The Long Trail

My Life in the West

Publisher: Vintage Canada
A Canadian icon on his longstanding love of the West and his life in "one of the last true cowboy countries on either side of the border."

"I live on a ranch about six miles east of the town of Longview and the old Cowboy Trail in the foothills of the Rockies. On a perfect day, like today, I can't imagine being anywhere else in the world. Of course, I'm not going to say there aren't those other days when you think, 'What am I doing here?' It's beautiful country and it can be brutally tough as well." —Ian Tyson

Ian Tyson's journey to the West began in the unlikely city of Victoria, BC, where he rode his dad's horses on the weekends and met cowboys in the pages of Will James's books, and eventually followed that cowboy dream to rodeo competition. Laid up after breaking a leg, he learned the guitar, and drifted east, becoming a key songwriter and performer in the folk revival movement. But the West always beckoned, and when his marriage to his partner and collaborator Sylvia broke up and the music scene threatened to grind him down, he retreated to a ranch and work with cutting horses. Soon, he'd bought a ranch in Alberta and found a new voice as the renowned Western Revival singer-songwriter and horseman he is today. This book is Ian's reflection on that journey...

From the Hardcover edition.



It’s darker than three feet down a Holstein. Six a.m., Alberta daylight savings. Waking from a dream of Cabo San Lucas to a March north wind and five below. Everyone with half a brain and a Visa card has gotten out. Only us drones left to feed the livestock, so I...
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“Tyson has had a long, fulfilling and interesting life. . . . He has become a tireless advocate for the protection of the western environment.”
 — The Globe and Mail
“As Canadian living legends go, Ian Tyson rides tall in the saddle. [He] . . . spins an engaging tale.”
 — Winnipeg Free Press
“Written with the same plainspoken elegance as [Tyson’s] most famous records. . . . Cool is something that comes effortlessly to Tyson.”
 — National Post

From the Hardcover edition.