Saturday, October 1, 2011

Wyoming Cattle Drive

When I was in Wyoming last week, we loaded up seven horses into my friend P's big trailer.

Standing in a trailer as horses pile in: only pros can do this safely.

Our destination? The end of a country road in the low mountains near the border between Wyoming and Idaho.

On the way to the end of the road at the bottom of a beaver-dammed stream, we found ourselves in the middle of a cattle drive.

The view through my friend's windshield. (That's a crack in the glass, not a ghostly mountain in the distance.)

It was a small cattle drive, but to this city girl, it was enormous fun. There were cows to the right, left, and straight ahead of us. A bunch of cowboys--and cowgals--were rounding up the stragglers. And a bunch of cattle dogs were making sure everybody did their job juuuust right.

As we waited for everyone to safely pass, I rolled down my window and snapped photos. I drew curious looks from some of the young women on horseback. I think it's because my friend's big pickup and horse trailer and Wyoming plates clearly marked her as a local, but I was snapping away like some sort of idiotic, cow-struck city slicker.

Well, they were wrong.

I'm a idiotic, cattle-dog-struck city slicker!

Happy feet on that dog!

Not a city slicker.

The hoodie sweatshirt worn with the leather chaps: City meets Country.

The gentleman below, clearly an experienced rider, was trying to get his horse to go through a small gap in the fence to reach some cows on the other side. I love how his horse is, for a moment, Not. Having. It!:

Busy, busy, busy dog.

This group was just a few yards ahead of us.

What're YOU lookin' at?

At last all the cows, dogs, and horses passed, and we traveled on to a small turnaround to unload the horses.

We lashed our saddlebags down to our saddles...

Saddlebags come in washable fabric now, too: Good idea!

The gorgeous, one-eyed Hoot, patiently waiting for the start of the ride.

We climbed a streamside trail into the low mountains, which were breaking out in a blaze of autumn color:

A while later, we reached our destination. Horses safely tied, we sat on old logs and ate a sack lunch while admiring the glorious views.

Then we made our way back to the trailers, loaded everybody up, and drove to the local ice cream place, which is on the grounds of a working sawmill.

And absolutely everybody had some!

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