Sunday, January 11, 2015

Mt. Elbert

Climbing a fourteener on your day off seems like a perfectly normal thing to do in Colorado.  :)  This one is actually the highest in Colorado and the second highest in the lower 48, rising to 14,440ft.  The views alone were well worth any climb, and the company wasn’t so bad either.  We got to see the sun rise along the way, and descended before the afternoon storms threatened.
All in all, a fabulous time with family and friends.

 Mt. Elbert is pictured here, farthest right.

Welcome Home

   Our lifestyle seems a little crazy to most people.  It’s not always easy to move around as much as we do, or to stay and get attached somewhere only to pick up and leave.  To be honest, we’ve left little pieces of our hearts everywhere we’ve been.  Sometimes this is even harder when animals are involved, for all they know, one day you’re present and the next you’re not.  We did decide to stay in the country this past year and found work at a ranch and home in the small town of Clark, Colorado for much of it.  Like most small towns we’ve lived in, it was complete with a general store, post office and pub.  John worked mostly in the kitchen helping to prepare fabulous meals, and since we were able to pack along most of his tools, he also contributed to many building projects around the ranch.

    As natural herds have been my focus, I was excited to see how sustainable a herd of 100 could be.  As it turns out, it’s a full time job just keeping a herd this size in good health.  There are many advantages to natural herd management, but there are also pitfalls.  And with a herd this size, many watchful eyes are needed.  I was blessed to work with a passionate crew of folks, and enjoyed getting to know others that came through for visits.  It would be far too long to introduce every member of the herd, but they all held their place in the hierarchy.  Without a stallion or true lead mare, it was interesting to see the friendships formed and which horses filled those roles.  There are many things to be learned from every experience if you are open to it.  It was a busy season, but we appreciate hard work and at the end of each day, we felt the reward.

Probably one of the highlights to our job as wranglers, is wrangling in the herd in the early morning as the sun rises (and many times the moon sets).  The video is a bit bouncy, Lakota is like a little pogo stick, but it gives glimpses of the feeling.  Thanks Brit for the use of the goPro and Mark for putting it together. :)

the barn

the first release to the lower hay meadow

 upper pasture

Jackie and Catalonia (1 day old)

 John’s 1st time fly fishing

full time wrangler crew

morning wrangle with Chief

silks with sista in the barn loft :)

view from Home Mountain

first time driving a 7 horse trailer :)

Routt National Forest views

chicken coop framing

almost finished coop to accommodate up to 100 chickens

some of John’s finished details

hatches for egg collection and winter outdoor area

new resident near coop

clearing trails day

first fall snow

pig pen

favorite pig :)

I heart Stetson

sun rise over the Zirkles

moon set

2 year old, first ride

main paddock


Columbine, Colorado’s state flower


hay day

bringing in the herd

2 year old from round pen to arena

outdoor BBQ area

 The bar John built with local beetle kill pine

live edge finished top, rough sawn base and steel panels

along with 2 trestle style serving tables

through tenons and steel pins

Catalonia (5 days old)

Pancho leads the way to pasture

staff ride :)


dad’s first time fly fishing

the beauty of fall


Amigo’s trek through the barn

weanling week

Frisco, the night he collicked and survived :)

new guys: Ace, Mojito and Dash

new bridle from wrangler crew :)
love it, thanks guys!

all day ride

the end of the day

Auger  :)

It has been over a year since we’ve posted to the blog, and it is a little astonishing.  I just went back and read every post we’ve ever made, reliving those miles traveled, some with a tear, but most with a smile.  Life gets heavy sometimes.  Many moments you’re open to share and some, not so much.  It is not out of a willingness to disengage or get out of touch.  To the contrary, beyond social media or written word, the folks we care about are on our minds daily.  Although we may not know where our next step will lead us, we always like updates on yours.  Please keep in touch, even if we’re not being so good at it, and know our door is always open wherever we are. (be it tent, yurt, cabin or car :)  Our travels have been based on a path of openess.  Integrity comes to mind, as it often does when working for others.  If we stay true to ourselves and remain open, there are endless possibilities ahead.  And if there’s one thing we’ve learned, you can never be over appreciated or thankful.  So, thank you.  We really do appreciate all of you.
Take good care and keep in touch.