As I left the capital region and entered an area that is mostly crown land it became clear to me just how alone alone can be. I was enroute to High Prarie to help out at the Alberta Stock Dog Association Field Trials Finals. Having travelled I can assure you Alberta is one of the most beautiful places in the world, especially when it comes to natural beauty. My lonely drive (I didn't see cars, houses or lights for some very long stretches!) took me through majestic forests, over gigantic hills (when I was in Quebec they called hills like this mountains), and past scenic lakes. Unfortunately this time the drive in both directions was mostly done in the dark so no pictures to share.
When I finally arrived in High Prairie, I unloaded my truck, including the dogs and settled in for the night. Reba is turning into a seasoned traveler who handles strange situations with aplomb. I was very proud of her. (Joey had to stay home - he has nervous pee issues and I didn't want to bring him for that reason.) Tessa was overjoyed at having some action and sang her happiness. The next morning we drove out of town to the trial location.
The land in this area is so large that you and your dog had better go big or go home. To give you an idea of the size and distance of the field I've posted a picture of Carl setting sheep (letting them settle at the appointed spot for the competing dog to gather them). He's close to where I was stationed and my camera was at it's furthest zoom. The actual dogs will travel 3-5 times further than the distance he's located from me.
The weather was crisp and overcast causing all of us to bundle up in our farm chic clothing. While chilly for the humans it was excellent for the dogs and sheep, keeping everything fresh. Here you can see me by the sheep's holding pens trying to stay warm in my many layers. Way off in the distance, behind the edge of the trees and my shoulder is the main area where handlers set up camp and sent their dogs from. (Just to give you an idea of just how far these dogs will run to fetch the sheep.)
It was a great field for a trial and the sheep were superb making it one of the best trials I've been involved with yet.