It is hard to believe how quickly the past two weeks have passed. It seems like just yesterday it was a snow day on the first Sunday in June. The 4th of July was tons of fun. I went to the Buffalo Bill Cody Stampede on Friday. It was a good rodeo to go watch. And of course I went to Walmart to spend $170 on groceries. It makes for an expensive trip.
On the 4th I participated in a local reenactment of the Pony Express. 18 local riders take part in a ride from Hyattville to Ten Sleep carrying a mail bag. Each rider runs a mile of the route and passes on to the next rider. Katy Jane ran the 11th mile and I ran the 12th. We took all week riding our horses to get ready for the run on Saturday. Actually it was just a good excuse to be having a good run on the horses all week. After the ride, we all rode in the Ten Sleep parade. As we passed the MC introduced us and stated that there were even some international riders; one from France and one from ‘someplace called Arkansas,’ meaning Katy Jane and I. We got a kick out of that. We later returned to Ten Sleep for the Rodeo. There was a Wild Horse Race, and I have never seen one of those before. 7 teams are in a time race to be the first to catch, saddle, ride their horse to the end of the arena, and carry the saddle back to the chutes. It was pretty interesting to watch. we then returned to the ranch for a steak cookout and then once again returned to Ten Sleep for a street dance. Talk about an interesting 4th of July weekend.
Other than my activities around the 4th I have just pretty much been working from sunup to sundown. We have been busy swathing and baling hay, moving cattle that are getting out of their pastures in the mountains, and keeping up with the irrigation.
I have taken a few trips up the mountain on horse back and each time I get to go farther in moving cattle. There are some amazing views of the canyons and the look out over the Basin is unmatched. One day I took the 4 wheeler way up into the mountains to fix fences in our summer grazing pastures. There were some really long hikes that day. And of course all of the fences that were in the worst shape were on the steepest slopes. The fences take a lot of maintenance up there because there are several herds of elk in the mountains and they just trample the fences. I am hoping to get to stay at cow camp for a couple days later this month.
I fell off my horse while gather cattle the other day. Well maybe getting drug off is more like it. We were gathering cattle that had swam the creek from the pasture, and the creek was up pretty good. I was riding a stocky gray mare that had not been ridden at all this season. She did great tho. We were going through all sorts of willow brush and mud that was knee deep on her. I was a little worried that she might bog down a few times. Once we got the cattle gathered I followed them to push them on out of the river bottom and a bull took off in a thick willow brush. Well I tried to follow, and to put things short, the willows were too thick to ride through and I got drug off the horse and landed in a tree. All is well though. We finally got the bull out, but he swam back across the creek and my mare just dove right in the water after him. I thought that was good, but she did it again when we were pushing the bull across a ditch what was a good two foot deep. It was pretty fun riding cause she is an awesome cow horse and its always fun going swimming on horses, but I did get a little soaked and about needed to wash my jeans again when we landed on top of that bull in the ditch. Ha ha!
It is so hard to believe that I only have 4 weeks left here in Wyoming but I am enjoying every minute of it. Hyattville is such a small town and I am getting to know lots of people in the area. I love sitting down at the cafe and bar to listen to everyone’s stories of that day’s work and their family histories from the area. It must be awesome to have a ranch that has been in the family for a few generations.