Monday, September 27

first hunting success

well, friday evening scott and i went out to look for an antelope, and found that one, and we went back out to look for him yesterday. we didn't really ever see him again for sure, but found another nice one after driving around looking at all the goats in the highway pasture for several hours. in the process of trying to get him, we crawled on hands and knees, bounced across sage brush, hopped out and took a shot, went careening down a two-track and bounced over more sagebrush. to no avail, and by that time all the antelope in that area were so stirred up we headed for the house.

after a quick snack we headed out again, this time north of the ranch house, in the north fish creek pasture. we saw one that was ok, but he and his does were pretty skittish and left the country, so then we drove back around by a place called eagle's gap, where there's a reservoir, and there was a whole herd back there, mostly does. (eagle's gap is the same area we went through the evening scott proposed to me out at the ranch several weeks ago).

so we got out our field glasses and looked them over, and this guy i've got here in the photo was the best of the lot, so i decided i might as well take a shot at him. after the blantant miss on the first one at 10 yards - practically - i had taken a few shots at a rock and hit it consistently, so i figured i'd try another shot at a buck.

i hit him with my first shot, but he didn't go down. the next went to high, and the third too low. :-) thankfully i had hit him well enough that he didn't run off in that process. and the process of a bullet getting jammed in the gun and scott saying from inside the pickup 'calm down. don't break my gun!' he came out and helped me get it straightened out, i loaded it again, and took my time with the last shot and he went down.

and, i might add, this was all from a lot farther away than the one at the water tank!

i shot him up on a side hill, so we put scott's new little white mazda 'snowflake' through is paces and got up to him for the cleaning process. it was pretty hot out, esp for the end of september, so scott was anxious to get him cleaned as soon as possible.

this is the side view of him. antelope are scored for their size based on how tall their horns are, and how long the cutters are - the smaller hooks that stick out the front. mine measures 13.5 inches tall, with four inch cutters, which is pretty average. what makes them pretty, i think, is if the horns curve clear out in a wide arc, and if they curl over a lot at the top. mine isn't very wide, but he does curl over pretty nicely.

back in the ranch yard bob and becky came out to look him over, and becky took this photo of me and my wonderful guide. the goat looks like he's not feeling too well, with his mouth hanging open and tongue out. foxy and lucy were very curious as to what we had brought back for them.

then we backed the truck in the shed so we could hanging him from the rafters to finish the cleaning process. i did save the head to be mounted as my first success in hunting, and we took the meat to friend jamie's, who has a friend that wants it. scott absolutely refuses to eat antelope. i've never tasted it, but judging from the smell of them, i don't really want to. a buck antelope smells worse than a buck barnyard goat.

so that was pretty much my sunday, now back to work as usual in the office today.

Saturday, September 25

a drive to greybull

well, just made it back to town from the journey to greybull, which took four hours each way. on the way up we went the usual way through shoshoni and thermopolis, and on the way back we went through ten sleep and over the big horns to buffalo. while we were up there - publisher dennis and i - we stopped to take some photos of the aspens, which are in full color these days.

i met dennis at 6:30, and now it's six, so that took just about 12 hours. the funeral and lunch lasted two, and it was good that we went. now i'm headed to gather up some hunting clothes and head back to the ranch tonight. just talked to becky, and the guys are still working calves, so they're all going to be in great moods. :-) to put that in perspective, becky was told to have dinner ready at three....

but, becky says lucy worked great for scott today while gathering cows! i was very happy to hear that.

Friday, September 24

friday night

if i knew where my little red camera was right about now. i'd share the gorgeous autumn sunset that i shared with scott tonight up at the ranch. we were out hunting antelope, and found one just as it was too dark to shoot him. hopefully friend marvin from cody doesn't get him before i get back up there sunday! i told marvin i'd tied a red ribbon on him, so he was clearly market.

it has been very busy around here. too busy. i'm headed to greybull tomorrow - four hours' drive - with publisher dennis for jody's mother's funeral. it means a lot to be there, i just wish it wasn't so far. the day will be over by the time we get back to town. i told scott i might not make it back to the ranch tomorrow night. they're all gathering cattle and preconditioning calves tomorrow, and were sitting around visiting when i left to head back to town. i wish i could have stayed. the association is one of my favorite places to be these days. a good place to get out into the darkness and quiet and just relax.

i'm going to try to not to worry about working on any more fall cattlemen's edition until monday. it's hard for me to not worry about the paper, even on weekends. and there are several other dramas going on that i'm also concerned about. i've had a nagging headache for two days.

here's hoping for a little relaxation before hitting it hard again on monday. cattlemen's deadline coming up october 1!

good things in the mail

my rug came yesterday! while i was in pendleton i found this one at a rug vendor for less than half of regular price, so i bought it, after assurances that it can stand up to dog traffic.

lucy approved. she immediately sat on it and started bringing dog bones over to enjoy. now the rug is downstairs so it'll hopefully uncurl and lie flat before i replace the green one in front of the couch.

the green one has served its purpose well, for the price of it - less than $20 at big lots here in town. before it's completely worn out i'll move it somewhere else and use the heavier bucking horse one in front of the couch.

i took this pictures late in the evening after we got back to town from the ranch. we were supposed to go antelope hunting, but *someone* forgot their license at the house and didn't realize it until we were halfway to the ranch.

fox loves to kick her back legs out behind her when she's focusing hard on chewing things up.

yesterday my necklace with my brand in it also came in the mail, which scott ordered for me at pendleton, and we also got a wedding card from my grandma. it was one of those good mail days. :-)

now i'm waiting for one more package of things i ordered in pendleton, and then i think that's it. i shopped more there than i have everywhere in the last year.

Thursday, September 23

just working

well, it's another busy week with not much time for posting on my blog.

since jody's mother passed away last week, she went to greybull to be with her family yesterday. the service is on saturday, and i'm making the journey up there with publisher dennis.

since she's out of the office, tracy and i are filling in for her, which means i built the classifieds. that would be fine, except i was already behind with spending all day tuesday on the road getting three more fall cattlemen's interviews for that special edition. i stayed a couple hours late at the office last night, intending to start building the classifieds at home last evening, but i forgot the run sheet on the printer. that's a very important part, because it's what tells me which display ads are going in the classifieds this week, and where they go. so instead, i sent tracy some more editorial things and called it a night.

that's about all i have time to write for now... just finishing the paper in a full day today, and hopefully going antelope hunting tonight. i don't know, though, i've been saying that for three evenings now.

the photo is a yearling i found in fremont county on my first trip over there a couple weeks ago.

Tuesday, September 21

the short go

just a couple photos of the short go in pendleton that i picked out of the many, many in my file. the above photo is jason miller of lance creek in steer wrestling. he was the first to go, and set a pretty good time, but it was quickly beaten by a series of good runs by a few of the other contestants.

needless to say, this guy did not post a good time. since the arena is grass, there's a lot of slipping and falling that goes on, as the horses aren't used to the slick footing. they do shoe them specially, with more traction, but some of them still lose their balance. the turf is just a part of the tradition and challenge of competing at the round-up. that's the way they've always done it, and they've been doing it  for 100 years, so they're not going to stop now.

and i had another photo of kelly timberman on his victory lap for bareback riding, but i cannot get it to load, so maybe later.

scott and i got back into town sunday evening around six, and by the time we finished with everything we needed to - cleaning the office included, it was late enough that we went straight to bed upon getting home.

yesterday i spent in the office getting this week's paper going - already the last one in september, how did that happen? - and today i'm headed back to fremont county. first i go to jeffrey city at 9, then on to crowheart for a noon interview. hopefully i will get at least one more before coming back to casper. this is the first cattlemen's edition that has been so impossible for scheduling interviews. it feels like it's been a fight for every single one both heather and i have completed, and it's been that way since the start. thankfully, our deadline has been pushed back a week, from this friday to oct. 1, so we have a little more time to pick up a few more. and melissa is also working on a couple more, so that will also help, if she's able to get them done. at least, with this edition being the latest deadline since i've been at the roundup, we should be able to get some great fall color photos to include.

last night i went up to the ranch with scott to pick up the pups and show a friend of *my sister-in-law's* - penny's - where to go to bow hunt for elk. i think that's the area we showed them. :-) i was going to visit with becky at the house while scott did that, but she was in town. it's good to have the dogs back in the house! although somewhat (alot) more chaotic.

Sunday, September 19

hello there!

sorry, it's been a busy few days, and i haven't taken the time to post anything on here. currently i'm back in the denver airport, waiting with scott for our flight back to casper, which was delayed about an hour.

on friday we got married! as you can imagine, it was a simple ceremony, and we were only accompanied by our meeteetse friends buck and shelly.

this photo is in mckay park in pendleton. we thought it would be neat to be married in pendleton, oregon at the 100th anniversary of the pendleton roundup, and that's what led to this idea that's been ongoing since the end of july, when it was hatched as a very tentative plan. following that, we contacted the umatilla county courthouse in pendleton, exchanged some letters back and forth, including a waiver of the three-day waiting period for a marriage license in oregon, and scott's speaking to my dad about marriage when my parents were in wyoming on their visit - that was a big component.

the tuesday night after i got to pendleton i went and visited with the minister and his wife to go over the ceremony and pick out our vows, so that's exactly what took place on friday afternoon. it was a nice little affair, in a pretty park under a willow in the sunshine. buck took photos for us afterward, and there was this neat bridge going over mckay creek.

following the ceremony scott and i went back to the courthouse to finish up the paperwork. we'd gone there first thing in the morning - during the parade featuring 1,500-plus horses - to get the initial paperwork done. buck and shelly went to the rodeo with the media passes that afternoon while we finished up our business, then scott and i went a few places like the pendleton woolen mill outlet store. christmas shopping! :-)

saturday we went back to pendleton in the morning after eating breakfast with buck and shelly before they left to drive back to wyoming. in pendleton we went to an old saddle shop outside of town, then went back in for the rodeo performance - the short go that determined the champions. kelly timberman of mills, which is connected to casper, tied for champion in bareback riding. after the rodeo we headed back to pasco instead of walla walla so we could be right next door to the airport this morning. we returned the rental car, went through security, flew over several states, and here we are, still hoping to get on the plane. initially they had told us take-off at 4:44, but it looks doubtful, if not impossible, that will happen....

Thursday, September 16

mid-week happenings

let 'er buck!

as the slogan in pendleton so frequently says.

yesterday i headed down to pendleton mid-morning in the expectation of meeting up with wyoming competitors, but apparently they felt like snubbing me, as they never returned my phone calls, so instead i watched part of the early afternoon performance and did a little shopping. much more fun use of time, anyway!

the things i picked up were a large brown leather bag with a gold felt bucking horse stitched on the side - makes for a little more glamorous camera bag when i'm traveling light. i also picked up a gift for scott, which we will pick up this evening after i get him from the airport, it had to be custom-made. and then i found a living room-sized rug! now, these are usually pretty pricey, and i wasn't planning on purchasing one, but turns out the one i liked best was marked down over 50 percent off, so i went for it. the green rug in front of my couch won't last forever, as the dogs are dethreading it gradually - so the new, higher quality rug will go in that place. it's being shipped to casper.

then i hit the hall of fame gift shop, picking up a pendleton roundup cap and assortment of goodies to bring back to my fellow coworkers. at another booth i was tempted by a framed print that, instead of saying 'let 'er buck,' said 'better luck' and had a drawing of the pendleton cowboy on the ground beneath his bucking horse. i might still have to go back and get that one.... i haven't gone to the woolen mills yet, as i was waiting for scott to make that trip, and also to visit the 'world famous' let 'er buck room beneath the grandstands.

i came back to walla walla before the performance was over, as i wanted to get to work on some things for the weekly paper, and today i've also spent working on the paper, getting things together for fall cattlemen's edition, which is due next friday.

but, for now, i'm off to pasco to get scott at the airport! friends buck and shelly will arrive later this evening. it will be very fun to have company to wander around with!

and... justin johnson just called me back, and i told him he was sol, as i couldn't get down there to talk to him in time to get it in the paper. rodeo cowboys, anyway. and team ropers, no less!

Tuesday, September 14

hamley's for dinner

this is hamley, where we ate last night after the meeting. or part of it, rather. it takes up half a city block in downtown, between the tack shop, bar and steakhouse. the sign says, 'purveyors of fine saddles, fine food and fine whisky.'

following the meeting's conclusion i had about an hour extra, so i drove downtown and walked around a little bit. the street bands were setting up, about one for each block on a main street running through downtown. i went into hamley's to browse and a few other shops, but didn't find anything terribly irresistible. at least not yet. there was some really nice artwork in hamley's, some special for the 100th roundup, but it was pretty pricey.

after my wandering around i headed back up to the 'slickfork saloon,' a large space in the upstairs of hamley, which was reserved for the plc gathering. there was an elaborate bar, a pretty red tin ceiling and advertisements from days past hanging on the walls. i once again met up with the wyoming group, and we visited and ate together. we had a buffet for dinner, with delicious beef, as well as the basic green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy.

i left shortly after i finished eating, as i needed to make it up to my room in walla walla - and find the hotel! - and try to get a little work done. turns out, by the time i made it back up to washington and found the place, i just went to bed instead of trying to write. writing when my brain is tired and worn out just doesn't work.

this morning i awoke bright and early, ironed another shirt and headed back to pendleton, where i found the starbucks and got a couple articles hammered out before coming back to the meeting, where i'm at now. they're talking about the most newsworthy part of the whole meeting, but it's a closed discussion and i'm not allowed to report. at least they trust the roundup enough to still let me listen in.

this afternoon i probably won't come back to the meeting, but rather find a place to finish up writing a few more articles - some large holes recently opened up in the paper this week - and i need to figure out still what the feature will be on the cover this week. i also need to find the rodeo press office and make sure i've got that all squared away.

Monday, September 13

what i do when i'm out of the office, but at work

since 8 this morning i've been in the public lands council meeting, listening in on all the issues and discussion, which mostly related to onerous federal regulations these days. so far i count eight people in attendance from wyoming, which is a good number, considering the distance. i knew them all previously, and have visited with all of them and shared lunch with most.

i've also visited with a ranch wife from north dakota, who drove 17 hours with her husband, a past president of plc, to get here. on my way in this morning i chatted with an oregon cattleman, who was here for the oregon cattlemen's meeting this morning. he'd never been to wyoming, but is going to the afton area to hunt elk in a few weeks.

topics of discussion today, straight off the agenda, have been: Legislative/Administrative Issues, U.S. Forest Service Briefing, Wild Horse & Burro, Washington Update, and Lunch! can't forget that one. this afternoon we have Wolf Issues, Sage Grouse Initiative and others. the topic titles might sound dry, but really, they're not bad, and some of them are downright interesting. it's interesting to hear what's different from wyoming, and what's the same. right now he's talking about sage grouse in oregon. sound familiar? i think they're also more interesting, since most of them i know pretty detailed background on, so i understand why they're important. it's my job.

tonight we're all going to hamley steakhouse for dinner, which is a new addition to the hamley saddlery, a historic saddlemaker here in pendleton. so i'm going to tool around a little bit in downtown, scoping out the place, then head to my hotel in walla walla, where i will stay the rest of the week. hopefully it's easier to find than pasco's holiday inn express!

oh, the artwork above is a 3-D wood wall hanging in pendleton's red lion hotel, where the meeting is being held. it's probably 12 feet wide, but i like it, and i'd hang it in my house if my house was big enough.

this is what happened...

in the previous post, it was my mistake. it was 1:30 wyoming time that i got to the hotel, as i forgot my laptop doesn't automatically switch time zones like my phone does. so, it was *only* 12:30 washington time.

so this is what happened. i deplaned shortly after 11, picked up the rental car and a map from the hertz desk. i had forgotten to mapquest my hotel, but no worries, because there was a holiday inn express on the map, right? nope. cause there are two, and the one i was staying at was not on the map. and the one on the map was extremely hard to find. and the map was a very poor photocopy, and hard to decipher. i turned around and backtracked no less than three times. and maybe took some slightly illegal routes. so i finally found it, and she said she wasn't expecting me, and gave me directions to the other one. so i found that one, after only backtracking once, and walked up to the door with all my stuff. and it was locked. it figured. but, there was a little phone by the door, and all i had to do was pick it up and that brought the little man to the desk. and the whole time it was so dark and new interstates and new roads. and a big river running through town. even though it was early when i woke up, i was glad to see morning and the faint hint of dawn. it's a lot easier to find one's way in strange country when one can see where they're going!

so then i hurried and ironed my shirt this morning and hit the road after grabbing some coffee from the lobby, drove the 70 miles, and here i sit in pendleton. the country around here is very similar to wyoming. i drove through some sagebrush patches, but it appears to be mostly small grains production in this area, and some corn under pivots. pendleton is in a pretty location. there are rolling hills around here, and a bigger rim to the east, but the town itself is mostly nestled down in the valley between these hills. i'm looking forward to getting out and exploring a little bit, but i looked at the agenda and looks like i'll be here all day, probably until 7 tonight, or later. maybe a little more free time tomorrow night?

but, tonight's dinner is at hamley's steakhouse, sponsored by farm credit northwest, so i'm pretty excited about that. is the steakhouse attached to the saddle shop?

i've been trying to think of an angle on a lead cover spot for this week, and on the drive over i thought maybe i could talk to several oregon ranchers in attendance at the meeting, and the guys who are coming from wyoming, in a compare/contrast of ranching in oregon versus wyoming. i'm sure there are many similarities, and, if anything, i think they have a few more problems with the enviros, if you can imagine that.

1:30 a.m. pacific time...

which means it's 2:30 a.m. wyoming time.... got into the airport shortly after 11, picked up my car with not much problem. it's some little two-door mitsubishi thing. i have no idea. i just took the keys and didn't ask questions. then the only holiday inn express on the map the hertz girl gave me turned out to be the wrong holiday inn express, and you should have seen the feats i went to to find that first one. i forgot to mapquest it myself before leaving denver. my mistake. then got lost again finding the second holiday inn express. then got to this one, and the front doors were locked. figures.

that's the last time i make advance hotel reservations in a strange town for a late-night arrival. i drove past 2039486798542 perfectly acceptable hotels, but this one had already been charged to the roundup credit card so i had to find it.

up at five, gotta leave here at 6 to make it to pendleton on time.

Sunday, September 12

the denver airport

well, here i am with all the other schmucks awaiting their planes at the denver airport. it's 7:26, and mine is supposed to depart at 9-something. almost 10, i think, because i won't get to pasco until 11:08. i'll stay there tonight, then travel the 71.85 miles - according to mapquest - to pendleton, oregon in the morning, before the 8 a.m. start to the meeting, which lasts until 5 p.m. that may sound like a long ways to go to start the day, but it's nothing unusual for one used to driving around the open spaces of wyoming. i'll leave pasco at 6:30 and be there in plenty of time. in theory. the red lion hotel where the meeting will be held is supposed to be right off the interstate - also according to mapquest.

i will spend tuesday in meetings as well, and hopefully dig up a main cover article for this week's paper in the meantime. if i can find a wyoming angle and a good photo before wednesday, it'll be a go. i've come a long way from last january, and being so nervous about having a guaranteed plan for our cover. :-) that's why i'm glad this trip was so far into the year - i'm pretty settled into my new position at the paper, and confident i can cover all my usual responsibilities remotely.

and, i'm excited for this trip, as washington and oregon are two states to which i've never been, so i can check them off my list. and what better reason to take such a trip than a: on business and b: for the centennial of a great rodeo? and it's also the first time i'll have gotten a rental car on my own, since i'm now of age, so that will also be a new experience in a new state, but it can't be that hard.

i will try to keep you updated on the happenings of the week, as it's sure to be an epic adventure.

Thursday, September 9

it's all a part of going on vacation

yep, that's right, cleaning out the fridge, in preparation of being gone for a week to oregon. last night was one of those dinners where i pulled all the various ingredients out of the fridge, put them together and made them work. that's also how i tend to decorate my house, and somehow it all works out ok in the end. :-)

these are a few of the ingredients i started out with - zucchini and yellow squash brought from iowa by my mom last weekend, steaks leftover from a dinner with the parents and the remaining block of a package of sharp cheddar cheese.

some of the zucchini rounds were rather large, and i should have quartered them to cook more evenly with the smaller yellow squash rounds. frying zucchini is very simple but so amazingly delicious - melt a good chunk of butter in the skillet, add the zucchini, flip around once, sprinkle with a good dash of salt, then just keep frying on medium heat until the slices are nice and golden brown. that's it - no need to get all fussy!

this is about the stage at which i add the salt. roasting in the oven or on the grill with olive oil and salt also works great, but takes longer, and the stovetop is the simplest version.

there was more steak than this to begin with, but several cubes were eaten before they made it to the skillet phase of dinner. :-) since they were pretty cold from being in the fridge, i heated them first.

then added some leftover chopped red onion. red onion is one of my staples - i always have a few on hand, and preferably pre-chopped and waiting in the fridge for just such applications.

i gained a dozen ranch eggs from ranch wife jo keith earlier this week. since they're pretty small, i used three. and - you guessed it - leftover cream that i'd like to use up before i leave.

add the egg and leftover chopped green onion to the skillet with the steak and red onion. cook over medium to medium-low heat until the eggs are set up, stirring the whole thing to scramble it.

by this time the squash was lookin pretty good, and warranted a fork to grab a few to eat immediately.

and it didn't take but a few minutes for the steak scramble to finish up, and i added the grated cheddar to the pot to melt a little.

and there you have it - easy wednesday dinner while cleaning out the fridge. so, tonight go open up your fridge and use up some of those ingredients that may be beginning think they're a permanent resident. :-)

Wednesday, September 8

why i love photoshop

this original photo came from heather, of double h photo. she was the official photographer at pathfinder days 2010, and she passed along a few of our little group as we competed throughout the day, and i'm really hoping to get a few more. (hint, hint ;-) )

anyway, so this one is scott and myself on my mare april competing in the rescue race. scott ran down to pick me up at the opposite end of the arena, and i managed to get on, and i also managed to not get completely centered before we took off, but this is when we still had the illusion of everything pulled together. i really liked the photo, so i took it into photoshop and did this a few weeks ago:

a little bit of a crop to make it more facebook profile picture-friendly, a little bit of lighten, a little bit of sharpen, a little bit of color boost, thanks to a few of pioneer woman's free photoshop actions. take them, download them, install them and use them. they're wonderful.

then, i got to playing around with the same photo again, as it's a favorite of mine, with scott and myself having a good time doing the kind of thing we love to do together. i'm thinking i want to incorporate it somehow into 'save the dates' or something like that for wedding announcements. or maybe just print it and enjoy it. but anyway, i took my time cutting it out, especially on april's tail, and this is what i had at that point, cut out from the first raw image:

but, that in and of itself was a little boring, so i came up with several options, also using pw's photoshop actions to help me along the way. some of the effects were subtle, like the faint blurring of the edges on this one:

and some were not so sublte, like this one. while i wouldn't probably try to print it, except maybe in very high-quality ink and paper, i kinda like the metallic aspect of it. it's pw's 'vintage' action, which shows up a little different on this than most photos because of the nature of my cut-out:

and this was the last one, and the one that has scott's vote:

he likes old-timey looking western photographs, and i think this effect suits the photo perfectly.

find pw's free photoshop actions here.

Tuesday, September 7

labor day 2010

we enjoyed our labor day three-day weekend, which was filled with happy hour and an abrupt move friday night for becky's daughter, a trip to meeteetse to help friends buck and shelly with the 98th annual meeteetse labor day rodeo and a visit to cody for lunch with friends marvin and janey at buffalo bill's irma hotel. sprinkled in there were horses and cowobys, country music and dancing, a little pendleton whiskey, a wall tent and a bedroll and several hazelnut lattes and plenty of black coffee. oh, and lots of congratulations on our engagement. :-)

now it's back to work with a short week on both ends. the task is to get the roundup's university of wyoming edition ready to go. then a trip to cheyenne for work friday afternoon/evening, and leaving for pendleton next sunday!

relaxing sunday afternoon after getting back from cody and before heading the few miles back into meeteetse to join the festivities.

Wednesday, September 1

let 'er buck!

getting ready for a trip to pendleton, oregon here shortly. coworker jody has been there before, and i'm hearing word of the 'let 'er buck room,' under the rodeo stands, where all the contestants go after the performance, and where only whiskey is served.

scott and i will be right at home.

there are so many things to see and do in our few short days! i'm glad i will be there a few days ahead of scott to scope it out and make the most of our free time.

for a kid or a dog?

'eddie, edna and skippie'

those are the top name choices from friend eddie lowndes.

perhaps we will leave him out of that process.