The Steele Scouts set out to retrace Sam Steele's historic ride of 125 years ago Aug. 30.
Starting at Frog Lake, over several days they travelled to Fort Pitt, Frenchman Butte and finally to Steele Narrows at Loon Lake.
Wayne Brown, local author and one of the ride's organizers, said the commemorative ride was not a leisurely trail ride. Riders rode military style, which means walking for a set amount of time, then switching to a trot, then a canter, then dismounting and walking beside the horse. Horses needed to be in good condition to complete the ride.
However, the original ride of 1885 was even tougher. Brown said 62 men left Fort Pitt, but only 42 made it to Loon Lake. Although all the men survived the ride, several of the horses did not. If a horse was badly injured on the trail, it was simply put down and the rider had to walk back to Fort Pitt.
When the Scouts and civilian riders rode into Frenchman Butte Sept. 4, it seemed that things were going much more smoothly than the original ride.
Rhonda Hodgson and Claus Young, who joined the Scouts on the historic ride, joked that the biggest problem had been the gopher holes at the camp site.
"For Rhonda and me, it was pretty much like a homecoming," said Young. Young still lives in the Frenchman Butte area, and Hodgson is originally from the Frog Lake area, though she now lives in Sundre, Alta.
Major Gordon Pethick, the commanding officer of the Scouts, explained that the Scouts undertake a commemorative ride every two or three years. In 2004 they rode from Frenchman Butte to North Battleford, and in 2006 they rode the Whoop-Up Trail from Sweetgrass to Fort Benton, Mont.
They also ride in the Calgary Stampede each year, and perform the colour guard at Spruce Meadows. "We want to give Albertans a glimpse of our proud past," says Pethick.
Turn to our photo albums under the community tab for more photos.