"There's a little cowboy in all of us, a little frontier."
~ Louis L'Amour
Whilst working on a project involving scouring the archives I stumbled upon some sad news. Rafter Six Ranch closes their doors.
In 2010 our friends from Germany came to visit us and we wanted to give them the full Canadian experience in Albertan fashion. One of the excursions took us to Rafter Six Ranch for a trail ride. We all had a great time even my oldest daughter who was soon to be eight at the time. She fell off the horse or rather slid off as they went through a ravine. The cowboy, who helped her back on, couldn’t get back onto his horse until he found a stump because his horse was so big. A big old Belgian would be my guess. No harm, no foul and another story to tell. I’m proud to say she got right back on again without hesitation. That’s my girl.
Rafter Six Ranch is situated on the northern tip of Kananaskis country. The ranch has been in business in one form or another since before 1900. In the early 1900’s, Soapy Smith who was in his seventies and his teenage wife started what would become the ranch. Stan Cowley would purchase the ranch on a handshake in 1976 and the Rafter Six Ranch was born.
"Few cowboys ever owned much,
The primary reward of being a cowboy was the pleasure of living a cowboys life."
~ author unknown.
In 2008 the Cowley’s entered into an agreement with a resort developer in order to stay competitive on a global scale. The developer went into receivership in 2009 and the Cowley’s were left holding the bag, and massive debt. The lights were turned off and the doors were closed. As of January 1, 2014 a new door opened somewhere else. I commented on their webpage that just being on the ranch and walking around it, filled one with a sense of history, a feeling that I have kept with me to this day. I can only imagine the sadness after 38 years of blood, sweat and tears. Perhaps the new owners will continue the saga of the ranch and we can visit again.
The following are a few of the images taken and included are the trail ride leader and the cowboy with the huge horse.
2010 07 18 1397Rafter Six Ranch is located in Alberta Canada and this was during our 2010 family trail ride. 2010 07 18 1438Rafter Six Ranch is located in Alberta Canada and this was during our 2010 family trail ride. 2010 07 18 1461Rafter Six Ranch is located in Alberta Canada and this was during our 2010 family trail ride. 2010 07 18 1407Rafter Six Ranch is located in Alberta Canada and this was during our 2010 family trail ride.
This would be the closest shot to be riding west off into the sunset. They were actually riding west.
"Sit tall in the saddle,
hold your head up high.
Keep your eyes fixed
where the trail meets the sky
and live like you ain't afraid to die.
don't be scared, just enjoy the ride"
~ Chris LeDoux song
First off, Happy New Year. It's been a whole year since blogging and I thought it was time. The following is an image of a stump found on the rocky shores of Lower Arrow Lake in British Columbia Canada.
20130829-PAS_0947Stump on the shores of Lower Arrow Lake. Many years ago this stump was under water and was eroded, creating amazing art. Since the construction of the Hugh Keenleyside Dam near Castlegar in 1968, water on this newly formed lake can fluctuate up to 20 meters. There are areas where the trees were cut down leaving stumps all along the shoreline. These stumps were then submerged and all the soil has been washed away leaving only rocky shorelines in it's place. It's kind of strange to see the stumps intertwined in amongst the big rocks and how the wood has been formed from water erosion. It appears as though they have been submerged for some time and only recently have been exposed to air. This particular stump however is up a little higher than the others and has been exposed to the elements a little longer.
The patterns are amazing I think. Almost as if carved by hand. This is why I love being a photographer. My eyes are kept open looking for opportunities such as this and I get to enjoy my surroundings in a more vivid way. As well as receiving a good feeling knowing this stump has been preserved for all of us to enjoy for years to come.
If you've never been to this area of the world, don't go. We're trying to keep it a secret. If you do go, just visit quietly and leave only foot prints. Whatever you do, don't blog about it.
(uncomfortable silence ...... )
(quick diversion learned from being a Dad ...)
The more you stare at the designs in the wood, the more that you will see. - John
Might as well get my feet wet with the first blog on this site. This is not my foot however, and that water was cold.
We were entertaining friends from Germany and one of them insisted sticking her feet into any water we happened to come by. It seemed unorthodox at the time and kind of a pain because we were used to hurrying and getting somewhere. Sometimes it takes friends that have never been there before to show you what you have been missing. We stopped and it taught me a good lesson.
Enjoy the moment.
We could have simply walked by and probably forgotten that moment long ago. Instead, we now have that experience forever that cost us mere minutes. For a moment with our feet in the water, there was only now.
Only when you are here in the now are you actually living. I work and live in a virtual world much of the time, but a simple picture of my daughters foot in a creek reminds of how I should try and live my life. - John.