Posts Tagged ‘Bighorn Mountains’

By the time many of you read this, I’ll be in my van on the road to Wyoming.  So it’s the start of a three-week blogging break for me.  Our internet connection at 7,000′ is quite slow, which is fine, as I’ll be spending my time riding, reading, hiking, and relaxing.  My parents will also be visiting for about a week, although unfortunately, my husband can’t make it. But I imagine I’ll be popping in to Instagram from time to time.  In the meantime, have a wonderful time wherever you are and whatever you’re doing.  When I get back, I’ll have lots of information and photos for posts, although I haven’t finished with France yet.  Isn’t travel grand?  Blessings to all of you and I’ll be back soon.

Headed toward this view…

© janet m. webb

Welcome to September!  Summer has flown by, but I was blessed to be able to take two wonderful vacations, to France and to Wyoming.  When in Wyoming, I’m always in the mountains. The Bighorns are close to my heart, filling a soul need for me every year. On one of our drives in France, we drove into the mountains…and suddenly, I felt as though I were in the Alps.  It was cool, cloudy, and windy, bells rang from the necks of cattle, and my heart soared, bringing a smile of pure joy to my face.  Nature at its very best, at least for me!

© janet m. webb

Treh Markstein, The Voges Mountains, France

© janet m. webb

Bighorn Mountains near Sheridan, Wyoming

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An afternoon walk around the first lake (as opposed to the second and third lakes) reveals plenty of life, even though the wildflower season is earlier in the summer.

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A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse.
~Richard III, Shakespeare

Horses are an integral part of the TP experience, TP being where we have our cabin and go each summer.  Most of the families own at least a few horses and the horses that aren’t owned by people in Sheridan who have places to keep them are turned out on a ranch over the winter where they run wild.  After being out all winter, some of them run a bit wild in spring, too, when the whole herd is brought up the mountain.  During the day, the horses hang out in the corral; at night, they’re run out to the pasture where they graze and sleep, until whoever is wrangling, rounds them up in the morning and herds them back to the corral.  But it’s not all work.  They even have a day off, Thursday.

Horses, like people, have friends, cliques, and foibles.  There’s always a group or two who will try to bit or kick any horse that comes near and when a horse is turned out after riding, she may be chased by this group on the way to the horse with whom she hangs out.  When a new horse arrives, he’ll usually get picked on until he finds a friend and/or fights back.  Bullying isn’t just for people.

Each horse has a different thing, or more than one, that it finds scary.  To one, it’s the little chattering squirrels running along downed logs.  To another, it’s cattle.  Some horses are afraid of things you, the rider, can’t even see.  But one thing most horses are united about–there are monsters out there and if you’re the lead horse, the monsters will get you first!  Consequently, the lead horse has to be on the alert, entitled (at least in its eyes) to be a little crazy, prance a bit, act up if it can get away with it.  The rest of the horses in the line can relax.  If the monster comes, while it’s getting the lead horse and rider,  they (and hopefully their riders, if they’ve managed to stayed on), will be running like the wind in the opposite (or any other) direction.  So they can take it easy if they want.

Nevertheless, riding is one of my joys, providing a way to get into places that would be too far to walk, too difficult or, sometimes, impossible to reach by vehicle.  And it’s a joy I look forward to enjoying each and every summer.

Horses on their way to pasture in the afternoon

Horses on their way to pasture in the afternoon

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Our first stop after leaving in the morning is the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota.  Every year, the outside is decorated with corn, grasses and other plants.  Begun in 1892, the Corn Palace is somewhere you might think will be, if you’ll excuse the expression, corny, but as my best friend found out several years ago, it’s really interesting.

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Hay’s an important crop, so hay and grass for grazing are much of what we see as we drive through South Dakota.  Earlier in the year, we would have seen sunflowers, but I only spot one field of them.  

Since it’s Bike Rally week in Sturgis, there are literally hundreds of bikers on the road.  Motels and hotels are filled as far as five or six hours away.  Bikers who look like they were young during the 60’s and older couples whose motorcycles sport sidecars all make the trek from all over the country.  It’s always the first week of August and some wild and crazy things go on.

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