NAOMI GOURLAY took a nine-day wilderness trip on horseback through Jasper National Park with Tania Millen. Here's Gourlay taking a break to see the scenery.

NAOMI GOURLAY took a nine-day wilderness trip on horseback through Jasper National Park with Tania Millen. Here's Gourlay taking a break to see the scenery.

‘Yoga cowgirl’ goes wrangling up north

AFTER TAKING a college course in guiding and wrangling, Naomi Gourlay set out to check out the wilderness on horseback recently.

AFTER TAKING a college course in guiding and wrangling, Naomi Gourlay set out to check out the wilderness on horseback recently.

Gourlay went on a nine-day trek with Tania Millen, an “incredible”  mountaineer and horse woman, the horses they rode, two pack horses and Millen’s dog Jimmy through Jasper National Park.

Friends thought they were nuts to go alone and without a gun, but Gourlay was going, despite her fear.

“I mean I was really, really scared to go on that trip and you know, you just do it. I’ve never been in the wilderness for nine days and here I was going with one other person,” she said.

“My mind was working myself into a frenzy and I realized getting out there…[to] be with someone (Millen) that experienced was awesome and I had nothing to worry about.”

Although she was afraid of bears, the only wildlife she saw were a marmot and a porcupine.

And she got over her fear and the trek gave her the confidence for her next adventure.

For the next two months, she will be wrangling horses for an outfitter called Prophet Muskwa about two hours north of Fort St. John.

She’ll be getting up at 4 a.m., rounding up the horses, feeding them and getting them ready for clients to ride out hunting that day, and doing all sorts of camp chores.

“I’m excited about getting out from behind the computer and using my hands and body and connecting with nature and myself I guess,” she said,

Gourlay will be writing a blog while she’s away and you can catch up with her outdoor life at mssitz.blogspot.com.