Just LeDoux It . . .

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Good ride . . . .

A bronze statue of Chris LeDoux is dedicated to his memory and can be found in a small park in Kaycee, Wyoming.  This weekend, June 17, is the annual rodeo put on in his name by family and community members to celebrate Chris and the western tradition of rodeo.  While going through old photo files, I came across the shots I took at the 2013 rodeo and decided to have another look.

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Who’s up? . . . .

A cowboy prepares to mount his bronc for an 8-minute ride or a toss into the arena dirt.  What can be more fun?  What a lineup of pure cowboy pulchritude!

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Airborne . . . .

Even protective gear of a neck brace and padded vest won’t keep this guy from a few aches and pains next morning, if he is lucky.

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Just like settin’ in a rocking chair . . . .

If he lasts until the whistle blows, a couple of cowboys will help this rider off his horse. The horse is trying to help him along a little quicker.

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Trouble coming . . . .

Looks like a face plant coming.  Going to be a wreck.

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Please, oh lord . . . . .

The view from up here is a little turbulent.  Can’t tell head from tail!

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Man and beast . . . .

A little poetry in motion – looks like just about anybody could do it, right?  I don’t think so.

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Never too young to get in on the fun . . . .

Rodeos are family fun and all ages get to compete.  This young lady is getting a little assistance around the barrels but next year she’ll be handling this horse on her own.

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Cowboy down, holding our breath . . . .

These tough cowboys generally pop right up, swat the dust off with their hat and swagger to the fence.  They can usually count on a round of applause from the crowd for giving it a go, but not much else.

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Bareback . . . .

The Indian relay races are a testament to their skill in mounting and riding their ponies without a saddle.

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Fast and furious . . . .

The race around the arena moves at a swift pace and demonstrates the athletic ability of the men and their horses.

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Spectators . . . .

The old time music uptown before the rodeo is a local favorite.

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Charlie on mandolin . . . .

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Strut your stuff, cowboy . . . .

Looks like the street dance is getting off to an early start with a solo performance!

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Looks like it was a draw between cowboys and horses . . . .

The Chris LeDoux Rodeo for 2017 will be another great contest between the cowboys, cowgirls and critters.  Powder River, Let ‘er Buck!

 

Wyoming Seafaring Days

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A ship for Wyoming . . . .

Maine is a long journey from Wyoming.  One does not expect to visit there and find much to remind you of home.  Imagine our surprise when we came upon this model of a schooner named Wyoming at the Maine Maritime Museum.  She was launched December 15, 1909 from the Percy & Small shipyard in Bath and was built for the coastal coal trade.  She could carry 6,000 long tons of coal with a crew of 12-14 and was the largest wooden sailing vessel built in the United States at the time of her launch. The scale of the model is 1/8 inch = 1 foot.

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Maine was the ship-building capital of the United States . . . .

The above poster details  the mast design and lists some interesting facts: 1) launched after 8 1/2 months of construction; 2) contains 700 tons of white oak used in building her frame; 3) 2,300 tons of longleaf yellow pine used in planking, ceiling, clamps, waterways, keelsons, stanchions and deck beams; 4)  300 tons of iron and steel used in fittings, fastenings, and strapping; 5) lower masts were 123-foot sticks, 30 to 32 inches in diameter, of Douglas fir (Oregon pine); 6) 12,000 yards of heavy cotton canvas were used to make her sails; and 7) Wyoming was the largest wooden sailing vessel built in the United States, and the last 6-mast schooner built.

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Reconstructed Deck and Inboard Profile Plan . . . .

The Wyoming dimensions were 329.5 feet in length; 50.1 feet breadth, and 30.4 feet depth of hold.  Height, from bottom of keel to top of topmast, 177 feet.  Original cost was $164,800 and she set sail on her first voyage December 21, 1909.  From 1909 to 1916, the schooner made 83 trips north with coal–30 to Portland, 53 to Boston, averaging 32 days per round trip, including loading and unloading.  In 1916 Percy & Small sold Wyoming to the France & Canada Steamship Co. for a reputed $350,000, nearly twice her construction cost (because World War I was going on).  Wyoming made at least one trip to Europe during the war.  In 1921 the schooner was purchased by A. W. Frost & Co. of Portland, ME.

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Launching Day: Wyoming . . . .

Under the vessel and on top of the groundways greased with tallow and cottonseed, carpenters installed “sliding ways” of timber. The cradle and hull of the ship were packed and fitted snugly into the sliding ways and the schooner now sat on a big sled perched on inclined greased tracks.  The Wyoming  would be gradually eased down the ways into the Kennebec River, which was no easy feat and required precision and coordination of a large crew of men.

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Wyoming’s Lena Brooks . . . .

Lena Brooks, ” . . . dressed in a very stylish green rajah suit . . . ” pronounced the traditional blessing.  “I christen thee WYOMING,” and scattered a bouquet of flowers and ferns over the bow.  And who was Lena Brooks?  She was the third daughter of Governor and Mrs. Bryant B. Brooks of Wyoming and was attending Dana Hall, an eastern finishing school at the time.  She was granted the privilege of christening the Wyoming  because her father was governor of Wyoming from 1905 to 1911.  Governor Brooks wrote in his autobiography how ” . . . Wyoming and Maine joined hands in sending overboard the finest craft of her class that the world had yet seen. . . .”  The Percy and Small ship-building company had been very successful in developing interest and Western capital for Eastern shipping!

Governor Brooks and a group of investors acquired interest in some of the older vessels of this same company and then signed a contract for the building of the Governor Brooks, in 1907.  It was a successful venture and his initial investment was paid back in full in dividends by July 11, 1916.  Governor Brooks wrote that ” . . . during the world war our company sold the entire fleet of sixteen vessels, of which I had an interest only in four or five, to some government for colliers.  On September 12, 1917 I received payment for my interest in the schooner, Governor Brooks, sold through the Percy and Small Company, Inc. , ship brokers of 52 Front Street, Bath, Maine. . . .”

The Wyoming, which had been launched in 1909, also paid good dividends and was disposed of with the fleet in 1917, returning Governor Brook’s capital investment.  He wrote that “seven years later, the Wyoming went down off Chatham, Massachusetts, in a terrible storm.  That very night my wife and I were on the stormy seas between Halifax and New York harbor returning from a trip to Europe.  The next morning we were greeted in New York by glaring headlines across the papers, about the tragedy of the Wyoming.”  The entire crew was lost March 11-12, 1924 near Pollock Rip between Cape Cod and Nantucket Island.

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The essence of the Wyoming . . . .

Perched on the grounds of the Percy and Small Shipbuilding Company, which is now part of the Maine Maritime Museum, sits this life-size sculpture of the Wyoming.  It was dedicated on the 100th anniversary of the Wyoming’s launch in 1909.

Governor Brooks, in his autobiography, wrote that ” . . . .Captain Charles Glaesel of Boston, who commanded the vessel, had a crew of twelve, and was bound from Norfolk to St. John, New Brunswick, with five thousand tons of coal.  No survivor was ever found to tell the story of her disaster. . . .”

Heart Mountain

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Broken hearts . . . .

Heart Mountain rises in the background of this photograph taken at the memorial site of what was a Japanese internment camp near Powell, Wyoming.  An estimated 120,000 Japanese immigrants and Japanese American citizens were incarcerated behind barbed wire fences here and at several other locations in the west after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. On February 19, 1942 Executive Order 9066 issued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt swept aside due process of Japanese Americans to protect against “espionage” and “sabotage.”

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Guard tower . . . .

Overnight, life changed for about 14,000 internees who were loaded on trains and shipped to Heart Mountain.  This guard tower is a silent reminder that these were prisoners of war, unable to go about life in any normal sense.  They were able to carry few possessions and were mostly from coastal cities and poorly prepared for Wyoming winters.

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Home sweet home . . . .

Most of the dormitory-style buildings were removed over the years but this is one of the originals still standing.

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To remind us . . . .

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Wall of fame . . . .

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Still Americans . . . .

Most of the residents at Heart Mountain were women, young children and the elderly.  As this plaque points out, able bodied men went to fight for America in WWII.

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Farming for food . . . .

The camp residents were industrious and farmed these fields to raise vegetables to feed their families.  The low sheds in the background were for storage.

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As far as I can see . . . .

This lone building might have been a school house, as education was an important part of the daily life in the camps.

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Visitors’ Center . . . .

A tour of the visitors’ center is a must.  A short film tells the story of the camp and murals and graphic displays line the walls.  Many photographs have been preserved and while the residents of Heart Mountain suffered many indignities, they made the best of their circumstances.  They appear to be in good health and the resolve to overcome their situation is clear in the faces on display.

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Artifact from the fields . . . .

In 1988 President Ronald Reagan signed a bill to compensate every survivor with a tax-free check for $20,000 and a formal apology from the U.S. Government. Many  internees lost their farms, homes and businesses and were forced to start life anew after the end of the war. They suffered hostility and discrimination in finding jobs and a new place to live.

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Coming back to life . . . .

These barracks were still in use nearby and relocated to the Heart Mountain camp. At the time of this photograph some stabilization had begun and renovation would follow in time for the 75th anniversary celebration in 2017.  It is good to be reminded.

Wyoming’s Historic LX Bar Ranch

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Gateway to LX Bar . . . .

Cattle rancher and politician John B. Kendrick began construction in 1910 on a set of stone buildings on the west bank of the Powder River on land he purchased from A. J. Collins in 1902.  His goal was to consolidate his other ranch holdings–the K and the OW, which stretched across the Wyoming state line into Montana, encompassing a vast empire of 210,000 acres.  It was a full day’s ride from the OW in Montana to the LX Bar.

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The cornerstone of the LX Bar . . . .

The LX Bar brand was originally owned by the Stanton-Howard Livestock Company that ran cattle along the Powder River as early as 1878.  The brand passed on to Collins, and then to Kendrick, who set up a spectacular ranch headquarters that stand today as a testament to his ambition.

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West side entry to ranch house . . . .

The Powder River can be seen in the background and carves out a wide river bed that ebbs and flows, changing course with the seasons.  A long porch extends along the entire east side of the house, facing the morning sun and the river.   Master stonemason Oscar Husman was hired to build the five- bedroom house, bunkhouse, main barn, processing barn, solar-heated poultry barn, and a service building used for laundry, cooking, ice storage and coal storage.  All were built with eighteen-inch-thick sandstone walls and two-foot-wide foundations.

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Cook house and service building . . . .

The sandstone outcroppings that rim the hill sides in the area above the river became quarries for the stone cutters, who also included the Byland brothers, the Hedeen brothers, and Richard Salstrom.  During construction, Husman and his family lived at the site.

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The main barn . . . .

The LX Bar is located in the northern Powder River Basin of northeast Wyoming, just east of the Campbell-Sheridan county line and just south of the Montana border.  Kendrick believed the county road was going to be put in along the west side of the Powder River. The road does begin on the west side and travels by the K Ranch (today’s PeeGee Ranch) and Kendrick Canal before crossing over to the east side of the river near the junction of the river and Clear Creek.  Unfortunately, the rural electric lines were put in along the road and the LX  Bar was never converted to electricity.

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Processing barn . . . .

Cattle from Texas trail drives were brought through a corral, dipping station and holding pens before being turned loose on the range.

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Dipping station . . . .

A long concrete chute steps down about 10 feet at the deepest point to immerse the cattle in a potion concocted to kill ticks and other pests.  Cowboys would dunk the cattle’s heads as they came through to be sure they were completely submerged.

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Exterior of dipping station . . . .

This bovine swimming pool extended about 100 feet in length and it must have been quite a feat and a spectacle to immerse several hundred cattle in this manner.  Where was Temple Grandin when you needed her?

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Sentinels of the past . . . .

Cedar posts were cut from the nearby pine ridge and are still standing strong in this corral at the processing barn 106 years later.

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Solar heated poultry barn . . . .

I found this structure to be particularly interesting.  Built into the hillside, it is protected from the Wyoming winds and snow during winter, and remains cool in summer.  The windows face east for maximum sunlight and solar gain.  They are currently boarded up as part of the stabilization effort underway by the Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources Department.

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Chicken roosts . . . .

The interior of the poultry barn was dark and difficult to photograph, but these birds lived in relative splendor compared with most early day chicken houses.

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Poultry barn . . . .

Funding is not available at this time for a complete restoration of the LX Bar, however since the ranch buildings and 50 acres were acquired this past summer, recent work on the ranch has included mortar replacement, chimney and wall stabilization, roof maintenance, manure removal and the “buttoning up” of various openings.

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Main barn and corral . . . .

The main barn is immense and encompasses two distinct wings–one running east and west and one running north and south, joined in the center by the horse barn.  The blacksmith shop is in the east end.

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Horse barn . . . .

Horses were penned in the corral at the main barn or kept in the stable.  These timbers and wood planks seem as rugged and sturdy as the day they were constructed.

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Sandstone detailing . . . .

The rounded edges in the horse barn took some effort and precision.  The stonemasons did a fine job of it.  Makes for a nice perch for the birds.

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Blacksmith shop . . . .

Some of the new roofing materials seem at odds with the natural surroundings of stone and wood.  All of the buildings had tin roofing which had begun to loosen and blow away. Some replacements pieces had to be added, as well as tightening down all the existing tin roofing to prevent water damage.

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Tack room . . . .

Saddles, bridles, harnesses and a variety of leather appurtenances were stored in two large rooms.

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Bunkhouse . . . .

Cowboys had their own quarters.  One old timer recalls that in winter, the frost would be built up on the stone walls inside and they would be forced to move their bunks in to the center of the room around the stove.  Wyoming winters used to be more severe!

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Cowboy dipping station . . . .

The wash room in the bunkhouse still contains this old ceramic bathtub.  It appears somebody borrowed the plumbing, but since they didn’t have running water, it doesn’t matter.  Water had to be heated on the stove for a Saturday night bath, and likely more than one cowboy made it through one tub of clean water.

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Bunkhouse facing east . . . .

The handsome stone columns and porches  on the living quarters made for a very refined structure on the prairie.  The design of these structures must be attributed to the master stonemason Oscar Husman.

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The cook stove . . . .

The primary kitchen that served the ranch was in the multi-purpose building that comprised the laundry and coal and ice storage.  This old stove could tell some stories about the cooks and meals that were created on its burners.  I doubt they had to resort to cooking shoe leather, however, and could not help but wonder how the shoe was placed on the stove??

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Main ranch house, different perspective . . . .

In 1910, the same year this ranch headquarters was constructed,  John Kendrick was elected to the Wyoming State Senate.  Four years later, he would become governor of Wyoming.  He was re-elected in 1922 and 1928.  He and his wife Eula built their dream home in Sheridan– Trail End– which was donated by the Sheridan County Historical Society to the State of Wyoming for use as a historic house museum.  Nearly 20,000 visitors annually tour the Trail End.

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Closed for now . . . .

The Kendrick Cattle Company was in existence until 1988 when family members discontinued operation of the ranch holdings.  In 1992 the ranch became the property of music producer James Guercio, who recently donated the ranch headquarters and some land to the State of Wyoming to be part of the state parks system.  It is the only historical ranch in Wyoming that is now owned by the public.  All the buildings are being stabilized, but the ranch is closed to public access awaiting major renovations and a pedestrian bridge across Powder River. That should be some bridge to stretch across the meandering Powder — a mile wide and an inch deep–too thin to plow, too thick to drink!!

Walk In The Wild

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“What’s for breakfast?” . . . .

July 4, 2016 Red Feather — Our day began with a visit from a Blue Heron across the road on Sam’s Pond.  Calmly surveying the options for a tasty morsel, this grand creature stood quietly while I hung over the porch railing to grab a few shots.  Many of the weekend visitors had already departed for home, leaving Red Feather on this Monday morning quiet and returning to some sense of normalcy.

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“Might as well try another perch” . . . .

Big bird takes a graceful leap for a better vantage point.  By now my breakfast is growing cold, but it doesn’t matter.  Already this day seems special, and as we embark on our daily walks I will record whatever we find out there in “the wild.”

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“A good stretch feels good after a long standing” . . . .

Doesn’t seem to be much action on the pond this morning and after peering intently into the water, our visitor needs a good “seventh inning stretch.”

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“I think I can see a large bird in the water” . . . .

One last image captures the reflection of “Big Bird” and the Aspen trees nearby.  It will be hard to find another image so magical on our walk, but the day holds much promise.

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A tangle of sagebrush and flowers . . . .

Wild flowers are at their peak right now, and it is a challenge to decide which clusters to include.

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Indian Paint Brush  in a meadow of sage . . . .

I located some seeds once, but didn’t realize they only grow with sage.  My plantings didn’t survive.

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Dozens of different yellow flower varieties . . . .

Should have packed my wild flower guide so I could identify these.  Ah well, next time!

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Sunflower . . . .

There were brilliant clusters of sunflowers along the road and in the meadows.

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I will call these Lemon Drops . . . .

Perhaps a study of the predominant colors of wild flowers will reveal that “yellow” wins.  Bright and cheerful, the yellow varieties stand out in the crowd.

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Blue is special . . . .

My personal favorites are the blues.

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White is nice . . . .

After searching for more of these to see if they had “bloomed” I found them all to look alike.  They are “in bloom.”

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White with happy faces . . . .

Didn’t want to disturb the insect perched on board, as it may be a pollinator.  Looked like a very small wasp or bee-like creature.

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Wild roses blooming everywhere . . . .

These little pink roses are ubiquitous and the hips will be food for the bears.

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Oh Columbine! . . . .

Nothing is prettier than the Columbine, Colorado’s state flower.  I grow them in my garden at home, but they don’t seem as vibrant as these found in the wild.

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Blue treasure . . . .

A camera fails to capture the true blue of these extraordinary flowers, but we keep trying.

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A prickly discovery . . . .

Not to be left out, a thistle is also nature’s creation.  Pesky, invasive and labeled a “weed,” it gets no respect.  But it is an interesting specimen!

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A little lavender . . . .

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A little pink . . . .

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A little green . . . .

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A little water . . . .

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A lot of ducks . . . .

Eight babies seems like a tremendous challenge, but this mother calmly leads the way and her ducklings stay in formation.

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Three Sisters . . . .

This iconic rock formation juts into Hiawatha Lake and catches the evening sun as it is going down.

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“Shhhhhh!  Enter quietly” . . . .

It wouldn’t be a walk without a trip down Elf Lane.  This gentle reminder invokes a special respect to avoid disturbing all the gnomes, elves and other little creatures sprinkled through the rocks and along the creek.

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Literary elf . . . .

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Loafing elf . . . .

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Elves galore . . . .

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The babble of a brook . . . .

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Sundown . . . .

Returning to the cabin, the evening sky put on a show of its own.  One spectacular day.

 

 

A Homestead on a Grand Scale

Home on the range? . . . .

Home on the range? . . . .

If you asked what homesteading was like in Wyoming around the turn of the century, you would get varying descriptions of hardship, deprivation, drought, grasshoppers, and a litany of failed attempts to farm in a high plains desert with less than 15 inches of annual rainfall.  Not so John Dudley Sargent, the man who claimed Jackson Hole’s northernmost homestead in 1890 and could view the Grand Teton range across the lake as he toiled to establish his claim on the land.  Sargent and his partner Robert Ray Hamilton built a rambling 10-room log structure they named the Merymere and provided lodging to travelers along a nearby military road leading to Yellowstone.  Sargent developed a garden and ran a few cattle which enabled him to “prove up” his homestead.  This fortuitous move resulted in exclusion from the Yellowstone Park Timber Reserve of 1891, allowing the property to remain in private ownership until its sale to Grand Teton National Park in 1976.

The timing of the homestead filing just months ahead of the establishment of a timber reserve might seem like quite a coincidence, but Sargent and Hamilton had connections to wealthy eastern families who apparently viewed them as “undesirable offspring” and financed their ventures in the west to be rid of them–a practice known as “remittance.” Local legend has it both men came to an untimely death–Hamilton in 1891 on a hunting trip and Sargent, who was rumored to have murdered Hamilton and his first wife, later taking his own life.

Heaven on earth . . . .

Heaven on earth . . . .

Sargent’s grave is all that remains of his homestead endeavor on the 268.84-acre peninsula that is defined by Jackson Lake to the west and Sargent’s Bay to the east. But a legendary pine tree where his second wife was reported playing the violin on many occasions has been preserved.

Still standing, after all these years . . . .

Still standing, after all these years . . . .

Life on a homestead was lonely for pioneer women, and Sargent’s second wife took solace in her violin, making her music as she gazed across the lake to the Grand Tetons.

Johnson Lodge . . . .

Johnson Lodge . . . .

After the demise of John Sargent, the property was sold and a handsome two-story lodge was built on the south end of the peninsula by W. Lewis Johnson, a Hoover Vacuum Company executive.

A porch, of course . . . .

A porch, of course . . . .

The lodge has a stunning view of the lake and the Grand Tetons.  The Johnson family used it as a vacation retreat, adding guest cabins, a barn and boat dock for entertainment and recreation.

Interior staircase . . . .

Interior staircase . . . .

The rear view of Johnson Lodge . . . .

The rear view of Johnson Lodge . . . .

A large dining facility and servants’ quarters sprawl behind the main lodge structure.

R. I. P. . . . . .

R. I. P. . . . . .

The Johnsons left a memorial on the crest of the peninsula to commemorate their time spent at this wonderful place.  In 1936 Alfred Berol purchased the property and built Berol Lodge.  He named the property AMK Ranch, the combined first initials of Alfred, his wife and their son.

The lodge looking up from the lake . . . .

 

Grand entrance . . . .

Grand entrance . . . .

The Berols built a rifle range, trap shooting range and second boat dock on the east side of the peninsula which allowed boating access to what is now known as Sargent’s Bay.

The lakeside porch . . .

The lakeside porch . . .

A screened porch looking out on this view is a little slice of heaven.  The trees that have grown up since the lodge was built need to be removed to preserve the view, but that is a small detail.

A warm fire for cool evenings . . . .

A warm fire for cool evenings . . . .

A fireplace on the screened porch wards off the chill of mountain air.

Dining with a view . . . .

Dining with a view . . . .

The Berol family chose to keep the custom dining table created for this room, but the interesting light fixture was left behind.

If this guy could talk . . . .

If this guy could talk . . . .

Cannot have a rustic lodge without a few interesting creatures here and there . . . .

Welcome . . . .

Welcome . . . .

This charmer greets guests at the entrance to Berol Lodge.

Designer draperies . . . .

Designer draperies . . . .

Window coverings were designed and manufactured in New York City especially for Berol Lodge.  They are extraordinary block print creations!

The art of linoleum . . . .

The art of linoleum . . . .

The linoleum in the kitchen and storage areas is unique.  Makes me want some linoleum once again.

Sit awhile . . . .

Sit awhile . . . .

In September 1989, a three-day meeting of U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker, III and former U.S.S.R. Minister Eduard Shevardnadze was held in Berol Lodge.  This remote, very private location allowed them to discuss issues leading to ending the Cold War.

Today, the AMK Ranch is a National Park Service facility that was created in 1977 as an education center shared with the University of Wyoming to conduct research.  Johnson Lodge and guest cabins have been converted to dormitories for students and faculty from across Wyoming.  The peninsula has remained largely unchanged since Sargent settled there in 1890, and although use of the ranch has shifted from homesteading to vacation home to research station, the setting has remained constant.

County Fair

"Want to scratch my ears?" . . . .

“Want to scratch my ears?” . . . .

Walking the exhibit barns at a county fair can be more fun than . . . well, just a lot of fun.  This soulful-looking goat was poking her head through the fence for a scratch or a treat.

"Got milk?" . . . .

“Got milk?” . . . .

Well, probably not from this magnificent Red Angus steer.  I asked him for his autograph, but only received a blink of his big brown eyes.

Which twin has the tony? . . . .

Which twin has the tony? . . . .

A lotta beefsteak down for a nap.  These Black Angus beauties don’t seem to have a care in the world!

Herefords have more fun! . . . .

Herefords have more fun! . . . .

My worries that Herefords are an endangered species were laid to rest – quite a few were shown in the fair.  Dad raised Hereford cattle, as did most of the Wyoming ranchers in the past. Now the range is dotted with Black Angus or “baldies” with a white face.

"Like my face mask?" . . . .

“Like my face mask?” . . . .

What, spots?!  This lamb had the barn all abuzz.  The mystery was solved when the photos of the ever-popular “sheep lead” came out in the newspaper featuring this lamb led by a delightful young lady dressed as “Cruella Deville”. They took first prize.

"So, I got stripes!" . . . .

“So, I got stripes!” . . . .

From spots to stripes–what is the sheep industry coming to?  Will we have variegated mutton chops?

"I wanted to be different" . . . .

“I wanted to be different” . . . .

This muckleteedun mix of white and reddish brown had us scratching our heads for the name of a breed.  No matter, she was mighty pretty.

"I feel naked!" . . . .

“I feel naked!” . . . .

Oh, now there is going to be trouble.  This lamb was bagged to keep it nice and clean for the show ring, and this rebellious little dickens has had enough of it.  Besides, it is darned hot in here, and the big fans are all over in the cow barn.  Is that any way to treat a woolie?

"Want to take me home?" . . . .

“Want to take me home?” . . . .

This handsome older horse is not here for the show ring, but the sale ring.  Another couple horses are nearby.

"A little down on my luck" . . . .

“A little down on my luck” . . . .

A young lady standing nearby said they were selling the horse because “he’s 23 years old.”  He must have been a beautiful animal in his prime.  I felt sorry for him.

"Im dreaming of better days" . . . .

“I’m dreaming of better days” . . . .

As a youngster, I could never make it to the auction with my 4-H animals.  Dad had to haul them home and turn them out to pasture so I would get over my attachment.  I could not have gone to the auction on this day without wanting to buy both these fine old horses and turn them out to pasture until the end.

Strutting our stuff in the parade . . . .

Strutting our stuff in the parade . . . .

No self respecting county fair fails to produce a parade with old cars, horses, marching bands, fire trucks, tractors and young girls turning cart wheels.

Marching to the beat of the drums . . . .

Marching to the beat of the drums . . . .

Main street America on display.

Biggest little horse . . . .

Biggest little horse . . . .

This gang had the best float, in my opinion.

"Where's my kazoo?" . . . .

“Where’s my kazoo?” . . . .

Shriners have more fun.  These guys had clowns walking the street, mini cars racing around to dizzying effect and a tarted up truck making more noise than six marching bands!

Ice cream I scream . . . .

Ice cream, I scream . . . .

The height of fashion.

Walking pretzel! . . . .

Walking pretzel! . . . .

These little girls were full of amazing acrobatic tricks, but back flips on hot pavement are not my idea of fun.  For that matter, back flips anywhere are out of the question.

Pretty well sums it up . . . .

Pretty well sums it up . . . .

“Grab life by the horns” is a pretty good philosophy for this young bunch of ranch kids.  And have fun at the county fair!