Monday, January 28, 2013

Southfork Trip - Part 2

I love the above picture for the same reason that I loved the pasture/fence/mountain picture in the last blog post.
The ubiquitous relationship between ruggedness and beauty, the muted tones of grey and green and beige, the contrast of light and dark.
The picture was taken in the national forest just beyond the bridge and canyon, that led to the final few miles of our drive yesterday.
The picture below is one of many times we passed by small herds of black tail deer grazing in brown pastures.................
As I was standing in the continuing snow along a fence line I heard an unexpected sound.
It was stunning to hear because up until that moment we had spent a long time adventuring through grey silence. I searched for the source of the noise and quickly found it.
A young calf was running across the field, trying hard to catch up with a long line of cows that were slowly lumbering their way back to the barn.
I smiled as I watched him catch up, and then looked to my left again at the sound of yet one more cow.
Standing by herself half way into the pasture she was obviously upset, and I guessed that it was her young one who had bolted from her side.
She began to run towards the herd and still standing in the falling snow, I watched her until she also caught up with the herd.
A quiet and unexpected and sweet sight.
I photographed the cows as they wandered slowly back towards their barn, and then turned back towards the truck.................
We made it to the end of the road, and parked the truck in the large and now snow-covered parking lot, and I reached into the back of the truck to gather up my pup.
We could climb in and out of the truck 30 times during one trip and Jame would still excitedly be waiting for time number 31................
As LC grabbed for Jamie and answered his cell phone, I began to wander and snap pictures.
This section of the river was rocky, mud filled and bone dry the last time we were at this place, and it was dry again yesterday.
One of these days we might make it up here when the river is full and fast flowing.............
The far end of the Southfork is notorious for grizzly bear sightings.
Ranch hands and ranch owners during the summer always carry bear spray and firearms with them whenever they venture outside (even when they are simply stepping outside their front door) and bear sightings are frequent.
It is winter in Wyoming right now.  Some days have been absolutely freezing.  Some days have been cold and windy.  But surprisingly we have also had many days where temperatures have been in the 40s and even 50s.
As a consequence of such fluctuating temperatures I heard recently about bears waking from their hibernation at Yellowstone.
As I inspected the sign I turned to look back at LC and James.  Predictably my guy was reaching into the truck for his 454.
I smiled at LC as I continued to wander...............
The mountains at the end of the Southfork were quickly becoming covered with snow and we were a long way from civilization (although we were both surprised to learn that we still could get cell reception out there).
It was time to start making our way back the way we had come.
We had passed this small herd of horses on the way out, and on the way home I asked LC to stop briefly so I could take a picture of them.
They were totally engaged in eating.  Beautiful.  Healthy looking.  Made even more beautiful by the snow...............
Somebody quietly watching my every move from the safety of a fence rail................
To the left of the staring cow and the grazing horses was a beautiful pasture.
In the snow and the greyness of the day I didn't notice them at first.
An old wooden windmill to the left of the small pond and a tee pee to the right.
After spending hours looking out over mountains and trees and deer, the sights of these two objects were completely unexpected...............
As LCs cell phone rang again we pulled into a small snow-covered campground.
We had noticed one hardy couple camping in a tent on the way out the Southfork but had not stopped.
As LC pulled into a picnic area I climbed out, happy to be able to take beautiful pictures of this beautiful place.
And happy that I receive almost no phone calls anymore...............
Many hours after we left the house we finally made it home again.
The snow had not made it to Cody yet, but by yesterday evening it was snowing heavily..................

Once you have had a wonderful dog, a life without one, is a life diminished..............Dean Koontz

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