Wyo Why Wyoming Oh My Wyoming!

Wyo Why Wyoming Oh My Wyoming…became our song as we prepared to move to Wyoming to manage a vast cattle ranch of 100,000 acres. As I progress along with different Wyoming stories, I’ll show you my first look at where we were to live on the ranch…thankfully the Continental Divide was right behind the house and that is what I looked at…WB knew the mountains out my door would capture me…and it did for several months as we waited to move into our home.

Shez Alotta Leo

The photos above and below were taken of my mare Shez Alotta Leo, “Lottie” with “my daily take my breath away view”. Behind her are the Wind River mountains, or the Continental Divide, and Gannett Peak. I could also see the Wyoming Range in front of Lottie and the Sawtooth Range behind the ranch as well…mountains surrounded us with the stunning raw beauty of the landscape wherever we went.

Wyoming Meadow

I loved Wyoming…it was a cowgirl’s dream. I never grew tired or bored with watching the mountains and the ever changing scenery of the awe-inspiring Continental Divide. We chased flood irrigation on the meadow that first summer, and could not stop staring at this view…it was incredibly surreal to be so close to such rugged beauty that you often wondered if it was a giant painting…guess now that I think of it, it was a giant painting, designed and painted by God above! Gannett was the highest peak in Wyoming and depending on the light of day it was both majestic and mysterious…what a view we had to look at!

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Whether I was washing the dishes looking out my window at the Rockies or on horseback moving cows in various Wyoming weather, the views always took my breath away…I lived with a permanent jaw dropping, breathless “Wow” look on my face.

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We lived at 7500′ elevation with beautiful clear skies that were a different color and depth of blue during the daytime, while the nighttime sky was filled with stars and different galaxies and more stars, it was spectacular. Due to the higher elevation of where we lived, we did not have air and dust pollution so the skies day and night were clean, clear and pristine. And Lottie is still coming to see me…her white blaze gives her away!

pinedale-wind-river-views

The small community we lived close to was like going back to the good old days where a man could trust in a handshake as truth and a man’s word was a man’s word. From day one we were welcomed into the community and felt like we had lived there a long time…it was a good fit. The closest movie theatre was 40 miles from us in a huge quonset hut building called “The Flick”…the movies you wanted to see usually arrived about a year after they were hits at the box office.

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If Lottie could talk, she would be saying “Where the heck are we and why?” The year before we managed a ranch in Central Oregon and Lottie and I had to worry about rattlesnakes…and from rattlesnake hell we arrived in Wyoming skunk country! We had a crabby black Manx named Kalamazoo who was around 14 years old and he got out one evening at dusk…I was outside for an hour with a flashlight calling for him…and then I saw him under the house they were remodeling and went closer and all of a sudden I realized it was black like Kalamazoo but…it had a bit of white on him too with a big bushy tail! I took faster than a speeding bullet steps…running back to the house where Zoo had showed up anyway…he did pretty good for being an older kitty and moving all over with us.

Storms in Wyoming, were incredible as they moved in quickly to storm and then they moved out as quickly…there were no cloudy, overcast, gray days. Yes we had wind chills of -40 degrees and wind that usually began around noon with plenty of snow and lots of snow drifts.

Wyoming Morning

This is walking out of our house onto the front porch…typical winter morning…blowing snow, making drifts…and -30 degrees or more.

WY. Snow Blowing Drifts

WB’s heading out to blow the snow off the road in the early morning. I often rode with him on the tractor to see what type of drifts the night or day had conjured up. I wish I had the digital camera that I have now…this was back before digital but close…these photos would likely be our old Cannon…I still have it:)

Our driveway into the ranch was about a mile long with barrow pit ditches on either side of it…often we had white outs from the wind and blowing snow…you could not tell where the road was! After getting stuck a few times trying to find it, we put up stakes painted with orange paint on top.

Our WY. Driveway

I took this photo when we were caught half way down our driveway home by a sudden winter storm, it came in fast with wind as well as a blizzard…typical Wyoming weather. WB had blown the driveway out earlier that morning and by 10:30am it had blown shut.

Wyoming Snow Storm

And here we ended up…WB was driving this time and once you get a tiny bit into a rut or in this case, snow that was drifting, its impossible to pull out of it…luckily we were almost home, but with the wind and wind chill factor and the white out conditions you had to be very careful…WB bundled up with everything we had with us, and I was a Nervous Nellie until I saw him coming back in the tractor blowing a trail to pull out our pick up “Red”…remember we name ALL our vehicles:)

Wild Bill WY. Blowing Road

Every morning during the winter snow months, WB had to blow open our road coming into the ranch as we had serious overnight snowdrifts that were deep and once again in the late afternoon so our son could get home from school in his Willy’s Jeep. Everyday the son would try to plow through the drifts in 4 wheel drive and get stuck so WB would blow the road open to where he was stuck, chain the Jeep to his tractor, pull the son out of the drift and continue to blow the road open, getting both son and Jeep home while blowing a trail home.

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No matter what we had to deal with in Wyoming, it was all good to both WB and me…everyday was an amazing adventure:)

29 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Karin Susan Fester
    Dec 25, 2013 @ 04:37:35

    Great blog ! Love your photos of Wyoming.Wishing you Merry Christmas from Italy !
    (I’m also a horse fanatic..at cavallodocile on WP)
    Karin

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  2. Nylabluesmum
    Dec 16, 2013 @ 16:41:08

    HRCG I am awed by your photos & story of Wyoming!!! This is one of the States I always wanted to visit (Montana & Kentucky being the other 2 & I went to Kentucky). Having read your story I can say all my ideas of what wyoming look like are right on the money….I feel as if I have now been there if that makes sense??
    Lottie is so adorable….I love horses so. I will never own one so I love reading of your horses’ & your adventures…thank you for sharing a bit of your life with us….
    Wonderful Wyoming I hope I dream of you tonite 😉
    Sherri-Ellen
    P.S.: The Kalamazoo/skunk story made me laugh…I have done this also….never knew I could still run so fast….. 🙂

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Dec 16, 2013 @ 19:17:55

      Hi there Sherri-Ellen and Nylablue! Its good to see you:) Wyoming was incredible, it truly knocked my socks off with the views, the weather and the people…there was something different in Wyoming, like a wild and free spirit. Each day was a new adventure and you never knew for sure what you would see or do. I will be doing a post on the high desert of Wyoming too…we brought the cows out to the high desert in the spring for a few months before we took them up to the mountains…the scenery and adventures filled my heart with good stuff. I hope you are dreaming of Wyoming tonight and any night you want to…and I will pray that you are able to visit Wyoming…the freeway goes through Rock Springs and that area is not impressive as it is more desert and no mountains…but if you turn off the freeway at Rock Springs and then travel north a 100 miles you will see where we lived. Wyoming stirred my creative heart…I wish I had a better camera when we lived there…it was before digital. Lottie was incredible, I lost her since then, she is buried here at the ranch…I had her 20 years and she spoiled me…we had many adventures together. I am getting ready to load a new post on a Wyoming Buffalo up on Pinon Ridge…I may load it tonight or tomorrow…its a funny story. Sending you and Nylablue hugs and prayers and loves:)

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  3. The View Out Here
    Dec 14, 2013 @ 13:00:30

    Hi ya!
    (FYI: For some reason, I am not receiving notification in my inbox that you’ve done a post! Until I get that fixed I have serious catching up to do.)
    I love this post (I’ve ridden the Sawtooth’s!) and I’ve always adored Wyoming, wind and all. You sure know how to make a girl miss the West!!!
    Thanks for your great pictures.
    Christmas Wishes sent your way…
    ~d.

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Dec 16, 2013 @ 18:38:06

      Howdy Hi:) I have missed you too as I have not seen your blog come through my reader…so I also need to get caught up:) I LOVED Wyoming…it was incredible…the weather was not bad either, Wyoming knows how to deal with it and we all just did what we knew with ice or snow…and the mountains, oh wow, they were huge! Forever changing with the light and the seasons, I spent all my time staring with a permanent wow on my face. Having grown up in our Blue Mountains here I have been in lots of country before but the first time we rode up Pinon Ridge, on the Upper Green, I was about half way up the ridge when we stopped for minute, I turned around and looked back and was stunned by how huge the country was…it was beautiful! It ruined me for the mountains we have as they are like hills now….loved the Rockies and Wyoming. I’m going to upload a story about one of the gathers I was on with our grazing association and neighbors, my first Buffalo sighting in the herd…it was wild! The Sawtooths were incredibly beautiful too…I could see them from behind us and sunsets were impressive to see on them:) I’m so glad you found me and looking forward to reading your blog to catch up too:) Merry Christmas and Happy New Years!

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  4. Where God Takes Me
    Dec 12, 2013 @ 20:05:56

    We haven’t talked for such a long time, thanks for stopping by my blog earlier… Have you had a good year? Made any progress on your book? Your photos are so beautiful, I love the way you work that camera! Your writings are gorgeous, too, so poetic and so spiritual.:-) Lovely as always!

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Dec 13, 2013 @ 16:27:54

      Hi there:) It is good to hear from you and I can’t believe how fast the year went! It has been a good year as lots of good stuff happened, how about you? I am still writing away and now I think I have an idea for a different kind of book so yes I have made progress but often have to fight the side tracked issue. I still run our business office 24/7 so that keeps me on my toes as the last few years the work load has increased in a good way. My only office help is Minnie who will be 19 this year and Ellie who is my Aussie puppy. Ellie is 6 months old now and so cute…she and Minnie are ok so far. I love taking inspiring shots and creative shots…I have so much to be thankful for with where we live and the views we have, it is fun sharing them:) You also take awesome and spiritual pictures that I love….and I love the desert too:) It is another one of God’s special places and like Wyoming, the isolation and landscapes truly touch that part of your heart that is full of God…I love that! It does here too as we have the isolation but in many ways it is not as quiet overall. How often do you and your hubby go to the desert and do you stay overnight too? Hugs and thank you for stopping in!

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  5. SwittersB
    Dec 09, 2013 @ 06:51:23

    What a beautifully written piece with amazing imagery. Even your comments are wonderful.

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  6. adaisygarden
    Dec 07, 2013 @ 19:33:03

    Absolutely beautiful photos!! Now I want to move to Wyoming!

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Dec 07, 2013 @ 20:12:53

      Thank you:) I wish we had the digital cameras of today as it ws truly hard to capture the reality of what we were seeing in the beauty of Wyoming…I would be happy to move back to Wyoming too…it was incredible to live where we did at the base of the Continental Divide…between the massive views of the mountains and the huge country, the incredible weather and storms, the life of living on the land and taking care of it…and experiencing life…I am thankful we were given the chance to go to Wyoming:)

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  7. LittleAmanda
    Dec 07, 2013 @ 09:43:50

    Sounds like my dream! Someday maybe 🙂

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Dec 07, 2013 @ 10:40:54

      You would love it:) It spoke so much to my heart living there…I felt like we were in cowboy heaven! I loved every part of living there…and you seriously rode your horses which I loved as it reminded me of the cattle ranch I grew up on…we summered our cattle up in the mountains and wintered them down more on the high desert just like we did in Wyoming…it was like going home in a way:)

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  8. emjayandthem
    Dec 07, 2013 @ 06:06:20

    That drifting snow looks just like the snow I grew up with in Saskatchewan — we didn’t get a lot of it, but we had a never-ending wind and severely cold temps that made it dicey to be out there. I remember those roads where the drifts were so rampant you really couldn’t tell where the road ended and the field began.

    If you created an Etsy account and sold calendars of your beautiful landscape, sky and animal shots I would buy boxes of them for me and friends — seriously!

    Such beauty + such talent – you have a natural way with the lens, my friend!
    MJ

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Dec 07, 2013 @ 10:54:56

      I wondered if where we lived in Wyoming was like Saskatchewan with the weather…could you see the Rockies at all or was it more flat land for farming? Yes the wind chills were something else and like you we had lots of wind…we joked that it was the noon hour express as even in the summer months we had wind or a good breeze that began at noon everyday and then ended when the sun began to set each day. The cold temps we had were a dry cold so when it got up to zero, everyone began to take off their Carhartts as it was like a heat wave…for us, we both adjusted to the wild weather really easily…same with the snows. The road crews were always prepared and they kept the roads in good shape…when you are used to Winter being Winter, you took it in stride. The coldest I ever felt was here after we moved back from Wyoming! Actually it was in Western Oregon where they do have humidity, we don’t here in Eastern Oregon…we had gone to a college football game and about half way through we left as we were both frozen to the bone as the breeze picked up and it was foggy above us..it was a bone chilling cold!
      Thank you so much for your kind words MJ…I love shooting the photos…when I see something like different weather or landscapes, I am like a little kid at Christmas…I grab my camera and WB knows I am gone:) I had not thought of Etsy…I will do some checking on that:) That is a good idea and a good place to start:)
      Big Hug,
      HRCG

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  9. onespoiledcat
    Dec 07, 2013 @ 04:06:32

    What a gorgeous piece of country……wide open spaces and weather that changes quickly and beautifully even with a storm……I know you must have incredibly fond memories of this place with endless vistas to photograph!

    Hugs, Pam

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Dec 07, 2013 @ 10:34:27

      It was beautiful and spiritual, huge country and incredible mountains, weather that was wild at times and yet after the storms you had the beauty of those mountains all around you. We wintered the cattle out in the high desert before moving them up to the summer pasture behind Yellowstone and I liked the high desert too…I could see South Pass where our ancestors crossed the Continental Divide and as I sat in my heart I could almost feel the joy the settlers felt to have made it across and then to see the flat desert, with more mountains in front of them…I know they must have felt joyful to be on flat ground but also dreading more mountains ahead…they were incredible and so brave to face all that they faced to settle new lands. I often took my notebook and wrote what I imagined they felt…on the acreage we had the cattle on there was no sign of civilization, no power poles, lines or anything so you truly cold step into their shoes in your heart.

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  10. neilirving
    Dec 07, 2013 @ 01:30:33

    Wyoming looks amazing, love the photos, there is really something that speaks to me in that landscape, must be all the Louis L’amour books I read as a kid or maybe I lived there in another life

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Dec 07, 2013 @ 10:23:00

      It was truly incredible to see the country as the country was BIG if that makes sense…the mountains we have here are little hills compared to the mountains we had in Wyoming…be sure to add Wyoming to your travels…Southern Wyoming is not as pretty as it is more high desert so be sure to head towards Jackson Hole, we lived outside of a small town called Pinedale, about 90 miles from Jackson and a 100 miles from Rock Springs. I know what you mean by the “something speaks to me in that landscape”…same here, I think for me it is the stirring of my artistic heart…the rugged beauty is like a call of the wild and it is very spiritual as well…during the winter months with various light on the mountains I swear I could see God’s house in them:) I loved living there and I hope you are able to visit there someday with your family.

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      • neilirving
        Dec 09, 2013 @ 05:13:33

        It looks a wonderful country I’m sure I’ve been there in another life, when ever I see pictures or even read about the sights, the smells and the mountains my breath catches, when the kids are bigger and we have the time we will have to get over there and go on walk about

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      • Hot Rod Cowgirl
        Dec 09, 2013 @ 20:02:58

        It will be worth it:) Wild At Heart is a book we read a few years ago but both WB and I agree that we like the Wild At Heart adventures in life…Wyoming was one of those times and it turned out to be one of our most treasured memories…I learned so much about life there, what is really important and what isn’t…there is something about rugged beauty that stirs my creative heart so the mountains really get me going! I told WB that we need to go back to WY. so I can write my book LOL:)

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      • neilirving
        Dec 11, 2013 @ 12:54:05

        Is that the Wild At Heart by John Eldridge I think I have that book in my ebook collection, I’m a serial ebook collector I don’t think I will ever be able to read them all lol, that must have been a really wonderful place to live it really takes my breath away hard to imagine having that much space to live in, hope you manage to get back there and write your book

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      • Hot Rod Cowgirl
        Dec 11, 2013 @ 20:57:06

        Yes that is the book…it is a great book to read, a friend gave it to WB to read and then I read it too as I love how Eldridge writes, have read most of his books and also his wife’s….good stuff:)

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      • neilirving
        Dec 11, 2013 @ 22:39:38

        Lol Lynne and I still share books the kids always laugh at the two bookmarks, I will have to read Wild at Heart next

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      • Hot Rod Cowgirl
        Dec 12, 2013 @ 17:38:27

        🙂

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  11. Teepee12
    Dec 06, 2013 @ 21:05:38

    Absolutely beautiful. Amazing skies, magnificent mountains, fabulous skies. But I couldn’t deal with the weather. It’s bad enough here … 10 degrees with an ice storm in progress. Wyoming winters last even longer, are snowier and colder. Maybe when I was younger …

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Dec 06, 2013 @ 21:36:15

      It was truly amazing to live there…I am always cold and yet loved WY. You would love it, if you love the western life…it was cold and not perfect but it was Wyoming…I embraced Wyoming with WB on our adventures.

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Dec 07, 2013 @ 11:05:05

      Honestly the weather in Wyoming is not that bad…I know you wold like it once you got there. It was a very dry cold so in many ways your weather is probably colder as you have the humidity. It was funny as everyone wore heavy Carhartt coats and overalls, as soon as the temps got up to zero you would see people taking their Carhartts off due to the heat wave:) When you know you will have lots of snow and winter weather, you are more prepared to deal with it and Wyoming was…the road crews kept all the roads open and things ran good overall…no missed school days and you just got used to driving on snow floor…we were colder here after we came back from Wyoming, I know it sounds silly but we had gone to a college football game in Eugene Oregon, it was a night game…we made it to half time and then left as they had a light breeze and wispy fog…we were frozen to the bone and it was from the humidity. Luckily we have dry humidity here too…but yeah seriously I am always cold and I did great in Wyoming:) The incredible views and landscapes along with the life style was heaven to me:)
      And yuck on having 10 degrees with an ice storm…it is 6 degrees here and we are under wind chill alerts for -9 to -20 degrees through tomorrow…it is colder feeling here for sure…we have some snow but not alot. I am hoping no ice storms as often we loose power and that means water too…hassle when you have livestock. Stay warm my fellow cowgirl friend:)

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