RSS

Tag Archives: Peru

Terremoto in the Colca Canyon

Yanque, Peru--post earthquake

Yanque, Peru–post earthquake

Pat and I were in Peru in mid-July, where we met with officials from the American Embassy regarding our difficulties with H-2A visas for our skilled Peruvian sheepherders. We spent a week as tourists. Our long-time employee, Pepe, recommended that we visit the Colca Canyon, which is famed for its Andean Condors.

It is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, but in a very different landscape. The upper part is scored with relatively gradual slopes. They are very steep, with dramatic mountains rising on each side. The slopes have agricultural terraces—some from pre-Inca and Inca times and some more recent. As the canyon, and the terraces change in altitude, the crops vary in relation to the micro-climate.

When the Spaniards conquered the indigenous people living in Colca Canyon, they “resettled” them from remote farmsteads into towns where they were more easily “governed”. The twelve towns established by the Catholic Church each have a square and a beautiful church, which have largely been refurbished. For centuries, the Church provided most of the government of the region, since it was so isolated. Llama trains bore goods back and forth to Ariquipa. A highway brought the region into the modern world, and today it depends on a thriving tourism business.

On August 15th, not long after our visit there, the area was rattled by a shallow earthquake. At last count, nine people were counted among the dead, including an American tourist. Scores were injured, and access through the winding mountain roads was cut off. This followed hard on the heels of an unusually cold snap which killed thousands of head of livestock in southern Peru.

The area depends on agriculture and tourism. We were amazed by the number of tourists visiting. Each of the twelve towns in the valley has developed a unique attraction. We visited Yanque, the town most hard-hit of all. The tourist attraction in Yanque is traditional dancing in the Plaza de Armas (town square) every single day. When we saw the dancing, I thought of the movie “Funny Farm” where the locals relentlessly ice skate to impress visitors.

Still, the dancing was wonderful, and we weren’t there for any of the many festivals where we might have seen dancing. I admired the local folks for figuring out a way to extract income from the many tourists visiting the area. I read that the Plaza is now filled with folks whose homes were destroyed. We pray for them.

Pat with ladies, hawk and llama in Yanque

Pat with ladies, hawk and llama in Yanque

Yanque dancers

Yanque dancers

Smoking volcano above Yanque

Smoking volcano above Yanque

llama cria above Chivay

llama cria above Chivay

tourists at Cruz del Condor

tourists at Cruz del Condor

crosses above Cruz del Condor

crosses above Cruz del Condor

 

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 16, 2016 in Animals, Events, Folks, Llamas

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Peru and our excuse for not blogging!

Pat & Sharon at Machu Picchu. Bridget said it looked like we were photo-shopped!

 

We’ve had a long quiet spell on this blog. Don’t worry–life goes on at the Ladder Ranch. Pat and Sharon just spent two weeks in Peru. Our problems with visas for our skilled and valued Peruvian employees has reached the level where we decided to go to Lima and meet with staff at the American embassy. We also spent time with the family of Pepe Cruz, our long-time Peruvian employee. More photos will follow, but here are a few to prove that we were well and truly in Peru when we left in the middle of July, trusting Meghan, Eamon and family to hold down the fort. So here’s a few photos of us when we were touristing, not working. More Peru photos to follow!

Sharon and Pat in the beautiful agricultural region of Ariquipa

Sharon and Pat in the beautiful agricultural region of Ariquipa

Sheep grazing near Chivay

Sheep grazing near Chivay

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on July 30, 2016 in Events, Family, Folks, Sheep

 

Tags: , , ,

Snake River Community Barbeque and Fun Day

Has anyone else noticed the prevalence of “Fun Day” to describe gatherings in our community–and it’s true. We in the Little Snake River Valley really know how to have fun! Right after Labor Day, we have an end-of-summer, about to plunge-into-fall-work, guess-it-will-be snowing-soon celebration. This year the Community Barbeque included a barbeque (go figure), bouncy big toys for the kids and some grown-ups, live music, an arts and crafts display, and, of course, The Mostly Peruvian Soccer Tournament. One of our neighbors donates the use of his hayfield, next to the museum, as a soccer venue. Most years, the hay is put up, and the stubble is a little stiff. This year, due to generous (some might say overabundant) rains, the field featured somewhat soggy windrows, some of which had been raked aside to allow for clear soccer fields. This year, eleven teams played. A few were turned away, after being deemed to be too far afield and too semi-pro to participate. This gives you an idea of how many Peruvians are employed in agriculture in our area and surrounding communities. This is a day that the players look forward to all year. Even though several of our sheepherders left their flocks for the day to play for our team, the Osos de Ladder Ranch, alas,  our guys did not prevail. Still, a good time was had by all–truly Fun Days!

Peruvian soccer game in the hayfield next to the Little Snake River Museaum

Peruvian soccer game in the hayfield next to the Little Snake River Museum

Sundog, entertaining the crowd

Sundog, entertaining the crowd

A fabulous quilt by Aggie Stocks on display.

A fabulous quilt by Aggie Stocks on display.

Rainbow over the swingset and museum

Rainbow over the swingset and museum

Oso Antonio with Rhen

Oso Antonio with Rhen

Kids in line for the bouncy toy, with their shoes off

Kids in line for the bouncy toy, with their shoes off

Eamon on the bungee pull, with Brenden

Eamon on the bungee pull, with Brenden

Museum Director Leila Emmons with McCoy , Tiarnan, and the garden planted with the kids on Pioneer Day

Museum Director Leila Emmons with McCoy , Tiarnan, and the garden planted with the kids on Pioneer Day

Sally Martinez supervises the roasting of the lamb, beef and pork

Sally Martinez supervises the roasting of the lamb, beef and pork

Peruvain soccer players check out the Strobridge House

Peruvain soccer players check out the Strobridge House

Rhen at the top of the slide which has terrified generations of children

Rhen at the top of the slide which has terrified generations of children

Museum scarecrow

Museum scarecrow

Tiarnan and Siobhan under the sunflowers

Tiarnan and Siobhan under the sunflowers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The All-Peruvian soccer tournament, Savery Museum

2012 Osos de Ladder Ranch
and ardent supporters

2012 marked the Third Annual Peruvian Soccer Tournament near the Little Snake River Museum in Savery.   Quite a few Peruvians work on the ranches in our Valley, and for years, they have gotten together for pickup “futbol” games.  In 2012, some local folks decided that it would be fun to hold a tournament during the community’s fall barbeque.

Faithful blog readers may recall that our team, the Osos de Ladder Ranch, were the 2011 champions. This year eleven teams showed up to play, including one from Utah and one from Meeker, Colorado.  (This prompted some discussion as to how local the teams should be, as there are some teams in places like Salt Lake and Denver who are much more “professional” than our local teams.  The local guys literally come in from sheep camp and cow camp and hay fields to play.)

The last minute appearance of three teams necessitated the reworking of the brackets.  Luckily, local rancher and tournament co-organizer Jack Cobb also helps coach the local high school football team, so he had the skills to create new brackets on the spot.

Our guys played valiantly, and ended up in the championship game (their fourth of the day), but alas, lost by one goal to another local team–let’s call them the Adams Ranch “Hombres de Baggs”.

Pat broke his pelvis in late July.  We spent six weeks in Denver while he recovered, but he made it his goal to be home to cheer on the Osos.  We made it by one day.

Soccer ball flying high

Waiting in the wings with cowboy hats

Osos on the run

Osos cheering section: Brian, McCoy, Megan, Eamon and Trish

McCoy and Tiarnan: suited up and ready to play

McCoy’s got the ball

Tiarnan headed into the game, Meghan coaching

Yet another willing sub

Fall foliage

El Patron, watching in comfort

Proud fans at the end of the day

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 22, 2012 in Events, Family, Folks, Peruvian sheepherders

 

Tags: , , ,

The long trail south, with an aside from “Moby Duck”

The long trail south, with an aside from “Moby Duck”

Every year in mid-April, we begin the long trek south with the sheep.  Most of them have wintered on the Red Desert, north of Wamsutter, Wyoming.  They trail sixty miles or so to the Badwater pasture–a checkerboard pasture southeast of Creston Junction.  When the Union Pacific put the railroad through in 1865, the U.S. government gave them every other section for 20 miles on either side of the track as an incentive.  If they’d just given them a solid ten miles, it would have made life easier for future generations, but that is how it is.  Half the sections are privately owned (and many of them were sold by the railroad over the years) and half are BLM-administered lands.

This annual journey includes crossing under Interstate 80 and over the Union Pacific tracks, thankfully on an overpass.  It is a trail fraught with hazards, as the traffic is sometimes heavy and the railroad overpass is blind on the approaches.  We do a lot of flagging and keep the sheep in the right-of-way as much as possible.

I recently read “Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author,Who Went in Search of Them” by Donovon Hohn–a book which tracks the vast number of container ships who travel from Asia to the United States with consumer goods.  I was interested to note that the sheep were passing over railroad cars carrying containers that clearly originated in China.

Containers which came by sea from China.

When we pass through the gate into our good neighbors Duane and Debbie Rodewald’s pasture, we give a huge sigh of relief.

Pepe, surveying the route

Modesto, pushing the sheep under I80

Guard dog leads the sheep under the interstate

The road isn’t closed today.

Heading up the railroad overpass.

Sadie helping

Going through Rodewald’s gate–hallelujah!

 
 

Tags: , , , , ,