Mountains are sooooooooooooooooooo amazing!!! Maybe it’s just because of growing up on the flat prairie, but they just fill me with awe! We’ve had a lot of luck and our horses have certainly been taking good care of us. We started off from the Crowsnest Pass quad trails (AMAZING) and made long days up and over our first mountain pass.
On the way, we’ve backtracked a few km, taken scary and beautiful logging roads, Mike (second biggest horse) pooped himself when he heard an elk in the bush, saw grizzly bear and wolf tracks, walked through snow, drank out of a puddle, and Dad was thinking of Mom when he nearly poked his eye out with a stick.
…. I guess I’ll explain that last one a little. First of all, he is okay. Second of all, it was not thoughts of Mom that guided the stick to his eye. He still loves her very much and I can only assume she still loves him because they talk every day that we have cell service (awwww, so cute!). How it really happened: Dad woke up bright and early, as usual, to check on the horses. We were camped near a lake and in a spot that branched off a few directions to get to different areas of said lake.
Because of the upcoming Canada Day weekend, there was a bit of traffic coming through our makeshift campsite. Apparently , at one time, someone decided to do a bit of golfing and Dad found a golf ball on the forest ground. He thought of Mom because she likes to golf, and picked it up. On the way up, a branch was sticking out and he managed to scratch his eye. Stacey and I heard him yell, and then everything was quiet again. 6 o’clock came by and dad gets us out of bed saying, “I think you guys need to look at my eye. I scratched it or something earlier.” Stacey went out to check it and makes an exclamation. So I get our of the tent and get the first aid kit (the people one) and dig out the saline Mom told me to bring. Thank goodness! We lay Dad down on the tarp and I hold his eye open while Stacey squirts in the saline to clean it up a little. We can see he has multiple scratches on his eyeball, so we make a plan to get Dad a ride to the hospital asap. Edward and Dot (some nice random Canada day campers) were nice enough to take him to Cranbrook hospital, delaying their plans at the beach to help us out. Things turned out ok and the doctors meds made him feel a lot better!
Our next campsite was just south of Cranbrook. We managed to catch up the truck and trailer at a sweet little site by a stream. There were already some people there, so we asked if they minded if we had the horses there. Laurie, Cory, Jim and Lynn were so friendly and actually asked us to bring the horses around their campsite to trim down the grass. Our horses were more than happy to assist them. At this time the farriers also met up with us. The duo, Ashley and Josh of East Kootenay Farriers came out and did a wonderful job. The crazy thing is that we have put on so many miles by this point on the same pair of horse shoes that they literally wore so thin they broke! We had an excellent visit that night and the horses loved their pedicures!
The feed available in the mountains was pretty sparse, so we made sure to fatten up our crew with lots of bales and supplements before we continued on. Canada Day was pretty tame. We spent it in good company, with good food and drink. No fireworks because of the horses, but none of us really missed that I don’t think. We stayed 3 days to allow Dad’s eye to heal enough to ride again and continued onward!
We were lucky enough to have my friend from New Zealand find us while we were near Cranbrook. Amelia Rolfe had just come back from her brother’s wedding in the States, when she found out we were nearby. She decided to join us for a piece of our ride! And she joined us at probably the most difficult time, so we were incredibly grateful for the extra help.
There are lots of stories for the next few legs of the trip after Amelia joined us, but I think I’ll have to put those into a separate blog. The gist of it is that we traveled from Cranbrook to Creston to Salmo to Castlegar. Stacey, Urca and Mike were picked up by Jordan in Salmo. Their time with us for this trip is finished. Stacey has a few weddings to go to, work to jump into again, and both her and Jordan are excited to continue planning their own wedding! Yay!
Lots of adventure, lots of amazing people! And I cannot say enough how incredible our horses have been through it all.
- Dot/Edward Gallatin, George/Mari Campbell, Jim Jensen, Lynn Dakin, Laurie Jensen, Cory Fedorwyck, Shaylene/Randy Blackmore, Jay/Trish Woodall, Ashley Pederson and Josh, Brian/Gail, Kris/Tekki Hryniw, and a special shout out to the really nice logging trucks and semi drivers who slowed down traffic on the mountain roads!