We waited outside the Bus Terminal and were collected by Berry and Katie in Katie's red truck. After a coffee stop at Tim Hortons we drove 2 hours back to the farm. They are staying in a neighbour's worker cabin as the madman who sold it to them burnt down their whole farm - he blamed his divorce on them buying the place!!! We visited the site a couple of days ago. What a traumatic thing to happen to anyone. It was kind of like being home when we went to our bed - our bed was in the lounge along with a pull out sofa that Kyle (Berry's son) slept on for 2 nights, and Mel (a friend) for 2 nights, and a mattress that Craig, alias Turd, (Kyle's mate and a worker), slept on for 1 night. The difference was that we were waking up to being in the lounge, not to finding piles of extras in our lounge !!!! Berry is like a Canadian version of Sam in some ways!!! He has nearly 40 dogs. Some of them are guardian dogs who run full time with the sheep and guard them from coyotes. It is a bizarre thing to see them in with the sheep. They are pretty much wild and only respond to a few people. We have really been enjoying spending time with Berry and Katie. They are really hospitable and have given us a lot of experiences here. It is a very welcoming community and we have felt a part of it. Hopefully we will see some of them Down Under sometime.
Life here has been like being on a movie set of a Western. Most guys were wearing chaps and everybody wore spurs, even the 5 kids who were part of the day. We have watched and helped move cattle cross a river on a ferry, in 4 loads - they put up barriers and a mat down for the cows to walk on and then tried to keep them from moving too much on the crossing. The mats were not very pleasant at the end of the 4 trips I can tell you. Sam helped fold them up again and load them on a trailer ready for next time they were needed. I was busy filming or I would have helped of course. The next day we went to a horse/ roping trial in Swift Current and listened to Cowboy Poetry in and Exhibition Hall as well as finding an op shop - the highlight for me!!
Sam's highlight was the next day when we were invited to go on the last day of the cattle drive and Sam got to drive cattle on horseback for the day. I was offered a horse but chose to drive the truck towing the 24 ft 7 horse trailer carrying the beer and food along behind. I was very popular and had an open bar all day that was a "pull up to" bar along the track and then a restaurant at lunch!!Sam couldn't stop smiling all day, although he was a little concerned when I didn't arrive at 1 point as I had got the truck with 1 wheel on a rock and another in a badger hole and wasn't shown where the 4WD button was!!! I don't think he was as concerned as the cowboys though - I knew someone would eventually come back when the beer didn't arrive - and they did. Both cattle run days we ended up having supper with them- chilli beans and veggies with yummy biscuits - the 1st night around a campfire at the camp and the last night back at a house.
We have made lots of new friends and had fun here. On the morning we were leaving, they went out on a coyote hunt at last and got a couple of coyotes while I stayed home and packed. Mission accomplished. A near perfect trip for Sam and a surprisingly fun experience for me. I have now come close to becoming a cowgirl and may even start listening to country music - ha ha.