Living on a ranch in rural Wyoming must be about as far from living in New York as you can get in terms of lifestyle. I love it. I love hearing pheasants in the field, seeing horses on the road, and I love the knowledge that Open Range still exists, even if in limited areas. I like the novelty of a gun safe down the hall and a 3 mile gravel road to the house. I’m not particularly fond of rattlesnakes in the yard or the abundance of insect life, but you can’t have everything, after all. But most of all I love waking up and finding nothing but the proverbial wide open spaces and scenery no words can describe.
Today, Karen and I headed down the aptly named Crazy Woman Canyon on a round-about way of getting to Buffalo. Karen at the wheel—thank goodness—we wound our way along the creek, tall walls of sculpted rock either side at times. At other moments, the gravel road dipped and coursed into narrow tracks, large pickups as well as ATVs squeezing past us in the other direction. It was an eighteen mile scenic tour for which my Honda was not made, but endured and survived. As did I.
Buffalo, of course, resonates with history. It played a part in the Johnson County War, as did Fort McKinney for which there is a marker outside of town, but earlier the town was a hub for those who came to ranch on the Powder River. The old Occidental Hotel still looks pretty much as it did in the day, bordello-like rooms available for rent, and a sign saying that those without luggage must pay in advance.
The three of us have plenty of luggage, and we are hauling it onwards tomorrow, sadly leaving ranch living behind.