Saturday, July 12, 2008

Wild West, Frontier Towns Live On

This post is just a teaser. About 2 am this morning, we got back from our week-long pack trip into the Wind River mountains of South West Wyoming--specifically Sublette County. It is Ranch and Natural Gas country with cowboy grit and a distinctly old-west air. The headline photo above is last Thursday's front page of the Pinedale Roundup. It speaks volumes about the nature of that place. In our curb-and-guttered world, we have insulated ourselves from the harsh realities this rugged country takes in stride. The result? Our trusty friend Common Sense took ill and passed on. Fortunately, some places hold a majority of people who still remember her. I suspect South West Wyoming is such a place.

We pulled 10 horses/mules and nine people over ten hours of highway. My brother Mike and I were quite surprised as we drove north from Evanston to the Scab Creek Trail head. For 3 hours (about midnight to 3 am) we didn't see another moving vehicle. Even as we passed through Kemmerer, LaBarge, and Big Piney, we didn't see a soul. It was like the night before Christmas--SouthWest Wyoming was completely asleep.

For six days and six nights, we lived in bear and wolf country. We didn't see any of the big game we had hoped, and learned when we got back off the mountain that the only real wildlife we were close to was the Rainbow family that had descended on the Big Sandy like an unwelcome cloud of mosquitos. We did eat a lot of fish, see some breathtaking country, and fight our own unwelcome clouds of mosquitos. I guess we could have taken our vacation on some beach, relaxing in some nice hotel. Instead we spent a bazillion dollars, worked our guts out for two years getting people and animals prepared, then worked ourselves like rented mules for the entire week of vacation. When you see the next post and photos, you may understand why it was worth it.


Pineapple Princess said...

Hey. . .I like hotels, hot showers and a happy, well rested husband.

I also like that my brothers and their families find joy in a hard-work holiday.

Can't wait to see the pics! Nice teaser.

Iditadad said...

Looking forward to the rest of the photos you have. I am so glad you are able to do the wonderful fun things. As beautful as Alaska is and as many mountians and beautiful scenery, rivers, lakes, and wild life I don't ever remember hearing of any one going off into the back country here on horse back. Maybe it is so hard to care for horses up here. And the feed is out of sight. We have seen very few domesic animals here. And taking horses into the bear domain is not wise. It would be fun to see the country on horse back. Love your posts.
Dad and Mom