We slowly wandered down the dirt pathway towards still more old structures, and quickly realized that most of them were in various stages of repair and disrepair.
Some were still structurally sound, with obvious signs of at least partial restoration, while others had falling roofs and were filled with debris.
There is a foundation that, in cooperation with the park service that now owns the Double D Ranch, is working hard to fully restore all of the buildings on this beautiful piece of property located high in the mountains only 90 minutes from Cody.
The interior of an old step-down barn................
The tack room adjacent to the barn.................
We have been back in Wyoming for about six weeks now and this trip was our first real adventure up into the mountains.
It was an unexpected adventure because we had assumed (you know what they say about assuming) that we were going to drive only a short way outside of Meeteetse to simply visit a working ranch.
Unexpected or not, as LC and I continued to walk through and explore old buildings and look out over the mountains surrounding us, we were both very glad to be where we were.
Unplanned. But very welcome....................
Sun bleached bone fragments found on the ground outside one of the structures..................
In the middle of summer in the mountains everything around us was very green, but there were few flowers...................
45 minutes after we had first pulled into the Double D Ranch LC and I had seen all there was to see on the immediate property with the exception of the main lodge.
Looking up towards the lodge it was obvious from the outside that it too was in the middle of being restored.
People were still standing close to each other listening to the elderly man who was standing and speaking on the front porch of the building.
He obviously had much to say. Too much for me.
There were a handful of other people who were not part of our group, milling around the buildings alongside us so obviously the place was open to the general public.
With that knowledge LC and I decided to not wait for an opportunity to walk through the lodge. It could wait for another day. Perhaps in tandem with a visit to an abandoned gold mine that was located 7 miles further along the rutted out jeep trail of a road.
It was time to go.
We climbed back into the truck, headed away from the property, crossed over the shallow rocky creek and began to slowly make our way back.
Views as we headed back down the steep and rocky and tight road to the campground and then drove further down the dirt and gravel road while surrounded by very wonderful mountains ...................
20 minutes after we had left the ranch we made this last stop for take pictures of the mountains behind us.
LC and I both knew that soon we would find ourselves back in rolling hills and pasture land.
I wanted to stop and take pictures of the buffalo we had seen on the way in....................
It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves..................Edmund Hillary