Day 17 “Should have been a Cowboy” Toby Keith

Special dedication of today’s blog to my friend, Canaan.

As I mentioned the other day, that I wanted to share a bit about Canaan on this special, and difficult day, as well as share my reasons for selecting Make-A-Wish as my charity partner.

My selection of Make-A-Wish as my charity was based on two factors:

First, I wanted a charity that would be able to use the funds raised in a meaningful, impactful and immediate manner. Second, I was personally familiar with the wonderful experience of the Bernier Family with Make-A-Wish when they shared in Canaan’s Wish

Canaan’s Wish.

Canaan loved and aspired to live the Cowboy Way. His wish was to go to a working ranch and work alongside the ranch hands and cowboys. He was clear, that it had to be a “working” ranch and not a dude ranch and if it had a creek- all the better. Make-A-Wish created an experience for Canaan and the family that included a stay at a working ranch in Roswell, New Mexico which included cowboys, horses, manure and campfires. A trip to the town of Moriarty, New Mexico found the family as honored (and only) guests of a rodeo put on by kids from the local high school. Lots of wonderful events, thoughtfully put together and generously given to the family.


The Wish experience was so much more than the actual wish trip. The family was able to share together in a positive experience during a difficult time which created new memories and moments that have extended long beyond the Wish.

The Bernier Family was not the only ones that benefited from this special trip.  The impact of Canaan’s wish was felt throughout a community.   Six months after Canaan passed, the Mayor and townspeople of Moriarty, NM took the time to honor and remember the Little Cowboy at a special memorial dedication at the local rodeo ring.   A moving and generous experience for all

Thank you to Make-A-Wish, and to all of the Wish Granters, individuals and businesses that donate in-kind services, money and time.

The last several days in New Mexico have reminded me of the beauty and vastness of this wonderful state and the hard working cowboys that learn to rope and ride.

Today was a 60 mile day from Las Cruces to El Paso, TX. As we rolled out of NM, we traveled through many more pecan orchards, tilled fields, and new today we saw several vineyards.  Too early for blooms – but I can imagine how beautiful it must be.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and to travel with me as I cross the Southern Tier.  I appreciate the incredible support and generosity of friends, family, colleagues and strangers.   I ask that if you have thought about  donating to Make-A-Wish , I ask that you do so in honor of Canaan, and help fulfill a wish for a deserving wish child and their family.   No donation is too small. You can find the link at the top of the page.

Thank you,



6 thoughts on “Day 17 “Should have been a Cowboy” Toby Keith

  1. Karen,

    I’m Tom, in Fairfield, CA. I’m a riding friend of Sandy Newell, so I’m reading several of the postings of this trip’s riders. I always go to yours’ first (Sandy doesn’t blog) because I enjoy your wonderful writing style and your vivid descriptions of the beauty, the pain, and joyous moments that are this ride.

    Thank you for sharing the Little Cowboy with us. We all need reminding that people can be pretty darn awesome sometimes.

    As you have heard before, keep the pedals goin’ round, and the rubber side down.


  2. Thanks Coffey for remembering Canaan and his wonderful experience with Make a Wish. He lived his life dream in one week in New Mexico. I hope people who are following you get the message that you are relaying to all of us. Don’t be afraid to live, take on a challenge and take time to smell the roses along the way. You are doing an awesome job my friend. Got your text yesterday early in the morning. Tough day but you an others support helped. Talk to you soon my friend.

  3. Canaan’s story is a very moving one.
    As Karen Bernier said above, “Don’t be afraid to live, take on a challenge sand take time to smell roses along the way.” This seems like the essence of the Make a Wish foundation, and what you are doing.
    What a great life philosophy!

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