On Saturday, while the majority of the group I was traveling with went salmon fishing, I set out to find the Rocking Horse Ranch. A few miles before the ranch I found the Crown Jewel Resort Ranch.
This is a very high end resort I'd not heard of, but I stopped in to take a look around anyway. I met the owner and he kindly gave me a tour of the place. They are an eco-friendly resort with their own air strip. They are situated on over 800 acres of land that includes almost all of the eco-systems on the island except for shore line. They are part of the slow food movement, using only food they grow themselves, harvest from the land and forest, or can purchase locally (they don't buy food that is out of season). There is a biologist at the resort who is a mushroom specialist, so they are able to forage mushroom for consumption. They raise their own (higland) cattle and (black-faced) sheep and they use Norweigan horses for clearing land, sleigh rides, and other heavy labour. They raise Canadian Eskimo dogs, a native animal of Canada (and endangered) for sledding. All animals are kept outside year round. The owner was on his way to spend the day working on the trails on the property (25 kilometres of them!). The land is cleared by hand, no machines on the property like tractors (for the gardens) or graders for the trail. I was invited along for the day which normally I would have jumped at. A little physical labour is good for the soul and out in the woods, too - oh, I was sorely tempted, but I was meeting up with other folks in the afternoon and didn't really have the time. The guests at the lodge sometimes help out with any chores going on, from harvesting to looking after the animals though it's not required to stay there.
They have used reclaimed lumber to build the chalets and while they are wired for internet and conference calling etc., the individual rooms haven't got the technology yet. I mentioned it is a high end resort, so a little on the expensive side for the average vacationer, but definitely do-able if you save up for it.
I moved on to the Rocking Horse Ranch, a horse and small animal rescue ranch. The trail rides were booked up for the day but I was able to look around and meet the horses, dogs, cat, duck, and other animals that had all been rescued from a trip to the glue factory or incinerator. This is Breagh who offers kisses when asked. She kissed me, then nuzzled her head against my neck for a little lovin'. I left my heart there.
By the time I left the ranch it was only 11 in the morning so I had a chance to explore some more. Sandy beaches up next!