Pioneers traveled the land in search of a place to call their own, enduring harsh winters with little more shelter than sod huts or weather-beaten tents. Homesteaders laid claim to huge swaths of pristine land to set up horse and cattle ranches. Although the work was tiring on the bodies, a hearty meal, song and friends by a campfire was enough to prepare these ranchers and cowboys for the next day.
I am speaking, of course, of the Old West… in Canada! You see, pioneers in the 1800's did not cease their travels, work and exploration south of the invisible line defining the U.S. and our Northern neighbor. As such, Canada has as rich a cowboy heritage as America.
Keith and LeAnne Lane, the owners of Willow Lane Ranch, have much more than a passing familiarity with the cowboy ways – they've lived it their entire lives. Raising herds of cattle. Rodeos. Ranching. The Lane's come from a rich cowboy heritage, and now they wish to share it with you. Each year a select number of lucky guests have the opportunity to experience a cowboy vacation at Willow Lane Ranch. But this isn't one of those vacations where you lounge about all day and relax (though I'm sure you could if you want to!). No, this is a vacation that calls forth the inner cowboy within you. You will actively work the ranch, ride the horses, herd the cattle and live the overall lifestyle – all while being entertained and educated by your two amiable hosts.
Guests have the opportunity to stay in the ranch house, or if they are seeking a more private or rustic experience they can stay within a homey log cabin. And although most visitors come equipped with horseback riding experience, the Lanes' well-trained horses are suitable even for the beginning cowpokes.
If good friends, hearty meals and a slice of a true Western lifestyle beckon you, make sure you read our interview with LeAnne Lane.