Before the cows and calves can be turned out though, they must be branded. This is not an option, it is required by the government if you have cattle on range land. Branding marks the end of the calving season and is a great excuse for a party! They invite all their family, friends and community to come and help in this big event. The week leading up to branding was an extremely busy one. There was all the cooking for both lunch and dinner to be done, cleaning the house and yard, vaccinating all the cows and getting everything organized around this huge event. When the day finally arrived, we had a great turn out! I'm not sure the exact numbers, but there must have been about 50 or so people (which is HUGE for Anahim Lake). It was a fantastic day, got all 450 or so calves branded by 5:00, had dinner around the bonfire, listened to the harmonica and banjo do their thing. It was too cool! As you can imagine though, the next day was a clean up day :)
The weekend after branding my parents finally made it up to Six Mile . . . and brought the pouring rain with them. I've never seen it rain so hard there, not even kidding. It was nice being able to finally show them where I have been living for the past year. When I was finished showing them off, we headed down the Bella Coola hill, explored the town a little and stayed the night with some lovely friends of mine. In the morning we headed for Spring Lake Ranch, just north of 100 Mile House, where my adventures all began. It was so good to reconnect with them and to ride my Sweetie once more. We stayed the night there and were homeward bound in the morning. The best feeling in the world is coming home! It never gets old. So I am home with my cat and family until June 1st. One the first I am getting on a plane headed for Gothenburg, Sweden to see my 4 friends over there. It is rather hectic trying to get ready in such a short time, however I am so excited to be seeing them again in a few days. I will be back on August 4th with many new tales to tell, this time from over seas :)
Thank you to all who read my blog for all these months, I have so enjoyed telling you about my life as a ranch hand in Anahim Lake!