Back from Wyoming, exhausted, behind, but happy we went. Lib cooked for a wedding in Jackson , for the daughter of one of many old climbers and Outward Bound guides who she knew in her days there, when as they say “the billionaires hadn’t kicked out the millionaires.” In her day it was more a mix of climbing hippies and Mormon ranchers, and a house could still be had for Magdalenian prices.

A few old friends remain. Mark and Jeannie Clark brought in Libby and legendary river rat- resterauter Martha Clark (no relation– she is also Peculiar’s “other mother” and maybe L’s best friend) and a crew of old adventurers to ramrod the making of such things as 565 tamales from scratch. A fine time was had by all, especially Libby who enjoyed a reunion party before the wedding where I got to meet many storied faces who remain in or came to Jackson and environs, and put names to them. She also danced more at the wedding than I have seen her do in the almost 20 years we have been together! We stayed at Andy and Nancy Carson’s and I believe I have made some new friends as well as connected with some old ones– I mean you, Carsons, plus Jocelyn, Joanne, Jennifer, Mark, Jeannie, Martha, Bobby, Matt, Tina, Bernie (no, STILL another Matt!) and anyone forgotten…

The only person at the party from my “side of the family”, ie writers, was Ted Kerasote. He has a third dog volume in the works and we agreed on the health problems facing today’s dogs, especially genetics and closed studbooks– more to come.

But I basically have almost no pix because I spent most of the week with Cat, Jim, and their animals a couple of hours south in the big sage plains between the Wyoming range on the west and the Wind Rivers to the east, as different a world from Jackson as Jackson is from Magdalena. Yankee- born or no, I feel more at home in rangeland than in the haunts of the very (VERY) rich. I only took my Canon point & shoot for ease so some landscapes are flattened, and a few shot through windows are blurred, but it will give you some idea. Remember to click to embiggen!

Cat and flock guardian Luv, taking a break– the male Aziat, Rant, is with the flock in the river bottom…


Luv looks; they are coming up to the gate…

Here comes Rant…

Cat greets the big Nevada donkeys– do you believe I may consider one as old- age mountain transportation? Jim has me half convinced…

Back home, the Urbigkits with the active herding dogs old and new…

I’ll have you know, we didn’t as much drink like “Kazakhs” as we drank & talked like scholars of animal domestication– but we still finished the bottle(s?) at 3 AM– and got up at six.

…And one of Lib washing dishes with another veteran Outward Bound Andy, Wilson. Despite the concentration she insists she hasn’t had as much fun in public since Peculiar’s wedding!

11 thoughts on “Wyoming”

  1. Cat must have great DonkeyKarma because the look on that donkey's face is precious.

    I have to ask about those sheepdogs. When I was in Pinedale I was amazed at the diversity of blood in the working sheepdogs. One of the dogs at the ranch was a small BC but he had rear dewclaws which isn't typical of the breed at all and suggests Spanish shepherd blood (or other breed) of some sort.

    At an early morning cattle drop for a few head going to market early several ranchers went in on the truck so there were a few dogs at the transfer corral. Several of them were just like the Urbigkits' dog. Is that a BC or mix from Turnbull's blue heritage? Another breed?

    I wanted to do a post on them but I neglected to bring a camera that morning and ascertain their heritage.

    I think the more we can appreciate the sheepdogs as a landrace the better.

  2. The dogs you are talking about are herding dogs – not known as "sheepdogs." When someone says sheepdogs, they usually mean the 100-pound variety of guardian dog (which is a guard dog, not a herding dog).

    The herding dogs used by most cattlemen are border collies. The herding dogs in Steve's photos are of Bearded Collie crosses, with a 14-year age difference between the two in the photos. Bearded collies tend to have a "softer mouth," making them excellent for working sheep, while border collies tend to be more intense and aggressive, making them ideal for cattle work.

    If you were at the sorting area near Trapper's Point (on a bench above the Green River, at the Cora Y intersection), there is a cattleman there who uses Bearded/Border Collie crosses.

    Glad to have you reading the blog – welcome! And yes, I have great burro karma!

  3. What a great visit! Thanks for sharing–I almost felt as if I was there myself. And Cat, I still owe you a letter, don't I?…L.B.

  4. "If you were at the sorting area near Trapper's Point (on a bench above the Green River, at the Cora Y intersection), there is a cattleman there who uses Bearded/Border Collie crosses."

    Cat, it has to be one in the same place! My friend is going through haying so she's rather busy, but she got back to me and said "I haven't had a chance to really research it, but "Trapper's Point" is the high hill above the ranch we saw those dogs at. My guess is, same folks, same dogs."

    How's that for 3 degrees of separation?


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