Beyond The Next Ridge: A Cowboy's Story
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If you want to understand more about where your beef is coming from, I can think of no better guide than Miles Kingdon's "Beyond The Next Ridge."
Miles is a local legend here in the Nicola Valley. He was even inducted into the Cowboy Hall of Fame a few years ago! Originally from a small town in Saskatchewan, Miles has spent most of his life working at some of BC's biggest cattle ranches and and still seems most comfortable "ahorseback." Through 17 short stories, you'll find yourself in the thick of it riding the range alongside gritty, hard-working, often hilarious cowboys. Working dogs, horses and cows will capture your heart and amaze you with the capacity of their own hearts. It's an entertaining read but you'll also learn a lot about what goes into producing the beef that ends up on your plate.
The book was published at the end of my first real season of "cowboy immersion" here in the Nicola Valley. We live in the middle of the Coutlee Plateau rangeland, surrounded by cattle for a good part of the year. I had spent an incredibly fun spring/summer/fall helping friends and neighbours with their cattle and learning a ton along the way. The cattle were all back at their home ranches for the winter so it was pretty quiet up here. Miles' book came out just before Christmas and I absolutely devoured it. I was completely immersed in the stories, the characters and their adventures. As an added bonus, I was absolutely delighted to find some of the people I'd met out on the range featured prominently in the book including our nearest neighbours and good friends "Forty" and his brother Neil.
Fortunately, it's the kind of book you can read over and over again and never get tired of. I highly recommend it to anyone who has the tiniest bit of cowboy in them and if you're reading this, I bet you do!
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