1. Sawchuck Ranch

The bus dropped us off at a deserted depot in Langley. Gaylene had already told us that she wouldn’t be able to meet us that late as she had a meeting so we’d agreed to take a cab. As we pulled in I looked round anxiously to see where we might obtain one and it didn’t appear promising, only trucks coming to pick up and drop off known passengers. We unloaded all the bags and the bus pulled away revealing a cab. He must be here to pick up someone but I thought I’d give it a try. No, he was just available on the off chance that he would be needed, result! We gave him the address which, with 2 sets of numbers, just sounded like a suburban destination but fortunately he seemed unphased.

We got him talking and he transpired to originate from the Himalayas which was fairly interesting and in our chatting, managed to distract him from his navigation so we hit the USA border. Fortunately this was only a few hundred yards on from our actual destination so a quick U-turn brought us back to what seemed like a suburban house, in a road of similar sized properties, albeit fairly large, about 75yd frontage but the address on the mail box was correct. The gate code I had been given worked so we were definitely in the right place. We disturbed Arnold, our French co-worker, in the cabin and he showed us our room. We had a brief chat with him then retired to bed after what was now, in effect, a 2.30am start.

We were up and ready to go in jeans and yard boots (wellies) at 7.30 and stepped out into the glorious sunshine. Arnold showed us round from the back of the (golf) buggy as we surveyed our home for the next 2 months. We were already quite happy with our room and the cabin facilities but when we got outside we were able to appreciate the superb resources and loveliness of the rest of the place. Gaylene rode up on a bike and introduced herself, she seemed very nice, and we met Esha, from Belgium, who is her right hand woman.

Amazing as this place is, Gaylene is trying to sell it (so if you have a spare C$5m check it out) and a viewing was arranged for the following day. She wanted us to set to to get the grounds spruced up and to get it done before the day got too hot.

Roger clearing all the needles from the cabin roof

Roger clearing all the needles from the cabin roof

She and Esha were working hard as well. As the morning progressed and the sun rose higher so did the depth of redness in my face. Gaylene was quite concerned at one point and said that the water in the pond was clean. Needing no further encouragement I stepped in, wearing my wellies but not realising how deep it was. I don’t think I’ve ever before been relieved to obtain a boot full of water but this was heaven. I gratefully sloshed more water all over my face and back of my neck, soaking my T-shirt but in, what was later revealed to be 33 degrees, it felt marvellous.

IMAG1253IMAG1255By 11.30 we were given instructions to stop. They were off to celebrate Canada Day at Gaylene’s parents. We celebrated with a swim, Arnold does each day! We couldn’t believe it. After a snack lunch and finishing off some horse work Roger and I retreated to the sun loungers in the shade until we were told it was 6pm and time for evening feed. This is very structured and organised and something we will have to learn quick,y but it helped us get to know the animals.


Our dining table

Arnold had prepared a lovely beef salad for the evening meal which we ate on our veranda. We’ll have a lot of beef, much to Roger’s delight. Gaylene’s big upright freezer is full of different cuts, courtesy of her boyfriend who owns a cattle ranch. We collapsed into bed at 10pm under just a sheet, window wide open and ceiling fan whirring. We didn’t actually collapse in, we had to ascend because it is a huge high bed!

This morning I have been in the main house getting it spick and span for the viewing this afternoon. It might not have been exciting work but I got to see all around this amazing property and work in the cool air conditioned environment whilst the boys sweated in the dust outside. After lunch we awaited the prospective buyers, having already arranged to go for a walk when they arrived. By 3pm, with no sign of them, we decided to go anyway and had just got out onto the road and walking along past the front of the grounds when we saw them entering the cabin. That was timely. They are Chinese, as are the neighbours on either side.

The walk involved following a riding trail, usually accessed via the back gate rather than the road but Ben, the son (as opposed to Ben the Dad) had parked his trailer right up against it, otherwise we might have bumped into the viewing party. It wouldn’t have mattered if we had but it seems easier not to; Gaylene and Esha had disappeared shopping. They did leave the Mustang parked next to our cabin which looked a bit incongruous. We wandered along the path, through the redwood trees and beside a field. After the cool of the morning I became hotter and hotter, delighted to find all the visitors gone when we returned so the pool beckoned again. I think we are going to like it here!

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2 Responses to 1. Sawchuck Ranch

  1. Tim says:

    Sounds like another nice spot, a bit different from the ranch so will make a change for you. Must be nice to have a pool in that heat, although you cavorting in the garden pond, wellies and wet T shirt, on your first day – shocking 🙂 You’ll find yourself featured in farmers weekly if your not careful ! Hope you get a ride round in the mustang, much better kind of horsepower. Been hot a sweaty here in blighty, with unusual electric storms for variety. Great to read your posts, Roger looks very happy on the veranda. xx

    • Gill Smith says:

      Thanks for (all) your comments Tim, you are our number1 commenter. Its great though, so do please continue.

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