Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Back to the Bighorn

Last week we once again headed west to the Yaha Tinda ranch. Unlike last time when we stayed at the Eagle Creek Campground this time we went right into the ranch and joined our friends, Ken and Verna Pohl, at the Bighorn Campground. It is situated alongside Bighorn Creek and the effects of last June's flooding were still evident, but still a beautiful spot.

The view from our campsite
The picture above not withstanding the first three days of our stay the weather was spectacular with warm temperatures and hardly a cloud in the sky. We got on the road early the first day so once we set up camp, said our hello's, we saddled up and headed across the Red Deer River and up to Hidden Falls. This is one of our favourite spots here in the valley and always a nice ride.

Always nice to have Big Ben along to scout the river crossings
For those who know Ken and Verna's ponies, Beauty didn't shrink, she is on vacation and Seeker is filling in.
Willow is thinking "Nope, not me, no way"

This is a good trail to remember your rubber soled boots on
Hidden Falls

Tomorrow's Ride

Wednesday we enjoyed a nice breakfast and a great campfire and then got ready to head up to the Sheep Cliffs. All the years we have been riding here we have never made the turn up towards the Cliffs. It is a long climb and the trail although not rocky has a fair amount of exposed roots that your mount has to negotiate.

Lots of up and lots of roots
Some of the rest stops come with spectacular views
Along this trail you climb out above tree line

And the views get better and better

And once you get to the top it is time to rest up for the ride down.

More and more beautiful views as we dropped back down the 3400 feet to our camp in the valley.

Fall is definitely in the air up here in the high country.

Day 3 we saved for one of my favourites rides on the ranch, the rest of the world call it Poplar Bluff, but we just call it the High Trail. It is not as high as Sheep Cliffs but it sure has some nice views along the way.

Beautiful ladies, fast horses and spectacular scenery

Brenda just had to let her go for bit!
Ken, Verna, and Penny enjoying the view from our lunchspot
The Pohl Gang
The next day a little rain came into the valley and the Pohl's headed for home. Later in the evening, well a lot later, actually early in the morning we got new neighbours, Mike and Shauuna Lewis. They, their horses and three dogs arrived in the wee hours and we spent the next day getting to know them and their dogs, Night, Ruger and Watson.

Mikes Yukon Candle

Here is a look at our rides on the ranch this year from Google

A couple of posts back I wrote about saying goodbye to our motorhome, well the deal went through and with a little horse trading our travelling style is changing but we are still travelling even though I think we need a little bigger turn around at both Dogpounds. We still have lots of room but with this rig we can take along a bunch of our four legged friends.

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Loss of a Wonderful Woman

And a good friend. This morning we got a terrible shock when our friend Rod Ivers told us that Loyce, his wife of 45 years had passed suddenly yesterday.

Brenda called me just as I came out of the swimming pool in Sundre and I just sat in stunned disbelief in the parking lot for a while. There are no words to describe my thoughts.

We met Loyce and Rod back in 2009 at the Kerrville gathering and again later that same winter in Rockport, Texas. It didn't take more than a minute to discover what a warm loving person Loyce was and over the years we have both entertained and been entertained by the Ivers at our various wintering spots. We have gotten together to break bread together on a number of occasions and Loyce was always interested in trading stories about our respective grandchildren and even sent some of her crafts home with us to Canada for the little ones.

I wish I could think of some words that would help her family with the sorrow that I know will engulf them from the loss of this wonderful woman but there are no words, just memories of the good times and the knowledge that she loved them above all else.

Brenda and I want them to know that she had a positive impact on a lot of folks and we will be sending our thoughts and prayers from up here north of the Medicine Line to help comfort them in this time of loss.

Until we all cross that line and can share another campfire Loyce know that we will cherish the memories of our time together