A True Thanksgiving in the mountains of Merritt BC
Every October for Canadian Thanksgiving dozens of horsemen from all over gather in a large meadow in the coquihalla mountain range in the area of Lilly Lake. They have fabulous rides and super potluck dinners. This was our 8th Thanksgiving here and it is something we look forward to every year. The trails were made by the Endurance riders of BC and the Backcountry horsemen of BC . It is called Rainbow trails because each trail has a different colour marker. There is the new red/blue trails that leaves camp and goes above and around the back of camp and is about a 3 to 4 hour ride. The white trail that takes you to Lilly Lake and through what some people call the Park and sometimes you see herds of feral horses that a local rancher has turned out until they are old enough to break. There is the yellow trail that can take you up into a huge meadow over looking the Coquihalla highway were you will find hundreds of cattle grazing and maybe even see a deer or two grazing.
We have seen wolves, coyotes, moose, and families of bears in the area as we ride by. You are totally in the wilds of BC when riding these beautiful mountain trails. The climate is dry with big pine trees and open range lands. There is not a lot of rain in this mountain area. I love the riding here. Most people come up on the friday and stay until the monday of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. On the saturday we have a big pot luck and Bill Cox of Langley started a tradition many years ago to bring a whole prime rib up and cook it over an open flame campfire until medium rare in the middle and well done on the out side. There is always enough to feed an army. This year we had close to 40 people for dinner. I myself bring my legendary 3 layer Pumpkin Cheese cake. The food here is better then most 5 star hotels, prawns, cedar planks BBQ wild salmon, and new to the weekend is our cookie baking contest. This year we had 6 kinds of home made cookies to sample and vote on. We do not count calories well we are at camp LOL.
This Camp is open to everyone and we always welcome new comers. It was nice to see a lot of younger people here this year with their young children. The kids had so much fun. Everyone brings there pets as well and the dogs think they too are on holidays and they all run wild through the meadow playing with one another. We bring our cats and of course one of the is the size of most of the dogs. We have a Savannah and an African Serval cat. The cats enjoy going for walks out on the trails too and someone has to keep the dogs in line so Duma the Serval handles that job just fine.
Here are some pictures of our weekend
|Some of the dogs, & even a couple wolves.|
|Our Savannah cat Kenya|
|Our Jack Russell Sammy|
|Looks like a "Bev Dolittle" Painting|
|Sharon and Hunter out on first ride|
|Darrel Brown and Bailey|
|Duma our Serval cat watching for the dogs|
|Duma with our dogs|
|Red/blue trail going out of camp|
|Looking down at Camp|
|Travel buddies Buster and Sammy they first met when they were both 1 (seven years ago right here).|
|Bill Cox's famous "Roasted over flame Prime rib" Yummy!!|
|Anything can happen around this campfire.|
Darrel Brown (Caveman) and he doesn't even drink amore LOL
|Duma waiting for dinner|
|Bill Cox our "Master Chef"|
|Great view ride off the the white trail|
|Ron and I|