Back at the Ranch


No, I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth.  I just have poor time management skills.  It’s been a busy month….and half.  A lot of stuff happened.  I won’t bore you with all of it, most of it was good, some of it was…..unfortunate.

All you single girls out there looking for Mr. Right, I highly recommend finding a guy who, in spite of his obsession with keeping vehicles looking showroom new, will forgive you on the spot for shutting the garage door on the van for the second time in 6 months, even though he had hung a tennis ball for you so you would know exactly how far to pull in before shutting the door.  Your life will be much easier if that quality is on your list.

There was a band concert, a children’s choir musical, volleyball games, a remodeling project to plan out, a variety of end of the school year parties, a trip to Chicago and the winter that would not end.

It turns out that folks start to get a little edgy when winter lasts until Memorial Day, even Minnesotans.  Yah You Betcha!


One of our neighbors built this snowman after May snowfall. If you look closely you will see a noose around his neck…..

And then all of the sudden it was time to pack up and head west for the summer.  We brought a couple of friends with us for a week.  The plan was for me to drive the kids, the dog and the cargo trailer across South Dakota by myself just like last year.  But I had trouble sleeping the night before departure day – it happens to me from time to time lately and is really a bummer – and when I woke up after a few short hours of sleep, Joe said, “I don’t think you got enough sleep last night to drive all that way by yourself so I rearranged my schedule and book a flight back to Minneapolis for tomorrow, so I can drive out with you.”  Yeah, he’s a pretty good guy.


So we headed out


My co-pilot, who actually turned out to be the only pilot since I didn’t have to drive at all and basically got to sleep until about Mitchell

And then somewhere around Kodaka this happened.


I was really, really glad for my co-pilot/pilot

We/Joe changed it and we hobbled into Rapid City where we stopped to get a new tire



The kids were a great help


Brand new tire

We arrived after about 15 hours.  It’s hard to stand after 15 hours in the car.

So since we’ve been here we’ve done some hiking, fishing, put some salt out for the cows, riding and roping.






There was also a trip to Independence Rock.


I would assume that everyone knows about Independence Rock but last year I discovered that a friend of mine, who will remain nameless (but her initials are KM), did not know about Independence Rock.  So, just in case there are others out there with a disappointing  amount of knowledge of Wyoming history, Independence Rock is the spot along the Oregon, California and Mormon Trails where pioneers aimed to be by the 4th of July.  If they made here by July 4th than they had a good chance of making it to their destinations before the winter hit.  If they didn’t, well then that was another story, that usually did not end well.


The boys scampered to the top in about 5.5 seconds.  I got about halfway up and looked down.  I don’t like heights so that was a mistake.  But I had no choice at that point but to fight off the panic attack and keep going because they were already at the top.


We also watched that crazy guy, Nick Wallenda, walk across the Grand Canyon on a tight rope.


We predicted a few scenarios before hand which included:  an eagle landing on one end of his pole, a swarm of bees attacking him halfway across, him having a sneezing attack and the most popular prediction was that he would fall just as he was getting close to the other side but then Iron Man would swoop in from out of nowhere and save him (did I mention we also went to the movies last week?).

As it turned out none of our predictions came true.  It was very nerve racking to watch and in the end we were happy that it turned out the way it did.  Although the Iron Man thing would have been pretty cool.

Then it was time to say happy trails to Nick and Connor.


Now it’s time to put up the first cutting of hay and get ready to move cows to Soldier Creek and celebrate the 4th.

IMG_1598                    IMG_1599

Our summer is off to a good start, hope yours is too!

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4 Responses to Back at the Ranch

  1. Mom and Dad S. says:

    Great post, the back story is fun. Also, as you noted Joe is prepared for most emergencies…but Jim is to credit for that. Looks fun. Meanwhile up at the lake a spell of 80 degrees has us in the lake some in between getting ready for the garage sale on the 5th. Work is slow on the house, but its the Northwoods and most folks are casual about when they show up and if they would really like to do some work for you. They kind of start and stop a lot… Pictures of Annie and Max and family are great. Keep it coming. Love, the Pagas

  2. Jamie Harkins says:

    Very nice! Glad to have you back in Wyoming and back blogging!

  3. Kara McCarthy says:

    Miss you in MN JS… hope the sleepless nights and flat tires are all behind. Glad to hear you are settled in WY for your summer adventure…We all know Joe is a keeper:)… we will check in on him and get him over for dinner while you are gone:)

    I just need to tell you that I currently have 11 books on Washington D.C. in my possession as I hope to avoid brain fade on my facts when visiting there next month (like I did on Independence Rock:)). I won’t have a local expert along to make me feel at home as you and your family have on our visits to your beautiful slice of this country. Miss you all and feeling a lil homesick when I look at the pics, but keep them coming and keep blogging…we enjoy the updates!
    hugs from MN

  4. Pingback: Happy Birthday Joe | Pretty Work

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