Originally posted by Katherine at 29th July 2012 at 19:05
Good day eh.
I do believe this will be my last instalment before I get on the long-haul flight bound for Ulaanbaatar, so now’s the time to pony up and say all those thank yous that I have been saving for last.
My sponsors – wow, who’da thought people would actually take me seriously enough to want to send me cash and cool prizes like coffee and shirts? But they have, and they did, and I am so completely humbled by the support I have received, both monetarily and in-kind:
Viterra, through the auspices of Lorine McCook – for helping me finance this beast, and thanks to them I will be sporting a lime green Viterra shirt which will no doubt become some shade of “burnt pea soup” by the end of the race;
Millard’s Contracting – Millard and Colleen, you two are inspirational and I am proud to wear your name and call you my family;
Hand Hills Holdings Inc. – the beast of a company helmed by my husband Gordan – all good things start at home, and this adventure is no exception;
The Fabulous Ms. Jo – your stirrups are almost as fabulous as you! I wish I could wear the top hat you returned to me, but they say a helmet or it’s a no-go;
The Amazing Dawn – Ms. Jo’s daughter and my best friend, the woman in charge of my logistics, master list-maker and countdown queen – we are also scheming on how to export a ger from UB to Delia, Alberta, Canada (it will be a business expense – harvest meal shelter is what we’re calling it.) She is amazing (see photo – amazing, I tell you);
The Amazing Dawn
Mason Farms Ltd. – one of the most progressive, successful and long-lived farm businesses in the Delia, Alberta area, owned and operated by the Dawn and Barry Mason family – they were just honoured at the 100 Calgary Stampede as one of Alberta’s oldest and proudest farm families ever. I don’t have to sleep in the Ulaanbaatar airport, thanks to the Masons and a little bit of their canola harvest;
Bill Herman of Herman Kloot and Company – Drumheller’s finest legal minds, headed by Bill, a fellow runner (he runs way better than I do) and a believer in adventure;
Kicking Horse Coffee Company – coffee, ‘nuff said;
Heidi Jenkins and Skin and Bones Cosmetics – Heidi, you are a true pleasure to know, I admire you greatly and I will smell and look really good on the Steppe thanks to your amazing product;
West Stitch Advertising - run by the most capable talented ladies in all of advertisingdom – Jackie and Kay – see the shirt they made for me? Jackie and I go way back – to grade two as a matter of fact. We were also related at one point (long story) and I am glad she is still my friend and puts things on my shirt like “Picky Nosepick”. Long story there too, will share one night in a ger, while in a delirium of riding fatigue and vodka fumes, I am sure.
This is where it gets really tricky, because there are so many people I am grateful to for so many, many things. I take inspiration wherever I find it, and once you start looking, it is everywhere:
My daughter Jordan, Sundance Kid and partner in crime – it’s our policy not to get really mushy except in rare circumstances (even then, we usually crack a joke just to lighten it up a bit), so I will save all those things I want to say to you for when I see you in a few weeks. Love you times a Brazilian though. (How much is a Brazilian again??);
She's strong AND talented AND beautiful
My family; my friends, my siblings; my Dad who did NOT say “What the hell for” but instead said “I’ll bet it’s going to be pretty” and “You sure like to travel” or some such. However, I must confess I soft-sold this just a bit: “A bit of horseback riding in Mongolia” is how I put it, I think, ha ha….
The people I have met in the last five months out on the coast, from my wonderful neighbours the Kiers (whose daughter Jacqueline is my best friend in the under 10 category – see her artwork?) who toasted me one night around a campfire with a memorable send-off: "Here’s to Outlaw Kate, she is f#cking brave!” “F#cking brave!” everyone echoed; to my inspiration Miki Dekel, who gave me her wisdom, some homemade blackberry wine, and her lucky bandana to wear on the trail;
Whatta girl, that Jacqueline - I love the "Kipper - wherever he is" part (Kipper's been AWOL since April, sadness)
After delivery of this send-off card, she toasted me with a pumpkin square, gave me her "lucky ring" (it glows in the dark) and tooted a bunch of noisemakers, just to scare off the Mongolian bad spirits, I guess.
Dom – oh Dom, where has the time gone, I’m going to miss you buddy! Here’s one last photo of him, doing his “giraffe imitation”. That horse will eat anything, I’m telling you.
Maple leaves...mmmmmm....I only let him do this as it was entertaining to see just how far up he could stretch his neck. Down the cake hole!
If I’ve forgotten anyone in my Sunday morning caffeine-induced packing-mania haze, I truly apologize, and will catch you up from Mongolia, I am sure. I have the best of intentions to pick up a cheapo cell phone and SIM card, to be able to send very short text updates to my blog while in the race. Most likely will be things like “Still alive” or “Just say no to Russian vintage vodka”.
So au revoir, until I get to the other side of the Pacific, and a little shout-out to my fellow Canadians – let me hear it back:
COO LOO COO COO COO LOO COO COOOOOOO……..
Take off eh.