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My wife Patti and myself are retired. We love our quiet rural country lifestyle living on 160 acres between Calgary and the Rocky Mountains. We are close, by vehicle, to amenities and attractions, but definitely rural, our closest neighbor is 1.6 kilometers away and the town of Cochrane is a 10 minute drive away. We would suggest, it may be best if you have a vehicle so you can independently explore the area. However, when it fits into our schedule we may be able to do some transportation. We did drive our first workaways to Banff, Calgary and Kananaskis to help them explore. You can walk or run on our property or the quiet roadways and enjoy nature.
We downhill ski, hike, mountain bike, fish, hunt, train hunting dogs, ride horses. Basically be in nature. We have five young grandchildren which we love to spend time with also. We visit them in Calgary and they come to the property to visit us. We have short walking trails in our little valley for them to explore and see the wildlife. They especially love the Buffalo rub rock and stories about the Old Banff Coach road that once went through our property.
Our property is a lot of work but it is our passion. We have planted many hundreds of evergreen trees and poplar trees to reduce our carbon footprint. We have regenerated much of the native prairie. We have over 200 birdhouses. Five horses which we ride, pack and use to pull a mountain wagon. We have mule and white-tailed deer on our property and occasionally moose and elk. We feel like we live in a Park! It is a very quiet lifestyle.
In the mornings we love to sit outside or inside with our morning coffee and watch the deer and coyotes and the occasional flock of geese or ducks fly by. Moose, deer, coyotes and many wild birds entertained our first workaways from Czech. They loved to sit by the windows and wait for wildlife to stroll by early in the morning and and at dusk.
We spend a bit of time each day walking and training our bird hunting dogs (pudelpointers).
The Czech workaways were amazing, we learned so much about their country and cannot wait to go visit them in the future. They helped us tremendously with many of the outside tasks. They loved to brush the horses! Having them with us for two weeks seemed way too short and we wished they could have stayed longer.
Our second workaways from France shared many delicious French meals and deserts with us and we will miss their amazing culinary skills. They also helped with outside chores and house cleaning. They did an excellent job of cleaning windows inside and outside. They also were training for a marathon and ran the quiet gravel roads in the mornings. We will miss their company and wish them great fun in their travels.
We shared many Canadian meals with our workaways including wild duck, deer, moose, sourdough pancakes, sourdough bread and many others.
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
This is an opportunity to experience a quiet Canadian rural culture 20 minutes west of Calgary and 30 minutes to the Rocky Mountains. Access to Cochrane, Calgary, Kananaskis Country, Canmore, Banff and Lake Louise is a close drive from our place. However, we are in the country and a bit isolated compared to being in a city or town. There are great opportunities to experience city, mountain, foothill and prairie environments. Hiking, mountain biking, fishing - basically all mountain sports are a close drive away. Calgary is an amazing city with many parks, riding and running paths.
We would welcome teaching people how we work with our riding horses and our team and wagon. I am a retired biologist. We pride ourselves on having created a property which enhances the environment as much as possible by planting trees, using proper grazing practices, and using solar power as much as possible. We have created a large wetland on our property which is enrolled in a conservation program to promote clean water, and wildlife habitat especially for waterfowl. The opportunities for cultural exchange are as broad as a traveler wishes to make the effort to create.
Our first experience with a couple from Czech was outstanding. We learned so much about their country and lifestyle. They enjoyed our rural life and adventuring into Calgary and the mountains. We learned much about France and French cuisine from our second workaways and really enjoyed the special incredibly delicious meals they prepared. Our experiences so far have been very good with workaway.
We hope workaways who visit can work independently on most tasks, with only a small amount of direction. We make a list of tasks that we would like done and workaways can pick which ones they would like to do. Sometimes we have to work together on the bigger tasks which can be fun and a good way to get to know each other.
We look forward to meeting new people and sharing experiences in the future.
We have horses, dogs, bees, pasture land and hay land. We require help with fencing, farm/yard maintenance, cutting grass, painting, brushing horses, organizing flower beds. Projects always just seem to pop up. It is good if workaways are good with tools and equipment. Equipment breaks, horses or wildlife damage fences so there is often work that is fairly mechanical. Although not always just mechanical or labour, It has been great fun eating meals created by the workaways that are special to their country.
We think the best workaways for our situation may be couples as many projects are much easier to do and more fun with two or more people.
We are also planning to creating a suite in a portion of our house to host a family in need from the Ukraine but we are just in planning stages of this project.
Private bedroom with Queen bed in a walk-out basement, private full bathroom, private entrance. Shared kitchen upstairs. We have two well trained hunting dogs (Pudelpointers) which live in the house with us. They are very friendly, maybe too friendly? We are pretty new to the experience of workaway but with our first two workaways we have been flexible on food arrangements. It is open access to the kitchen and workaways can prepare their own breakfasts, lunches, snacks. Sometimes we do this together. We did cook together in preparing some evening meals but we are flexible to figure out how best to meet schedules/needs. We provide food. We do not eat much prepared foods as we try to eat a healthy lifestyle.
We do include natural wild game in some meals as we harvested deer, and moose on our property this past season and also ducks, geese and pheasant. However, this is not our main source of protein. We like lamb, fish, beef, chicken and big salads. We have occasional vegetarian meals.
It would probably be best to have your own transportation as we are 30 minutes to drive to Calgary, 10 minutes to drive to Cochrane, 30 to 60 minutes to the mountains. Our location is somewhat isolated if you do not have a vehicle as you can not walk to places like you can in a city or village. We help with driving to some of the sights in the area if it fits our schedule but the experience would maybe be best if the workaway had their own independent transportation. There is a ride share area a 5 minute drive away which we can take people to.
From the house one can walk on the prairie and explore. The gravel roads around the house are quiet and good for walking or running. We see deer and coyotes almost everyday from the house. Occasionally moose and elk. Close by, Kananaskis Country is an amazing mountain area to explore for hiking, photography, mountaineering, wildlife viewing and mountain biking. Glenbow Provincial Park is only 15 minute drive away. There really are endless opportunities to connect with nature.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
There is a work space available in the lower sitting area of the house where the workaway bedroom is. Our internet access is via dish, it is rated as high speed.
We have a large parking space where vehicles can be parked close to the house or if more privacy is required we could find a more remote location.
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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