Saturday, August 20, 2011

Girl's Day Out

When most people hear the term "Girl's Day Out" it usually includes thinking about shopping, lunch at a fancy bistro or cafe, a mani and pedi, or a complete spa day. Well, it's a little different out here in our neighborhood.

Yesterday, Scott asked me to head over to his parents' ranch to check on our cows that are spending the summer there. I was willing, but a little hesitant, because I'd only been back to the pastures once a few years ago, when we went to check on Karen and Gus's cattle when they were out of town. So in order to do an effective job of finding the actual cattle, instead of getting lost or wandering off a cut-bank, Karen graciously acted as tour guide.

We loaded a couple of bags of mineral on her four-wheeler, fueled up, aired up a tire (after we had to take the compressor reset button apart and wiggle things until it sparked--literally--to life) and headed out. While I knew that Karen and Gus's country was much different and rougher than here at the Rock Springs place, it was quite a lot rougher than I thought. It really reminded me of where I grew up, down near the Missouri River Breaks, with its juniper plants, occasional cedar trees, deep draws, and gumbo side-hills. We spent about 3 hours out and about looking for cows who were hidden in deep draws all throughout the pasture in bunches of 3-5 pairs. We did see a couple of bunches with 10-15 pair, but the rest were all spread out. They are really doing well! There is grass-a-plenty, with some western wheat grass we saw that was 6 inches taller than the front of my four wheeler. Apparently blue-joint tastes better than your pasture-variety-grass, because in the few places we found that in the bottom of the creeks, the girls had eaten it down to the ground. We hit a couple of neat springs that Gus and Karen developed and saw a pretty nice sized white-tail buck, which I didn't quite get a picture of  because my camera battery was having issues.

I really enjoyed my morning "out". Thanks Karen!

See those cattle to the left in that draw?

Some Really BIG country!

They look pretty happy don't they?

This is where we saw the deer, just below me at the top of the draw,  right near a cedar tree.

All the different rocks and other geographical features make me wish I would have paid more attention during physical science class when I was a freshman!

Karen, heading down a big hill, on our way back toward the house.

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Friday, August 12, 2011

It's that time again....

The Crew

The Junior Crew

Checking out the load


My little pea-picker

A picture that shows the 'bigness' of the country out here.

This year's corn...hopefully the weather holds so we can cut in late October.

Peas planted at the end of June... remarkably good for being so late!


First night we tried to cut... and we've been at it a week now. 2/3 done with the Winter Wheat tonight.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Mid-Summer Travels

For the first time in married life, our harvest hasn't even started yet, as of August 4th. And due to the rush rush rushing of plantingsprayinghayingspraying, we didn't get a chance to go on much of a vacation jaunt in June.  So when it looked like maybe we'd have a few free days at the end of July, we booked a couple of nights in Red Lodge at the Rock Creek Resort. For some reason, the pictures ended up almost in reverse order, so I'll narrate them that way. 

Saturday morning, we saw a few mountain goats near the top of Bear Tooth Highway.

Looking down to the bottom at a lake from the top.

Looking up from my bottom as I slipped heading back to the vehicle (smooth move huh?)

One of the lakes on the flat as we headed down the other side.

Ben, heading back from a pit stop.

A picture of the falls.

Scott and the 3 youngers heading up to the top of the falls.

Haley and I stayed down and watched the water come crashing down. It was beautiful!

Allison making meatballs out of mud on the banks of the Clarks Fork River.

Haley and Adam, snacking, waiting for our picnic lunch.

This is back a day, on Friday. Our first stop in Red Lodge was at the Box Car that makes a mean Hot Fudge Sunday. Ben and Alli opted for a twister cone, and Scott, Haley and Adam opted for milkshakes. Haley raves about the huckleberry milkshakes from the red caboose!

Dad and Haley

Adam (aka Mr. Smooth)

Usually everyone is waving me and my camera away, but for some reason this year, I didn't get quite as many pictures as I usually do. We headed on over to Cody to see Scott's Uncle Don and Aunt Peggy on Saturday over the Chief Joseph Highway. It was fun to see that country and their beautiful new home. Then we headed back through Belfry and the location of the Smith Mine Disaster. It was interesting as none of us had taken that trek before. On Sunday after an awesome breakfast at the Red Lodge Cafe, and a trip to the famous candy store in down town Red Lodge, we headed to Billings via Roscoe, Fishtail, Absarokee, and Columbus, also a new trip for most of us. We ended the day in Billings with a trip to Old Navy for our resident teenage daughter and mom, and a trip to Coldstone Creamery for Dad and the three youngers.

We arrived home just in time to unpack, and head to the pasture to gather the heifers for the date with the veterinarian and his ultrasound machine bright and early on Monday morning. The guys are out bunching hay bales, repairing headers, and charging truck air conditioners in hopes to start harvest at the very latest by Monday. Praying for a smooth harvest season. We are so blessed to have a crop to harvest (providing we make it through tonight and tomorrow's forecast) some of the farmers north of Jordan and near Miles City have been obliterated by hail storms. Lord willing, the winter wheat will be in the bin in a couple of weeks, and then we'll have to wait a couple of more weeks to start on peas, lentils and spring wheat.