After playing hopscotch with Alvin for a few days, with a heavy heart I left him in Tok, Alaska and headed to Yukon. It felt really strange… party of 4 for the last 6 months was now down to 2. Fitz and I trudged on, stopping to admire the beautiful sites, wishing our friends were with us. Turning North out of Whitehorse for the 4 hour drive to Pelly River Ranch with very limited service, thoughts were racing through my mind. Why did I choose this farm? It’s so out of my way, not on my path at all, what was I thinking? My instructions were to turn left after the bridge in Pelly Crossing and just keep going to the end of the dirt road. As I turned, an eagle flew above with me for a few minutes, a good sign! About 15 miles in I thought, gee I hope I’m on the right unnamed road… 32 miles later I finally arrived at the farm, making my way past the beautiful grass fields and into the yard where I was greeted by barefoot Sue and company.
My first two days on the farm were long and hard. The first day we spent hours walking aimlessly through the bush looking for the free range cows to bring home so the new bull could get used to their sent before we moved them to their summer pasture. The next day we moved the herd five miles, which wouldn’t have been that difficult if we (the WWOOFers) knew what we were doing. In chacos I ran over and under branches and logs, dodging thorns on either side of the road trying to herd the cows out of the bush and back onto the road. After 4 miles of this, we let them take a break at a stream before the last push up the mountain road. Unfortunately, the cows had a different idea and decided this was a nice walk, but they wanted to go home instead and went down the wrong path. Missing our opportunity to take the road, we slowly tried to push the cows uphill. Slippy and sliding on the hill slope, we tried our hardest to convince the cows to move up. It was hot, and we were all exhausted. Finally, half the herd moved up, but the others refused. We decided to herd them back down to the road and try again, the right way. It worked! Four and a half hours later we were back at the farm, exhausted but happy that we had managed, with our fingers crossed they wouldn’t decide to come back home the next day.