Rafter Six Ranch

January 15, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

"There's a little cowboy in all of us, a little frontier."
~ Louis L'Amour

 

Trail lead guide.2010 07 18 1469Rafter Six Ranch lead trail ride guide.

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.

Big horse guide.2010 07 18 1599Guide at Rafter Six ranch with his huge horse.

2010 07 18 13972010 07 18 1397Rafter Six Ranch is located in Alberta Canada and this was during our 2010 family trail ride. 2010 07 18 14382010 07 18 1438Rafter Six Ranch is located in Alberta Canada and this was during our 2010 family trail ride. 2010 07 18 14612010 07 18 1461Rafter Six Ranch is located in Alberta Canada and this was during our 2010 family trail ride. 2010 07 18 14072010 07 18 1407Rafter Six Ranch is located in Alberta Canada and this was during our 2010 family trail ride.

Off we go.2010 07 18 1493Heading west along the dusty trail with only a trusty steed to keep us company. That and a bunch of tourists.

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

 

- John.

 

 

 

 


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