Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Douglas Chronicles: The Ranch

K and I arrived at her mom's ranch at about two in the morning. The entire drive from Denver was done in the dark, and it is really dark in the middle of Wyoming 'round midnight. I couldn't see anything along the side of the road. I knew we were driving through wide open country, but my West Virginia bred mind was filling in the dark places with hills and mountains. I might as
well have been driving through Logan County, for all I knew.

So I was somewhat surprised (it doesn't take much) to wake up the next morning and be confronted with this:

That, my friends, is Big Sky country. You can see for miles in every direction unimpeded by things like hills. Sure, there are breathtaking vistas in the Appalachians, but you've got to climb to the top of the mountain first!

MamaK and Roy have about 40 acres outside of Douglas. Their house, shop, and "front yard" (a term that loses all meaning with that much land about) are sort of plopped in the middle. A long driveway juts in from the outside world. Here's a pic of the house, taken from the driveway:

And here's a shot peeking 'round the corner of the house, towards Roy's shop:

Yes, that's a three-car plus shop. It's filled with a frightening array of stuff, the likes of which
would even leave Carlin at a loss for words.

Here's another shot to give you the scope of Big Sky. This would be over to the right of the house in the picture above. That grazing land extends to the left and wraps all the way around the house and yard:

This being a live operating ranch, that means farm equipment! Of which I managed to sample a couple bits:

Yes, I know, it's just a lawn tractor, but you have to understand - I don't even mow my own yard! Somehow, by the promise of some play time, I suspect, I was roped into to mowing the yard behind the house. Let me tell you - if you whap that thing into fifth gear, it will scoot. I can see how people race them now!

And now, the picture all my family and coworkers have been waiting for - me operating a farm tractor:

Yes, it's running. Yes, I moved something with it. No, I will not provide any further details without a court order. A gentleman does not tract' and tell.

Of course, no ranch would be complete without a whole parcel of critters. The low down on them tomorrow.

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