Monday, March 28, 2011

Birthday Surprises

My birthday is coming up on Thursday, so Jeff planned a sweet birthday surprise for me on Saturday. I woke up bright and early with instructions to dress for the weather. We drove to my parents house to drop of Finn for the day, and then hit the road. We stopped for a quick breakfast and then ventured down the cowboy trail down to the Trans Canada highway. The whole time I was quizzing Jeff as to where we were going, but he wouldn't give any hints. We finally arrived at a sweet little ranch called Rafter Six. We headed to the main log house where we were sweetly greeted by two big old dogs and a kind lady working at the front desk. Jeff had planned for us to go horseback ridding! We were scheduled for a half hour lesson and one hour trail ride! We were a little early, so we went to the lounge and sat by a giant fireplace and enjoyed some warm beverages before we headed out. Our instructor and trail guide was a very kind man named Rob. We quickly learned how to lead our horses (mine, a mellow old man named Ace, and Jeff's a slightly more eager fellow named Callebaut), and then set out into the woods for our trail ride. Rob's dog, Marley, tagged along, hopping through the snow banks but always keeping close by, as well as a funny little donkey (named Donkey) from the ranch who followed behind me for the entire ride- I guess he just felt like going for a walk! Rob told us amazing stories of the history of the ranch, the land and the natives in the area, as well as some great personal anecdotes (like how he proposed to his girlfriend a few weeks earlier and she was so surprised, she fell off her horse.) We came back from the ride and had some delicious potato chowder and hot chocolate in the restaurant while we warmed up and then headed back to Calgary. It was such a great time and something I never would have expected or thought about doing otherwise. I would highly recommend Rafter Six to everyone and hope we can head back again sometime soon. It was such a fun time and a memory I will cherish for years to come!