Out at the far end of the Southfork there are a good number of very large and very expensive ranches.
Some of them are hard working ranches where the owners live on site and where they employ large numbers of full-time and seasonal hands who bunk on the property.
Others of these ranches are simply owned by very rich people who employ live-in caretakers to watch over their property. They live in other states and visit their Wyoming properties only rarely.
Our elderly neighbor lady spent many years on working ranches in the area, living on site and cooking hardy meals for continually starving and hard working ranch hands, and she keeps in touch with some who still work these places.
A few weeks ago she spent a couple of days out at one of these remote ranches, staying on the property as a favor for a couple of caretakers who watch over a beautiful place that is barely used.
Invited out for a visit by a neighbor who was getting lonely staying by herself in the middle of nowhere, LC, Jamie and I visited the place one Saturday afternoon.
Our neighbor asked me not to put pictures of the home and surrounding out-buildings on my blog so I will not.
But I had a wonderful visit out at the end of the Southfork on a hot and very sunny afternoon, and we all explored the grounds for a couple of hours. I'll post those pictures.
These are all photos I quickly snapped during the drive out to the ranch.
The Southfork is gorgeous.
Homes and ranches and green closer to Cody, then endless miles of dry and barren and mountainous BLM land, followed by more and progressively larger and more beautiful homes.
You can buy outstandingly beautiful if you have a whole lot of money in Wyoming.....................
LC pulled the truck over briefly so that I could snap a quick picture of Castle Rock.
I posted pictures of the towering rock not long ago on this blog but it looked completely different on this sunny day that it did when I last photographed it on that grey and overcast day.
I did not even notice the home in the foreground while photographing the rock and rustic sign until I downloaded the pictures later in the day.
I smiled to myself when I saw the home, wondering what it must be like to live in a place where you have Castle Rock in your back yard......................
The further you drive out the Southfork the more rugged and mountainous the terrain becomes.
At the very end of the road (still many miles away) is a portion of the Shoshone River (that winds and snakes its way throughout the region) and the base of the huge Carter Mountain.
LC and I have not driven all the way to the end of the road since we returned back to Wyoming.
We did complete that drive one day early last year.
About 40 minutes drive from Cody, after moving from fast and open two lane highway to progressively more winding and quiet two lane highway, we stopped at this sign.
We always stop at this sign when we head this way. It signifies our entry into the forest. It is a beautiful place surrounded by mountainous terrain but the sign has always struck me as amusing.
The background of my life tells me that when I see the word "forest" that there should be trees.
As I stood in front of the sign and looked around me I could see pine trees high up in the mountains, but closer to me there was only desert-like BLM land.
Sure didn't feel like any forest I had been to before, and I've been to a lot of forests..................
One last picture of the quiet and the rugged.
Not far beyond our stop at the sign, we began to again drive into green.
We were not far from the ranch and I knew from a trip we had taken out there last year that we would find rivers and streams and plenty of green.........................
I know that the whole point—the only point—is to find the things that matter, and hold on to them, and fight for them, and refuse to let them go...............Lauren Oliver