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On John Wayne’s Trail

The rain was coming down in buckets as I made my way out to the ranch this afternoon but I was determined to ride despite the weather. I reasoned that  cowboy originals and mail carriers and the cavalry and Oblate missionaries and indigenous travellers and explorers-of-old all saddled up and headed out regardless of weather conditions so who was I to be deterred by a mere smattering of rain.

Deb was sweeping out stalls when I arrived and asked if I wanted to haul to the indoor arena.  “No ma’am”, said I. “No indoor riding for this mountie.”  Though when I started to pull on my polyester rain-proof biking pants Deb looked at them askance.  “Traveller might get spooked by that material. It makes a noisy schwish-schwish sound and reflects light in an unnatural way.”  She pointed instead to a stiff, weathered, leather, full body-length, riding coat hanging on a hook amidst the harnesses and horse blankets.

img_0709It looked to me like something John Wayne might have worn on the big screen back in the day.


With some regret I didn’t have the chance to try out the all-weather get-up for just as we were finishing tacking up the horses, the skies broke.  “It’s a miracle!” noted Deb.  And indeed, it did seem to have cleared just in time to see us on our way: out the gates, through the soggy fields onto the forested trail at the back of the property.


The afternoon ride was bliss.  The forest still arrayed in the yellow hues of fall and high dike trails overlooking flooded cranberry fields.


We rode, talked, trotted a bit, checked out the swollen Allouette River and looked out over the great sprawling valley floor toward the mountains, and in that two-hours out on the land everything that may have seemed wrong with the world, was righted again.



One comment

  1. Susan Kennedy says:

    I love the way you describe your feelings and all I have to do is close my eyes and I see it and I feel it too. John Wayne is an American hero and the perfect cowboy. Deb, is our MR. Cowgirl and she lives the lifd style.

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