Saturday, August 1

the rattlesnakes

let me start out with a photo of what the weather earlier this week looked like:

it made me want to get out my crockpot or make soup for dinner. it was so chilly and wet and cloudy. and for the last week of july! however, the weather has cleared up and it was warmer again today, but not after a chilly pre-dawn grooming and saddling for april:

last night after working at church i went out to the rattlesnake grazing association, as planned. i ended up leavin the west end of town about 10 p.m. i already had april and scooter loaded and waiting in the trailer. amanda was going to come, but those plans didn't work out and i made my way 40 miles west to the headquarters via dirt road.

i arrived at the ranch yard about 11 and found bob martinez and jamie in the kitchen chillen and friend scot in the corrals. i unloaded, then we went to the house to enjoy a few rounds of pendleton and a few rounds of conversation before heading to bed. jamie and i shared the bunkhouse, which has about 10 beds and is very original. upon packing up my bedding this afternoon i observed my mattress a little more, and it was definitely mouse-eaten

my wake-up call came at 4:30 this morning and i changed my shirt (i've become quite accustomed to sleeping in my jeans), redid my hair and headed to the kitchen where bob's wife becky had perfect biscuits, gravy and potato skillet for breakfast. (becky has the coolest little dog: a corgi/pomeranian cross. it was supposed to be corgi/border collie, but apparently the neighbor's fluffball got there first. but the dog turned out really neat. i want one. but i want one of every dog right now.) shortly after i caught april from the corral and put her in the barn (they really have a pretty cool old barn, for wyoming, where very few were built by the homesteaders) for some grain, she's the last one in this row:

then we had to wait, and wait, for the rest of the help to show up, so by the time we were loaded in the association's trailer the sun was well up in the sky, but it was still really chilly. i was glad i brought my chaps and carhartt vest. first thing in the morning i was wearing my carhartt coat, too, and gloves and we could see our breath. and it's august 1! global warming, my eye. (april's the back one loaded in this trailer.)

so then we dropped groups of two or three riders off at different points along the pasture, and scott and i ended up on the top end and we pushed a bunch of about 90 older cows through a gate and sorted off a few strays, then met up with the rest of the riders with the larger group of younger cows. this is scott and nick on the big gray horse:

these are the younger cows coming through a draw, almost to their gate:

scott, with ferris mountain in the background. i love ferris mountain. it was hazy today. oh, and pathfinder ranch is between scott and the mountain, the place where i'll spend next saturday. oh, and i had my first up-close encounter with a defensive rattlesnake today. i've seen them around a lot, but never been rattled at. scott and i saw quite a few today. the name of the mountains is appropriate.

as soon as a small group of us arrived back at headquarters with a small bunch of strays i had to load up (after havin a beer with scott and brand inspector trav whittman) and take off to make it to church by 3 for work, which is where i'm at right now. on my way out i took some photos, since it was pitch black last night. it was a strong case for why i need to put some extra lights in my grill guard.

this is robert's trailer that i used this weekend. that dang thing is heavy.

i love endlessly remote wyoming dirt roads.

and it keeps going and going.

and, i didn't think of it soon enough in my drive to take photos of all nine cattle guards that were the landmarks of my directions on the drive out, but i did get this one:

and this one:
and this one.
so now i'll be done at church here in an hour or so, and i think i'll head back out to the association to take part in their little gathering, which features calf and lamb fries tonight. that, and we polished off two fifths of pendleton last night, and scott requested i pick up more. i could go to glenrock, for deer creek days, but i don't feel like a crowded bar tonight. give me a few ranch people sittin around bs-ing and i'm good. i think amanda was going to glenrock, but i haven't heard from her all day, ever since she got lost and went back to town last night.

and this freebee pic is of link when i brought him to the office thurs afternoon. i was talking to friend D in the parking lot of my apt, and link was walking around the truck, so when i got ready to head out i cat-napped him and took him with. look how happy he is:

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