Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Birthday Mini-Series: Part 5: Wild Wyoming

It is so great to live on a ranch in the middle of Wild Wyoming and having all of your city-dwelling family visit. Just like it is so great for me to go to their places and visit.

It is different. Exciting. New. Peaceful. Rugged.

There were some firsts for some of the family that were here. A few had never been to Yellowstone National Park (yes, I am including The Baby in that "few" if you all were counting). And we got to show/teach them a lot of things in agriculture. It was exciting for a few to get to ride in the swather with The-Hay-Cutting Prairie Daddy (and I feel really bad that some of you didn't end up getting to do that. My fault, I hope you will forgive me! Just means you have to come back next summer!)

On Saturday we got on some ATV's and tooled around the ranch. I shuttled a few to and from the swather. Do you know what a swather is? It is a GIANT lawn mower...kind of. It is the piece of equipment used to cut hay. It cuts around 14 feet across at once, piling it into the center of the cut strip creating a windrow. The windrow of grass is left to dry and then later baled. The swather is really fun to ride in (if you take a pillow and put on your seat belt, which I realized didn't happen for any of you who went with The Prairie Daddy. Sorry.) The windshield goes all the way to your is neat. Here, I'll show you what our swather looks like:

We took a trip to Yellowstone on Sunday. This was so fun because we were able to "rent" a 15 passenger van from our friends at a local ministry. Monica the Magnificent was our SUPER-D-DUPERTY driver. It was a long day but we had fun and enjoyed seeing some wildlife and beautiful scenery. Here is a clip at the scenic overlook on the famous Chief Joseph highway. This isn't in Yellowstone but it is on the way to the Northeast Entrance. This clip starts off with some "family scenery: first:

In Yellowstone we did get a couple good wildlife sightings. Some even got to see part of a grizzly bear but he was hard to spot and was quickly out of view.

This was a pretty good sized black bear we watched for a little while. I thought I had better video but I must have had the camcorder on standby instead of record! Oops. Oh well, here is a few fun seconds of him.

And this coyote wasn't disturbed by the traffic. He walked up the road for quite a while.

And one of my sister's really wanted to see a moose. But while in the park that didn't happen. Thankfully, around these parts you don't have to be in Yellowstone to see wildlife.

I love Wyoming. And I love sharing it with others. Need a getaway? We love having company! And now I know my "hotel" can sleep 12!

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