Late afternoon on Margie's second day in Cody we decided to head out of town, drive 30 miles or so, and turn onto the BLM land that the wild mustangs call home.
LC and I hadn't been out to see the wild horses in many months, and Margie's visit was a great excuse to head out in search of these wonderful animals.
On the outskirts of town we made a spur-of-the-moment decision to take a short side trip first.
Turning onto the Meeteetsee Highway we drove for about 10 minutes, and then pulled into a driveway on our left.
That was as far as we would go.
We were at Monster Lake Ranch - now called North Lake Ranch - a nod to the new owners of the property.
Kanye West and his wife Kim Kardashian-West.
The sign above the entrance had been changed just recently, and even though there was no gate barring entrance to the property we stopped right there anyway.
Margie took pictures of the buildings that we could see from the road.
One more picture of the new sign and we turned the Suburban around and continued on our journey in search of the wild horses.
Link to the property now owned by the Wests:
20 minutes later we pulled off the flat and fast two-lane highway, pulled onto BLM land and immediately fell into "Search Mode" - all of us (including Kory) now scanning the horizon for small and large herds of horses.
Very quickly we found these beautiful "speed goats" (AKA antelope)................
Margie was excited at the sight of the antelope and her excitement only increased when we came across this lone stallion.
Searching both sides of the gravel road, we hoped that the herd was close but this boy was alone and LC knew what the story likely was behind his solitary existence.
He was no longer young and no longer the strongest. He had battled to hold onto his herd of females and he had lost.
And now he was banished from the herd, and now he was traveling alone.
It was the nature of his world, but my heart momentarily hurt for him anyway................
For the next hour we followed one trail after another - cutting across country in multiple directions.
Never knowing where and when we would run into these beautiful creatures but always hopeful that we would find them.
After an hour of searching, and with daylight quickly running out LC, Margie and I became resigned to the fact that on this day we very likely were not going to find the horses.
We were still a few slow gravel road miles from the highway, and eventually (and reluctantly) we decided to begin heading back towards black top.
We didn't want to be driving on the highway after dark if we could help it, and the sun was disappearing quickly.
We were already making plans to return to McCullough Peaks in a couple of days when we crested a small rise, looked to the left, and saw the herd quietly grazing a couple of hundred yards aways from us..................
They were WONDERFUL to see.
So quiet. So peaceful. So beautiful.
I immediately wished that we had found them 30 minutes earlier because the setting sun was in a rotten place for pictures and the light was fading fast.
Having said that, Margie and I both grabbed for our cameras.
She quietly stepped out on the rear drivers side and I quietly stepped out on the front passenger side and we both snapped pictures as quietly and unobtrusively as we could......................
And then they started walking.
Abruptly headed our way.
I could feel my heart racing with excitement, and I watched as the herd split - some walking to the right and behind the Suburban and some walking to the left and in front of the Suburban.
Snapping pictures and trying to contain my excitement................
The horses got within 20 feet of me.
Kory was totally silent the entire time.
The horses stood so close to me, studying me, the Suburban, other humans and the dog that were all silently watching and smiling and enjoying the sight of these wonderful creatures.
And then as one they turned and silently walked away.
We all talked excitedly about this wonderful and unexpected encounter all the way back to Cody.......................