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Day 4

It was 2 degrees Celsius in Canmore this morning. Scooty Patootie was despondent, and refused to get out of bed. When forced out, he just stood there in his little outfit and shivered, so I put him back in the bed and covered him up, which made him an only marginally happier dog.

Wendy, who didn’t know me from a hole in the ground until yesterday evening, arrived bright and early with coffee, breakfast, and a present: a Buff, which is one of those multipurpose hat/scarf/hair accessories – very cool. I am just blown away by generosity I’ve been shown here . I’m just floored that John would offer a complete stranger who phones him up out of the blue a place to park a horse, and that Wendy would take me under her wing so completely. So hospitable!

We set off on a late morning ride, powering up and down steep trails, moseying along through the poplars, trotting along sandy trails, picking our way through the rocks, crossing the odd stream… And around every corner, those amazing views.

(The ponied horse makes it look like we craftily brought along a third horse to convince hikers that we’d ditched rider on the trail…)

Turns out Wendy has been all over these mountains for decades, as a guide and outfitter and dog sledder.  I could listen to her stories about pack trips and wagon trains and mail carrying all night, and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end the day than to have her and her partner Doug share dinner with me. (Scooty got lots of cuddles, but I couldn’t convince them to keep him.)


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