Let me start this post with a little side note.
When Kelly and I look at the dashboard of our blog, it gives us various information. Some of the information includes who was directed to our blog, and how they came to find us.
It turns out that yesterday someone was directed to our blog by typing the words “ladies”, “shower”, “naked”, and “yoga” into their search engine. Don’t worry, it doesn’t tell us who you are.
If you have come to read about us again today we want to send you a most sincere welcome and hello from the cowgirl yogis of Turtle Lake. However, we also wish to apologize because I’m sure the content of our story isn’t quite what you were originally looking for….at least the pictures are probably a bit disappointing. Having said that, if you were hooked on the story and were drawn back here today to read how it all ends, welcome!! We are excited to have you – not naked or in the shower, but excited all the same. Love it! Now we’re porn stars girls! Uh oh…I just typed porn…twice. I wonder who that’s going to attract today.
Day three began with a visit from Kelly and I to the cowgirls’ cabins. We knocked on their doors bearing apple blueberry muffins, coffee or tea and freshly picked apples from my orchard at home. We considered the merits of bran muffins for a light breakfast, but thinking about where we would be spending our day…bouncing on horse back in the bushes…it was decided that apple blueberry with white flour would be just fine. We probably should have thrown in a little cheese for good measure, but didn’t think of that til just now.
After a little freshening up, we 7 cowgirls loaded up into the 5 available seats of Kelly’s truck to head out to our morning yoga session. The yoga was definitely working well for us as we channeled our inner contortionists and squeezed into the cab. There were no groans or squeals of pain as we wedged ourselves – left leg over someone else’s right shoulder into the truck and bounced over the gravel road to Blueberry Hill Golf Course.
Nancy was there waiting for us at Blueberry Hill. She is an amazing woman. Her physique is just what you would imagine it should be for someone who has been teaching yoga for close to 20 years. She has also done a lot of travelling to attend seminars and classes. She is super flexible, strong and fit. She would often demonstrate the pose we were about to try, telling us ‘it will look something like this’….and believe me it never looked anything like what she was showing us. Some of us have trouble crossing our legs for heaven’s sake. Nancy told me that she had just turned 63 this summer. Wow! I wanted to look like her when I was 18, now I have a new goal. I want to look like Nancy when I’m 63.
This morning’s session was restorative yoga, meant to encourage deep breathing in an attempt to increase one’s energy level. Increasing the energy of 7 tired cowgirls on a Sunday before noon is a lofty goal, but I think she got the job done.
Laughing and limbered up again, we walked to the restaurant at Blueberry Hill Golf Course. This morning Brad had outdone himself once again by preparing cinnamon buns, bacon, biscuits, hash brown casserole, and fruit for us. Even the coffee was great!
We over ate just enough to feel slightly uncomfortable, and then once again wedged our newly flexible selves into Kelly’s truck for the drive to the Kopp ranch. I really wish I had taken a picture of the inside of the truck as we drove. Next year!
While we were mounting our trusty steeds, (note to our book club friends…this means horses), we started to notice that what had been looking like another beautiful sunny day was starting to turn a bit grey. Of course being the forward planners that we are, we had checked the forecast which was beautiful…with a slight chance of showers for Sunday evening. We would be done riding by mid afternoon, so most of us didn’t bother with rain gear.
Murray to the rescue! Our fabulous trail guide Murray looked around his porch and was able to outfit all of us with some form of rain gear in an effort to keep us dry – if the weather turned – and it turned!
The weather went from 30 C on Saturday to windy, rainy, toque and mitten weather on Sunday. Welcome to the prairies! I think that our true spirit shined through however, when I heard one cowgirl say through dripping hair as she rode along “there’s no place that I’d rather be”.
The story of the cowgirl roaming the campground in her jammies meeting guys who wanted to join us on our trail ride turned out to be true. We had a newcomer to our ride this morning. Murray had invited him, probably in an effort to raise the testosterone level of the group, and I’m sure that after meeting one of us in our p.j.’s he couldn’t resist.
Our new friend happened to own the cabins and campground that we were staying in. His name is Darcy, which Kelly has now changed to Runaway Darcy. Darcy was offered one of Murray’s quiet horses that ‘anyone can ride’.
Well, the first time the horse ran away with Darcy on his back was just as we had started out. It was a bit frightening because we could hear whoa! whoa! coming up from behind us along with the thundering of hooves. I think that the horse might be hard of hearing and thought that Darcy was saying ‘Go! Go!’ because he ran like the wind…blasting past all of us, until he realized that no one was coming with him so he stopped. Good riding Darcy! He was still on top.
The second and third times that the horse ran away with Darcy were less frightening. Possibly because Murray was bent over the horn of his saddle laughing the second time, and by the third time it was predictable and I even remember saying “Oh oh, here he goes again” just before the horse took off.
It was probably frightening for Darcy every time the horse ran away with him, but here’s a nod to Darcy’s riding skills because he rode him out every time. I would have stepped off after the first run away and walked home. Not too sure of what was setting that horse off to make him run, but he was very likely encouraged to keep running by the flapping yellow and green rain poncho that Darcy was wearing. From the back of the group we could see Darcy riding that horse like the wind, rain poncho flapping and chasing the horse all the way until he once again realized that no one was joining him on his runaway and stopped.
For this trail ride we went a different direction, turning south and riding along a trail and over a creek to meet a guy named Luke Ferrari. Cool name hey? Luke rents some pasture near Turtle Lake and has it stocked with heavy steers. Luke led us through some great bush trails, and over some hills to a beautiful spot overlooking a little lake. Even through the rain it was gorgeous.
There was yet another old abandoned homestead here. It’s easy to see why people would have wanted to live in this beautiful landscape surrounded by nature and all kinds of wildlife.
The ride back to the Kopp ranch was a bit faster this time. The horses could sense that they were going home, they were definitely not too hot to trot, and the cold weather encouraged us all to step a little faster on our way back to Murray’s. (I just noticed that I typed hot to trot…..shameless dirty phrase used in an effort to increase our readership of teenaged boys looking at sketchy things on the internet …. go do your homework!)
Arriving back at the ranch, Murray stopped ahead of the group because he had something he wanted to share. He told us that in all of his years of leading and being involved in various trail rides, (and he goes to lots of different trail rides), he has never been on one where he could hear talking and laughing behind him constantly – until now. He said he chuckled to himself because all he could hear for the past two days was our steady stream of conversation and laughter. I hadn’t noticed it because I had moments of quiet and serenity with my horse. But when I thought about it, someone was definitely always talking and someone else would have been enjoying the peace and quiet. We took turns. It was fun.
Sadly, we made the last turn into Murray and Linda’s yard and it was time to go home. Climbing off of our horses one last time, having rode a total of approximately 8 1/2 hours over two days, there were a few body parts that were noticeable sore. For myself, I can report that thanks to our 3 hours of yoga, my knees and shoulders were completely fine….the only sore spot was those ‘sit bones’ and they are pretty difficult to stretch. One of the ladies reported that her “cheeks were sore from grinning” which is fabulous. I love that kind of pain.
As we peeled off wet wranglers and fished around for our dry yoga pants to travel home in, the sun came out again to warm us up. Murray was still there to be our guide when it came to backing our trailers out of his yard. There were no problems at all of course because we are all very competent cowgirls who are more than capable of backing up our own trailers and checking our own balls. One cowgirl commented that she will do just fine as long as no one yells “what the f*ck are you doing?” I wonder if that has ever happened….
Our first Cowgirl Yoga Retreat was such fun we didn’t want to see it end. While is was wonderful to return home to my family, a busy home and a dog with a newly whelped litter of puppies, I missed my cowgirl friends and the constant chatter and laughter we shared.
We cannot thank Murray and Linda enough for being such fantastic hosts to us during our retreat. Murray was so kind to us, guiding us along, keeping our horses, commenting on how nice our horses were – even as they sometimes tried to kick his, and generally being amused by our chatter. Linda was great to welcome us to her home and share with us her wonderful cement patio which she won by betting with Murray – who lost – and as a result had to build her a cement patio. What would Murray have received from Linda if he won? You’ll have to go visit and ask them yourself because that story is too dirty for our blog!
Linda and Murray enjoying their patio
The cabins at Turtle River and the Blueberry Hill Golf Course must be mentioned one last time. The hospitality of both was just fabulous and we are looking forward to bringing more people to visit these places and experience the atmosphere and amazing people who live and work near Turtle Lake Saskatchewan.
Big thanks also to Nancy Steiger. Her yoga classes are held in various small towns in Saskatchewan, including Glaslyn, Turtleford and others. She is very skilled and passionate about yoga, which is infectious and makes others want to try it. I have heard a report that at least one of our cowgirls has now signed herself up for regular yoga classes. Yay! I only wish that she hadn’t traded her acid washed, pastel green 1980’s parachute pants for the less interesting yoga pants of the 2000’s.
And finally, thanks to the girls who were brave enough to join us on our inaugural Cowgirl Yoga Retreat. We – like you – were a bit unsure of exactly what to expect, and in the end it was great and we had so much fun with all of you. Kelly is still giggling when she remembers the stories. I’m still telling the stories to whoever will listen.
We can’t wait until next year when we cowgirls come visit Turtle Lake again to yoga and ride, and to make new stories and memories. Yeehaw!
The barn at Blueberry Hill
“I have found that if you love life, life will love you back” -Arthur Rubinstein
“Whoever said ‘laughter is the best medicine’ never had gonorrhea.” – Kat Likkel