Monday, August 3, 2015

6. road trip...ellen wakes up grumpy, Chinook Honey, and Skara Brae Ranch

Yes, I woke up grumpy. I won't go into the reasons. Suffice to say I was being childish.


Up early and ready to go by 9 AM when Natali was due to arrive for our next road trip and overnighter. Denise's neighbors, Wendy and John, have a 160 acre ranch in SW Alberta and we were invited to visit and stay over in the bunkhouse. So we loaded up and headed south.

Our first stop was Chinook Honey Company where I took zero pictures. Well, one picture. They have hives and a store with all kinds of honey products and gifts. They had a bee hive in the store between two pieces of glass where you could see them in action. And they make mead. We did a tasting of the 7 or 8 different kinds of mead they make and I bought a small bottle only to realize later when I was packing to come home that I wouldn't be able to bring it back with me since I wasn't planning to check any baggage.

Standing outside in the parking lot we could see the Rocky Mountains in the distance. The Rockies in Canada are newer than the Rockies in Colorado and are much sharper and jagged.

On the road...

getting closer – zoomed in and shot through the window

We met Wendy at the little restaurant in the tiny town near the ranch for an amazing lunch from a nouveau menu, something that was the last thing I expected there and then it was off to Skara Brae

where we were greeted by deer, horses, and eagles.

My first time to see a real live eagle.

Wendy and John have 5 horses plus one other they are boarding for their daughter's friend. Wendy generously was willing to let us have a short ride but she wanted us to get to know the horses first so she brought them all in the corral where we could get used to them and them to us.

Actually I think it was just a trick to get us to do the grooming for her. That's the tack room/store room/bunkhouse behind Natali who is combing the horse's mane.

After the horses were groomed, Wendy put a bareback saddle on Joe the Clydesdale and we all got turns around the yard.

Except Denise. By the time it was her turn, Joe had had enough so since Denice has had more experience riding horses, Wendy saddled up one of the others.

After the horses were turned out to pasture, we retired to the deck of the ranch house for cocktails and the sunset.

Back at the bunkhouse, still full from our tremendous lunch, we snacked and got ready for bed

because the next day we had another journey ahead of us.


  1. A real bunkhouse! I would not have been interested in the bee stop; I am allergic to bees and all their products. Everything else about your journey is wonderful!

  2. Gorgeous mountains, I took the train west from there.brings out the kid in me when I ohhhh and ahhhhh.Mead is very easy to make, you buy your honey in bulk. I added golden raspberries from my garden.

  3. Nice views. Cool bunkhouse.

    Years ago, an eagle flew over a soccer game. All the young boys saluted it. Funny.

  4. What a great adventure. I've never been on a horse, but I have ridden a camel.

  5. That's just about my speed of horseback riding.
    Did you all draw straws to see who got the top bunks?

  6. Seriously? First real live eagle? We have to swat 'em away like flies up here. Well... maybe not like that but they are pretty common.

    (BTW, Alberta is called the Texas of Canada).

  7. This is a vacation I could get lost in...wonderful adventures.

  8. Beautiful beautiful!! You should have just let grumpy stay asleep. Heh.

  9. The more I read about your trip, the more I wait for it to turn into a Nora Roberts novel. I love your descriptions, how your words and images have taken us with you every step of the way.

    I can even see the beehive between the pieces of glass. ;-D


I opened my big mouth, now it's your turn.