exchange our vows and the place that we have chosen to spend as much time as possible in our retirement. We have acquired an outfit that is fit for purpose for this place. It doesn't have the comforts of home that our Motorhome does but it isn't exactly roughing it either. If you have a good look at the above photo you can tell we are loaded and ready to head West. Sadly this photo is a year old and the contract I have been working on this summer precluded us from heading out this summer. Oh well, there is always next summer and we will make it then. This beautiful spot is called the Yaha Tinda, a Stoney word for "little prairie in the mountains." And it truly is in the mountains. Along the Red Deer River set in Western Alberta between the front range of the Rocky Mountains and Banff National Park it has been for thousands of years a place of significance for residents of the area. Because of those prairies in the mountains it has a large population of Elk that winter here and stay to have their young, before moving into the back country of Banff National Park. It is now home to a Federal government owned ranch which is where the National Park wardens train and winter the horses they use to patrol the back country of all the Western Canadian National Parks. Up until about 2 years ago they also had a breeding program here that bred and raised those horses.
One of a number of falls that are in the area and can be accessed only on foot or horseback. This one is called Wolf Creek although that is our dog Meg and her buddy Fergie in the pool not real wolves, although they are here also.
Another shot of Wardens Rock but the significance of this one is that on a sunny hot day one summer this was the background for our wedding. Brenda doesn't trust me with the wedding photos so this was the best I had with me, out here on the road.
In this shot you get a good view of the "little prairie in the mountains" and that prominent mountain in the background is called Wardens Rock and it marks the boundary to Banff National Park. This is one of my favourite views on the planet and one that figures prominently in many of the photos I have taken in this area. It is also taken from one of the best lunch spots in the country.
It's not always a green spot but it certainly is always a beautiful one even if you can't get the funny looking cowboys out of the shot. The mare I am ridings' name is Willow and she is a favourite around our place, well I guess they all are favourites.
A couple of the residents of this area wondering what that camera guy is looking at. This is an area that is home to a large elk population as I mentioned before as well as Rocky Mountain Bighorn sheep, grizzly and black bears, wolves, cougars, moose, and a myriad of other critters and birds.
This the view out of the window of our outfit, not hard to figure out why we have fallen in love with and in this place.
Crossing the Red Deer River, and it's not hard to see why I like a horse with a little leg under him. Those horses that are shorter and nicer for an old guy to get on also mean you are coming home with wet feet in this country.
This is another good place for lunch with some good friends overlooking another of the areas falls. It is called Hidden Falls so the fact that you can't see it is not surprising. Believe me it is worth the 2 hour ride to get up here and see it.
Well once you get done all the hard riding it is important to set a spell and maybe write a few things down so that that old brain doesn't forget the details.
As you all know it hasn't been a good week in the North American markets and we are all wondering how that will affect our futures. I think that as Canadians we are seeing less problems with our banking system, it is more regulated than others are, but the market here is taking a beating and as our resources are plummeting in price it is really showing in the energy business I have spent my life in. We have been fortunate so far in our life together and are hoping that God willing that fortune will continue. I really believe that the markets will eventually bottom out and the companies that were quality before will be quality after. It must have been dumb luck but we have managed to get the price on our new Motorhome locked in before the Canadian dollar began its slide this fall, and the money for it is in the bank. Sure hope the bank is still there when we go to get it next week! I can't help but believe that much of this debacle in the markets is brought on by greed. Don't get me wrong I like high returns as much as the next guy but a couple of years ago I decided that I had better protect some of our future and locked up some of our investments in more conservative places that I think are fairing pretty well this last month or so. In fact I think we may be on the cusp of the biggest buying opportunity of the last century and what this market needs is a little confidence to allow it to get it's feet back under it.