In our last post you likely noticed we made a stop at the Sierra West Ranch in the small town of Lundbreck, Alberta before continuing the journey to the Calgary Stampede with GMC. (This town is literally so small that the GPS couldn’t find the destination!)
When we arrived we were greeted with open arms by owners Randy & Ginny Donahue. Little did I know that they were about to be one of the most kind hearted people I had ever met. After settling in, Randy asked me and some of the others if we wanted to learn how to rope a calf. As it was my first time on a ranch I was quite hesitant but up for the challenge. As I went back to my room to change I had envisioned what a true western cowboy would wear when doing such an act. Being a city kid at heart I put together items that were not only stylish, but which I thought spoke to life on a ranch.
For this reason I paired an indigo western denim shirt, dark beige cotton chinos, a brown leather belt, wooden accessories, brown suede boots, and a classic watch. I liked the idea of putting together masculine pieces, traditionally intended for labour intensive work, but in the city known simply as a fashion statement.
After getting suited up Randy taught me the ropes...no pun intended. Following a couple practice swings on a bale of hay, Randy decided that it was time to rope the real thing! As I climbed into the pen, the calves automatically knew something was up and scurried into the corners. As I wound up the rope and tossed it I started to feel like a fully fledged rancher. Once I caught one the real battle began as the calves jumped and yelled trying to get away. Randy explained the strength these animals possessed and how this maneuver was one of the best ways to capture them. After leaving the pen and letting the calves roam, I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful the scenery was around the ranch and how I was unsure if I would ever experience something like that again.
All-in-all I must admit that the ranch life, though not the life for me, was an admirable one as well as simply beautiful. I could only imagine how amazing it must be to wake up every day to green pastures with a mountainous backdrop.
Lastly I want to thank GMC for bringing me to such a remarkable and picturesque place and to Randy and Ginny for having us.