On the Ranch Journal
Rafting the Irrigation Ditch
|Cris Paravicini has
lived and ranched in Wyoming all of her life. These are excerpts from
her diary of daily life on the family Pearson Angus Ranch northwest of
June 1-6 - My life flashed before my eyes
Week of June 1-6 Reinstalled SULFNBK.EXE. Big,
bad hoax! But, to my friends who were kind
enough to send the alert - Thanks, anyhow! - I'd danged well rather
be "sitting square in the saddle when something gooses my horse,
than bucked off in the rocks, because I didn't see the bad guys comin'
down the trail!" Keep up the good work!
(Included in this diary are some pictures taken on the Memorial Day weekend here at the ranch by visiting friends from California, Beau and Adria Brown.)
Thursday, June 7 Moved the last batch of cows out to pasture. The grass is being very stubborn in stepping up to spring's starting line. Can't say as I blame it - facing either wind or freezer-burn each time a new shoot sticks its head from the parched ground. Luckily for us, most of our pastureland is in naturally boggy ground, so, if the temperature ever warms up and the winds stop blowing, we'll hopefully grow enough summer feed. For ranchers living on the short creeks, though, luck has played hard ball with them. Many folks are selling their entire herds due to this drought and the high price of hay. Years of hard work in building quality herds are being loaded onto big cattle trucks and hauled down the road to market. It's sad and more than a little frightening, after many generations in the cow business, to be raising beef one day and then be looking for your next dollar in tomorrow's uncertainty. Good luck to us all.
Monday, June 11 Rudy and I loaded the 4-wheeler into the old pickup and drove to the Horse Creek pastures to mend fences. Lots of fence still to be fixed. On this particular day, the fence was still in pretty good shape after the mild winter and many thanks to all the nimble, high-jumpin' moose! Still, the fence line, which was no walk in the park, had to be gone around to be certain there were no broken posts or wires. Each step taken through the soggy alkali bogs, (and packin' the 16-pound post maul, fence stretchers, splice wire, and staples), literally brings you to your knees...sinking in the gooey quagmire, that is. The sucking, mucking soil can steal the shoes right off yer feet! A stiff breeze was blowing across our sweaty foreheads and the stagnant swamp pools, trying hard to evaporate everything in its path - but, it (on a happy note) swiftly swept the pesky skeeters away. Thank Heavens!
Tuesday, June 12 Wow! It's actually raining and the wind isn't blowing and it's not too cold and it seems to be a set-in storm! Wow! So to celebrate, right in the midst of the soaking deluge, the boss said, "Saddle up! We got some cows to rotate onto new pasture." When we made it back to the barn four hours later, the little filly I was riding looked like a drowned rat, and the chilling rain had soaked through my storm duster and was introducing itself to my goosebumps.
Wednesday, June 13 Oops! The rain has turned to SNOW! Zowie, I hate when it does that in the merry month of June, even if we do need the moisture. And all day long it snowed and snowed, leaving a couple of inches of wonderland sticking to the ground. But cold and damp as it was, Momma Earth smiled happily.
Thursday, June 14 Now, you gotta love it! Today is ice cold and the wind is blowing - again - "90" mph and selfishly slurping up all that nice moisture. The first round of spring life - mosquitoes, young baby birds, grass, and garden sprouts - has already frozen or withered from the Arctic conditions.
Friday, June 15 Docked the lambs this evening.
Nephew Joe and Niece Cindi helped grab the little
rascals so we could apply the bands to their tails and other private
boy parts. Geez, I hate when we gotta do that to them, but it must
be done. They'll forget about it very soon.
Saturday, June 16 My niece and nephew and their mom (my sister) from Lyman, Wyoming came to visit for a few days. We then gathered 'em all up and headed for our neighbor boy's wedding reception at the old Daniel Schoolhouse. Way nice evening with friends!
Sunday, June 17 Dad's Day. Just worked and got supplies in Pinedale. Bumped into a friend in the grocery store, so we parked the shopping carts and shared a few stories. She told of a courageous, young lady who had rescued an old dog from the wild waters of the Hoback River, 30 miles north of the ranch. Seems that our heroine was driving by with a friend when she spotted a dog bobbing near the far shore, struggling to scratch its way up an under-cut bank. She could see that the dog was old and tired and just about to give up the fight. Well, without thinking, this gal waded into the icy river and swam/waded her way to the desperate dog. She knew she couldn't make it back by crossing in the same spot, so she dragged the exhausted dog up the steep bank and carried it upstream until she found a shallower, less ominous crossing. The dog is alive today and the brave, lucky woman had told the story on herself.
Monday, June 18 Went back to Pinedale to renew the licenses on one of the old ranch pickups.
Wednesday, June 20 Helped my sister and brother-in-law wash windows at a retired couple's home. They have a highly successful cleaning and service business, and I help them when they are short-handed.
Thursday, June 21 Went to the "soon-to-be-famous" cowboy supper show in Wilson, Wyoming - compliments of my great mother-in-law! This talented group of gentlemen call themselves the Bar J Wranglers. What awesome musical abilities - from strumming guitars, fiddles, banjos, steel guitars and more, to singing and yodeling old-time western songs and telling stories about the Old West. To top off the evening, they serve up a big feed of your choice of steak, chicken, ribs, or barbecue. If you ever get the chance to see one of their shows, you will be greatly entertained! Check out their web site at: http://www.barjchuckwagon.com/
Friday, June 22 Son John's 23rd birthday! Took him on cleaning detail with Shenefelt Services from 5 p.m. till 12 a.m. Happy Birthday! Does keep one out of mischief and sleeping good at nights!
Saturday, June 23 Did chores for my sister's pets while they embarked on a 250-mile trip to Utah with their youngsters.
Sunday, June 24 Son John took Nephew Ben home to my sister. Met them at the Quarter Horse racetrack in Evanston where my brother-in-law has now qualified his two horses for the Wyoming Downs finals in July.
Monday, June 25 Took little Tramp the Border Collie to the vet for his rabies and distemper shots and physical.
Wednesday, June 27 Neighbor boy, Jake, called and asked if he could use my pony in the upcoming fair in the halter class. Seems they must have three ponies entered in the contest or they won't be able to have that particular class. They have only two at this point, so I told him we'd all work together to get the little roan pony ready for the big fair coming up during the first week of August.
Thursday, June 28 Showed Cousin Terri one of the ranch horses that my sister has for sale. "Claude Dallas" is a 14-year old ex-racehorse turned cowpony. Terri and I rode him a little bit in the corral, but plan to take a bigger circle on Monday...
Saturday, June 30 Bull turn-out begins today. When boy meets girl...When Harry meets Sally...True Ranch Romance...anyhow...you get the idea! Nine months from now - when it's a dark and dreary midnight, and cold and stormy and sloppy - we'll wish we had forgotten to do this job
Where did that story go?!? The stories from earlier front pages aren't gone. We just move them to the monthly journal pages to make room for the latest diary entries on the front page. See the Journal Index for a listing of all previous front page journal entries!
|The Pearson Angus Ranch is located approximately 2 miles
northwest of Daniel, Wyoming, and 11 miles west of Pinedale, where she
lives along with her husband, Rudy. Historic old Fort Bonneville, built
in the late 1800s, is located next to her family's ranch. Cris is a writer
and photographer for The
Sublette County Journal newspaper, where you can find more of her
accounts of life on the ranch. Cris can be reached by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyrights: Photos and page text content copyrighted,
Cris Paravicini, 2001. No part may be reproduced without permission
of the author/photographer. Page graphics copyrighted, Pinedale Online,