Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Over the River

John and Newt below Packsaddle

It's official. The cow herd is on the winter range. Doug and Gabe and Dennis helped us get them to Packsaddle and a couple days later, John and Mike trailed them from the Hall place across the river to Magpie. I bet the cows are as relieved as I am. It's nice to get settled into your home range for the long winter, with all that nutritious bunchgrass spread out across the slopes and benches, the clear fresh water, and plenty of room to wander.

Climbing out of the Hall place

The favorite spot for crossing the Imnaha River
We'll be taking the herd up Pumpkin Creek for a couple months this year. It's been about four years since they were were up there. We've been resting that range since the big fire a few years ago, and gradually getting the fences fixed or replaced where they burned up. As soon as we get a couple big downfall trees off the main fence, we'll be ready to trail the herd the six miles up Horse Creek.

Pumpkin Creek reminds me a little of the Litch Place on Cow Creek.  I love being high up in the big pines, hemmed in by the narrow rims and steep canyon sides, far from the road. The cabin is primitive, but provides the basics, a place to cook, get warm, sleep.

I'm looking forward to spending a bit more time there, exploring, getting to know the trails, cleaning the cabin, fixing things up. I am reminded to thank each hard working soul who was here before me, building this fence, putting on a new roof, clearing a trail to the creek. Every "improvement" out in this vast country is a welcome and valued asset, even if it is just a two room shack with an outhouse and a place to put your horses.

From Sara at Magpie Ranch, home of Bunchgrass Beef