Playing Cowboy Days 17-20: Slow, Awesome Days
August 6, 2021
Saturday morning we didn't have anything going on except the farrier showing up at 9am.  We had to round them up for that, but didn't have any rides going out that day so I intended on sleeping in.  I made it to 6:40am.  I haven't used a watch or an alarm clock in 3 weeks now and it feels great.  I woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed, slightly annoyed that I couldn't sleep in past 7am.  I'm truly a different person here and way happier.

Since I was the first one up and fog was hanging over the Wets I decided to go for a drive.  I needed to pick up some milk if I wanted to have breakfast, I figured I would do both in town.  It was absolutely beautiful.  

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I pulled over to shoot this last one, sunrise on our four closest 14ers, and just as I was about to shoot those two bucks walked right in front of me.  Awesome.  The scraggly peaks are Crestone Needle and Peak, two thousand foot cliff faces sticking straight out of South Colony Basin, my favorite place I have ever been.  I enjoyed breakfast, went to the market, went to Ace to fix my spud gun and buy a can of ether, and back to the ranch.  We chilled out for a bit, taking care of loose ends here and there.  We worked with Little Bit for a while on being picketed out since she was going on the 5 day this week, and we never got her to take being tied up to a long rope well.  Hopefully she's fine in the high country.  After the work was done, it was time to play, and out came the spud gun.  Alicia was aiming for Rudy.  She missed, but we sure got a good amount of what the?!? looks out of that goofy horse.  

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That evening we had her going away party at Dave and Michelle's house.  It was a really nice time with some really awesome people, and I'm sad she's headed back to school so early in the summer.  

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Dave and his son Wesley

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Post dinner pipe.  I am a fashion guru.  

Sunday we had two rides going out.  I was going to do one, Dave was going to do the other, and Mike had the pleasure of shoeing the two horses that the farrier wouldn't touch.  I took the morning two hour, a man named Steve and his grandson Cameron.  This was the second time the kid had ridden, the first being earlier in the week, and he was a natural.  I had him loping by the end of the ride.  I hit a home run, showing them everything they wanted to see, teaching them much they didn't know, and I gave the kid the first Mule Deer antler shed that I found this year, a really nice four pointer.  I got stiffed.  

After munching a salami sandwich I went to helping mike shoe Marguerite.  The farrier won't touch her for a good reason.  We had to cross tie her to two halters on a trailer, and then had to tie up her back foot to even start to get nails driven.  Man she's a PITA.  She eventually put up such a fight that she ended up laying on the ground, four legs sticking four different directions, and this was fine since she got herself to a point where she couldn't move.  Tap tap tap and the first hind shoe was done.  "You sure like to do things the hard way, knot head," said Mike as we both giggled at her solo game of Twister.  On to the second shoe.  

She stood there and held her leg up nice and proper.  Learned a lesson eh Marge?  

That afternoon Mike and I headed to town, he took a shower while I picked up some stuff that the food getter for the Ultimate forgot, and then we went to Cowboy Church.  The music was many of the contemporary classics that I knew well, and it was refreshing to hear the pastor say, "Religion is crap."  Which it is, it has nothing to do with the relationship that Jesus always talked about, and it's permiated the modern church to the point that I went from being a youth pastor to a professional gambler who holds a disdain for the church.  Jesus never talked about going to church, he talked about being the church.  Church isn't a place, it isn't a bulilding, it isn't something you go to.  It's something you are, and it's been a long time since I've found that.  

Afterwards we went to R's pizza, and our order got punted so bad that our entire meal was comped, beer included.  Susan (girl I met at the dome last week) showed up, we headed back to the ranch, drank an awesome bottle of Sauvignon Blanc watching the sunset, and that turned into watching thunderstorms roll in.  Mike moved into Alicia's cabin, and then I got to move into the Penthouse.  It took all of about fifteen minutes.  I've thoroughly missed living simply and it feels sooooo good to be content with the little that I have out here.  We made a campfire, Mike finished up settling in, and her sister and dude came up.  We hung out around the fire until after midnight, the latest I've been up since I hit the road three weeks ago.  

Monday morning we were up nice and early to round up the herd and get them ready to go on the 5 day Ultimate.  Mike and I had a good time gettin them in, and then we went to work prepping 14 horses.  Many hands make light work, Dave arrived in the van full of customers, and we were on the road around 9:30.  Drove to Gibson trailhead, packed the horses, taught the custies how to ride in high country, and had them on their way shortly after noon.  It's amazing how much work goes into one of these trips.  I met Susan back at the ranch for a day date that consisted of spending time in Canon City, waiting for Fuller to show up.  

We had lunch at this Irish brewery on Main Street downtown, and it was pretty dang good.  McClellans I believe it was called.  After lunch we walked around a bit, first place we stopped was this amateur art gallery, and I found three pieces that I liked for $205 total.  I paid with my platinum card, the dude wrapped up the art, and he handed me the credit card clip to sign.  It didn't have a line to sign on.  Where should I sign?  Wait... it says declined.  Hmm.  It just worked across the street.  I check my bank account online, funds are sufficient, I tell him, and say I'll call my bank while you work on that.  My bank says everything is fine.  He runs the card again.  Declined.  Thrice, declined.  I politely tell him that there's something wrong with his machine cause there's certainly nothing wrong with my card, he gives me a look like he doesn't believe me, and I walk out of the place.  

We drive down the road to The Abbey vineyard for some wine tasting.  Complimentary except for their reserves, which are $1 each.  $4 for fourteen wines.  We enjoyed the afternoon watching the thunderstorms roll in, I bought a case of mixed wines, and was very much impressed.  

Since the art gallery didn't want my business, I decided to stop into the fly shop in town.  I've always wanted to learn how to fly fish, and since I'm around these awesome trout fisheries so often and am working for an expert fly fisherman, I figured I would buy me a set-up.  $500 later on my platinum card that worked just fine, we went to dinner.  We ended up at some Mexican joint off Main that had a full parking lot, always a good sign in a small town, and then we ended up at my favorite bar I've ever been in, My Brother's Place.  Three quarters rafters and the rest bikers during the summer, I love this bar and we posted up there for less than an hour before Fuller showed up.  Good to see the guy, we have another beer, and then I lead him back to the ranch.  I offer him the loft in my Penthouse, the Hobbit Hole, and my vacant tent, and he takes one of the bunks in the Bunkhouse.  He wakes up to a similar greeting that I experienced my first morning.  

"Who the hell are you?"  Mike asked him.  LOL at least he's consistent.  

After round-up and saddling, Susan showed up and we were ready for an adventure.  We intended on doing a day ride in the Sangre's, but we didn't have proper horses and didn't want to do a ranch ride.  Rick wanted to get up into the high country, so up we went, and I chose Hermit Basin to head into due to the 4WD road that gets up to treeline.  I've heard it goes higher but haven't tried it late enough in the season to find out, every time I've been up it's been blocked by snow.  It wasn't the case today.  We drove all the way too the upper lake, parked the truck somewhere around 12,000 feet, and went for a hike.

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Finally put some faces to the Marmots that I heard in the high country.  They're my favorite critters out here, not as curious here as I've experienced them elsewhere, but still cute as hell.

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After walking around the lake we continued up the road, hoping to make it to the ridge separating Hermit basin that we were in and North Taylor basin.  I've always heard about the wreckage from a B-25 bomber that crashed there shortly after WWII, and I was hoping we could glass down and see some of it.  We did.  Lots of melted alumninum, and were far enough away that we couldn't see much, but it was neat to see and being that high up is always awesome.

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The silver spot in the bottom is part of the wreckage.  From there we continued on up to the backbone of the range, had a picnic, and called it an awesome day.  

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Peace and good luck,



3 months ago
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