We’ve been trailing and back-riding for a week, as the cattle come off the summer grazing grounds. The cows and calves have been on the Routt and Medicine Bow National Forests since June and July. They graze in large rotations and we ride through them almost daily. They don’t want to leave since the weather is still warm. They see no reason to leave perfectly good feed and water. We’ve been watching the Middle Fork Fire, to the south of our allotments. It’s been burning in ungrazed areas, although there are plenty of beetle-killed pines everywhere. We’re glad to be out of the Forest with this season of fire.
Tag Archives: Sharon
2018 shearing is complete. The crew showed up in a timely manner, the ewes moved through in an orderly manner, and we thanked our lucky stars because many years bring problems, from weather to a late crew to the late arrival of our sheepherders from Peru.
First the ewes trailed from their winter pasture on the Red Desert to Badwater, which is spring and fall country. The shearing crew showed up and set up their shed and baler. We brought the bunches through, staging them for the trail south to the lambing grounds. We got two days of rain, which was welcome, but finished in time to trail several days ahead of lambing.
We then moved on to Powder Flat, where the ewes who had lambed in March were still in the wool, and the bucks, still in their red “working clothes”, awaited. We had a glitch when my dog, Cora, hit the automatic locks on the pickup as I was hauling the shearing shed to Powder Flat. Unfortunately, the pickup was at the main gate (fondly know as The Portal), and my phone was inside. After several hours, which included a long walk, much unhitching and hitching and dragging heavy vehicles around with a tractor, we were able to haul the shed to the waiting shearers and get started. Pat brought the extra keys, liberating the truck and the dog.
After two half days, all were sheared and ready to head into the spring season and events.
New Year’s Eve morning dawned bright and clear. We had a huge pile of wood to burn from an old building we had taken down. We had livestock to tend, bucks to work, and resolutions to make.
September 27th is our 41st wedding anniversay. We had the good fortune to be attending a meeting in Jackson, Wyoming. As we were having dinner, we noticed that the Tetons were reflected, upside down, in the wineglasses of nearby diners. It was quite a sight.
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!
Pat’s Mom, Marie O’Toole, will turn 100 years old in May 2016. She still lives in her own home in Florida. Pat and I spent Christmas with her, conveniently missing some minus 20 degree temperatures at home. We are trying to talk her into moving West, but for some reason, she thinks Wyoming is too cold!
I am sad to report that Dunkin, a sheep of much renown and many adventures, has gone to that great pasture in the sky. He led a long and interesting life, especially for a cross-bred, parrot-mouthed wether. Here he is with his patron, Pepe, who found him as a newborn lamb at the side of his dead mother. He was a friend to dogs, sheep and people, and will be missed for his skills as a bellwether.
Faithful blog readers may have noticed a lack of posts for the past few weeks. We have a good excuse–right in the middle of gathering, sorting, shipping, etc., Pat and I told Meghan and Eamon “Good luck!” and left for Iceland and France.
We met several of our old (meaning long-time, of course) friends for a reunion. Luckily, several speak French and know a lot about Paris. We also visited Julia and Benoit, who spent a few days on the ranch last spring. They live in the farming area near Laval, and gave us tours of both farms and a nearby medieval castle, and an abbey, which happened to be the fantastical Mont Saint Michel.