Sunday, March 21, 2010

I'm so thankful for all the blessings in my life!

I’m so blessed! Just had the urge this Sunday to write down a few of the many many blessings in my life that I am so very thankful for. My cup runneth over!

1. I’m so thankful for my family & all the love & support they give me.

2. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to live close to home & be able to give back & help my family.

3. I’m so thankful for technology & being able to keep in touch with friends & share experiences.

4. I’m so thankful for the lifestyle I have been blessed with and all the amazing experiences I’m been exposed to.

5. I’m so thankful for all the people who have came before me that I can learn from their experiences.

6. So blessed to be an American. Love my country and the privilege of being free.

7. I’m so thankful for the education I have received. The opportunity to go to college & learn not only from my classes but from the amazing new people that were introduced into my life.

8. I’m so thankful for Medicine Lodge and being able to spend time in that country.

9. I love bucking horses! So thankful for the opportunity to work with amazing rodeo athletes!

10. So thankful for the rodeo lifestyle & the blessing of so many “rodeo families”

11. I’m so thankful for the blessing of true & unconditional friendship.

12. I’m so thankful to be able to do what I love & being able to offer it to others!

13. So thankful for the opportunity to work with Regg and being able to get along so well.

14. So thankful to have a HOME, such a blessing to have a beautiful space to call my own & be able to share with friends & family when they come.

15. I’m so thankful to have such a great car! Great gas mileage, dependable & fits more than enough. What a blessing to be able to travel.

16. I’m so thankful to have my computer to be able to write. What an amazing tool!

17. So thankful to be able to be able to write! What a blessing to be able to keep a record & be able to share it with others.

18. I’m so thankful for a home cooked meal! How awesome to be able to enjoy a nice homecooked meal. Even better when you can share it around a big table with your friends & family!

19. So thankful for the opportunity to be able to take pictures & capture the beauty that surrounds you at that moment.

20. So thankful for the amazing blessing of great eye-sight! The power of the human eye & the range of things that it can take in!

21. So thankful for great art! Love the feeling you get when you see a picture that you just love & it stirs something inside of you.

22. I am so thankful for all my wonderful friends. I can’t even put into words the amazing blessings that each & every one of them are in my life.

23. So thankful for the time spent with loved ones.

24. Thankful for the ride that we go on every year.

25. So thankful for the healing power of horses. The ability to get on & ride away the worries of the day.

26. I’m thankful for the healing power of Hard Work. How shoveling a trailer out or bucking bales can somehow make things so much better.

27. I’m so thankful for a great nights sleep! Love when you have a great day! Good & tired, sleep great & wake up feeling like a million bucks & ready to go!

28. I’m thankful for the sun! Love when the sun shines thru the clouds, especially in the wither months.

29. I’m so thankful for rain & the way it can clean a whole country side & make it new & fresh again. Love that smell!

30. I’m so thankful for the blessing of youth! The ability to be & go & do & the endless possibilities!

31. I’m so thankful for the blessing of kids. How they can make you smile & realize the important things in life & just how really good it is.

32. I’m so thankful for Laughter!

33. I’m so thankful for the blessing of a warm smile & the even bigger blessing of being able to give them freely.

34. I’m so thankful for beautiful jewelry! Love to create, discover, & ….just Rock….a beautiful piece of jewelry!

35. I’m so thankful for spring & the 1st hints of green starting to make its way up!

36. I’m so thankful for GREAT music! Love how hearing your favorite song automatically brightens any day! Love how a song can also take you back to a great memory!

37. I’m so thankful for memories! Love that you can hold things from the past to enjoy over & over.

38. I’m also thankful for forgetting : ) Things that seem a major disaster….soon fade away to the unimportance that they really were.

39. I’m so thankful for great horses!

40. I’m thankful for having a good lil pup. The blessings that they bring & the great teachers they are.

41. I’m so thankful to live in Idaho!

42. So blessed with delicious cold well water! So thankful to have more than enough when I turn on the tap.

43. Thankful for the spring with fresh water at elk camp & very thankful I don’t have to pack water everyday!

44. I’m so thankful to have power! What a blessing to flip a switch & have light! Be able to wash clothes! Turn on the heater for warmth! Wash clothes & have them be clean with the push of a few buttons! So thankful for indoor plumbing! What wonderful blessings to make our lives easier.

45. I’m so thankful for glass windows! Love to be able to open the curtains & see out on all of God’s green earth!

46. I’m so thankful to know so many wonderful people. All across the country, so blessed to exposed to the finest the world has to offer.

47. I’m so thankful for getting to hear the stories of those who have gone before me.

48. So thankful for everyone who takes the time to teach me & share their talents!

49. I’m so blessed to have the parents that I do. SO grateful for the lifestyle I was raised in.

50. I’m so grateful for every experience I’ve ever had that has made me the person I am today!

51. I’m thankful for all the brilliant words & quotes that have been spoken before me! Love great quotes & the opportunity to share them!

52. I’m so thankful for a great story, great movie, great book! Love to be able to see into another’s journey for a few steps. John Wayne & Will James are definitely 2 men that I am thankful for the work they shared with the world.

53. I’m so thankful for days….that just simply go your way! Love those days when everything just works out in your favor!

54. I’m thankful for a hot shower! So blessed with the conviences of hot running water! Love that!

55. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to hook a team! So blessed to be able to learn.

56. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to drive a backhoe, or a semi, or tractor. So thankful for the skills that have been shared with me….even if I still need lots of practice : )

57. I’m so thankful for a warm beautiful blanket! Something about a beautiful handmade blanket that just warms your body, heart & soul all at the same time.

58. So thankful for the scriptures & the opportunity to read & gain knowledge from the past.

59. I’m so thankful for GREAT ROADTRIPS! Something magical just about the “getting there”

60. I’m so thankful for being able to give the perfect gift. Even if it’s just a smile, what a blessing when you can give someone something to brighten there day just when they need it!

61. I’m so thankful for Marc, Eric, Colton, Spank, Grandpa…and all the loved ones that have left this world before me. I was thinking about Marc today & all the time he spent teaching me. So thankful that in his short time here on earth I was blessed to share some of it with him. So thankful for the strength & lessons they have taught me.

62. So thankful to know that People are more important than things. Sometimes the time spent is the most valueable gift we can ever give or receive.

63. I’m so thankful to have be raised with my family and be able to work with them. So grateful for the patience & time that was spent to help me learn.

64. I’m so thankful for the great example everyone in my life is to me. So blessed with all the great role models that courageously lead the way through the choices they make in everyday life!

65. I’m so thankful to be HAPPY!

I’m so Blessed! Millions of blessings that I am thankful for, just wanted to jot down a few & needed to say this outloud today. The list is in no particular order….It’s just as random as that crazy girl that wrote it. My heart is overflowing with blessings & I just needed to say thank you.

“May today there be Peace within you. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be” ~ unknown

Rodeo Tales & Gypsy Trails

is proudly brought to you by

Lil' Red Roan

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Embrace the Blessings Prepared for You

So after spending Sunday night by myself and thinking about everything in the civilized world that was going forth without me, I had a reckoning. Laying in bed as the morning sun peaked on the mountain tops, it occurred to me I have a choice. I can choose to embrace the day & the wonderful blessings the Lord has prepared for me....and that is…. Exactly what I did! Little did I know just how extraordinary it would be!

I cooked breakfast for the guys. Mike & Casey came down to help us feed. (where hay loading is concerned…I think, the more the merrier) It was already off to a good start. Right as we got ready to break loose the ski’s on the sled, Kevin, Stephanie, & Trigg Jones showed up! Yay! Trigg took his 1st sleigh ride!

Did I mention it was a gorgeous day! Absolutely gorgeous, blue skies, warm sunshine, GORGEOUS!!!

Pics of Trigg riding Nip & Tuck!

What a good morning! Trigg was super fun. Thanks to Mike, Casey, & Kevin our 60 bales flew by in no time! Hmmm, now apparently Dad & I are headed in to fly!!!! Seriously, Kevin is a helicopter pilot & we are taking a trip with him! AWWWWWWWW! Awesome! Pretty excited! (Rita went with him before & she got sick & puked....we loaded a 5 gallon bucket for me just in case)

Here is where we begin the "alot less talk & alot more....PICTURES" section of our story!

Our fearless Pilot preparing the chopper!

Head set on & preparing to get flight briefing. No smoking, incase of a crash wait for the & pilot dies......wait until blades stop spinning before exiting chopper, & the fire extinguisher is to put out people....not plane...seriously! (not said during flight can't sing along to the radio....without it being broadcast to your traveling partners....dang it ;)

View of the river as we took off. There was a guy across the river watching us & I waved. He totally waved back....It was awesome! (wicked awesome is about the only word I used the rest of the trip) This is the portion of the story where you get a lot less talk & a lot more....PICTURES!
Arial view of another elk feed grounds. I think there are 22 feed grounds all togteher. They feed in rows at this one, pretty cool.

Mountain Goats way up in the back country. There are 2 goats visible in this picture. Right after this we landed on a peak, like they would do if Heli Skiing....sorry no pictures...I was to scared ;)
Palisades from above, making our way to Idaho Falls
Idaho Falls Stockyards

The chopper had to get some maintence work done so we spent the next couple hours at Geislers, Cal- Ranch, & Vickers. Hitting up the hots spots & shopping. Well mainly the guys shopped & I told anyone who would listen that "we just heli'd into I.F. for the day"...seriously say it outloud...It's just fun!
Dad & Kevin taking a photo op with the chopper before we take off again.
Me & my Dad, & the heli!

Snake River & the Idaho Falls Temple
Leaving the home country & heading back to Jackson

Heading straight for the Tetons!
Teton Valley ~ love the river views from up above!

Right before the Tetons....this is wicked rough country. Be prepared! The next picture, we are so close to the Tetons they just look like rocks!

This was amazing! I never thought I'd be this close to the tops of the Tetons & after seeing this rugged country....I never need to be again unless I'm in a chopper ;)
Evening light as we get ready to drop back into Jackson

Sun setting on a perfect day!

We landed safe & sound right in his backyard on the other side of the Tetons! What an awesome day! Thank you for the great ride Kevin! You rock! The rest of the trip paled in comparison. A huge thank you to all our friends in the Gros Ventre that made the trip such a great adventure!

In closing here are some pics from the rest of the time with the elk.

Elk at the Cabin

Just to show ya I know what a sunrise looks like ;)

Add Image

Wolf in the Window ;)

Bucking Bales at Alkali

"Thanks for reading my blog. I appreciate everyone's great comments. To say thank you I'm sending out a Lil' Red Roan Prize Package to a lucky blog reader. Just email your Name & Mailing Address to to be eligible for the drawing To get your name for more chances to win, become a "Follower" of the blog! Thanks again & good luck! "

Gros Ventre 2~ same place new stories :)

Gros Ventre~ Take 2

After last weekend’s adventures apparently I hadn’t had enough self-torture. I started planning to head back into elk camp again next weekend. Well, as the week went on, Dad was planning on me staying to finish out the season. Hmmm….somehow that idea didn’t sound that appealing but I have a freakishly overwhelming desire to not let my Dad down. (I will deny that when asked) Anyway, I decided to tie up some loose ends at home & J2 and I would go in next weekend. The cool thing about going in with J2 you have a security blanket,….haha (insert evil laugh), he has to be back to school on Monday. Via the foster care system, some nice kids came to stay at Dad’s for a little while. The oldest, Junior, is 11. We were talking about going in & how cool it would be for Junior and J2 to come in for the weekend. Alright, plan…..Go in Friday after J2 gets out of school. Plan, plan, prepare, prepare, procrastinate…..hmmmm! Friday evening rolls around and I’m not ready to go in. We have to come back out in the morning to meet Rita, who is coming up from Utah & Hadley who can’t come until Saturday morning. Well, if Rita can leave at midnight to get there in time….I can certainly leave the house by 5 am.

Just for the record, I was driving by 4:59! ……AND………Getting Up Before 11 Makes for a Long Day! ~Hoggan Family Motto

Rita gets there before me, and I will probably never hear the end of. I will spare you the tedious details of the drive and Rita & I bickering before we finally got headed into the Gros Ventre. J2 & Junior had made the trip in the night before with our friend Mike. The snow had melted so much that snow machines could no longer make the trip in. Mike drove back out & picked up Rita, her friend Andy, Hadley Hoggan, (cousins), and myself.

On the drive in I actually thought to myself that there would be little to tell about this weekend because….same elk & hay bales….different day. Been there, done that. : ) This thought passed quickly! We are driving along, Big beautiful Bald Eagle! We all are looking…..wham! The side of the road sucks us in & the next thing we know we are stuck! The snow on the mountain side is real real deep. The front passenger can’t even open his door. We all pile out. The shoveling begins. (Oscar, my cute shaggy pup, is exhausted just watching all the Shoveling - pictured to right)

Shovel, shovel, shovel….no luck the wheels on the road side just keep spinning on the ice. The engineer in the group in the sets out to work, bringing back loose rocks to put under the tires for traction. Making a little progress, the rest of us start hunting more rocks. This process goes on for over an hour. Making some progress but the rut just keeps us sucked down. Rita brings more logs for traction & the plight continues. Thank the good Lord above that it was a beautiful warm sun shining day! Finally, Rita volunteers to jog to the cabin & bring back a snow machine to go get a tractor with. Kuddos to Rita, the cabin was a little over a mile away & she made it in 20 minutes round trip! Atta girl, Brahmer, you rock!

Not 10 minutes later, Mike was made a big enough path that he finally gets backed up & out of the rut and on the road! Yay! Cheers from the crowd!


~ What was I thinking, Never a dull moment where the Hoggans are involved : )

Nathan, J2, & Junior were actually out feeding a load with the team & SAW RITA running to camp. Ya….saw her & made NO attempt to even see what was happening…..saw someone take their snowmachine….just thought someone was out for a Saturday run……honestly! (moving on…just saying….if you are stranded & those 3 are around….you’re still stranded)

Time to feed elk…..or imaginary elk atleast. The feed ground is completely empty. We ran two teams again this weekend. I drove one and Nathan drove one. The snow had melted so much it was wicked tough going. Our Haflinger team, Nip & Tuck, who had pulled 30 bales last weekend were now scratching to get 15 bales out of the bare ground of the stack yards. I almost scratched them coming back up a bare hill empty. Those lil buggers are All Heart!

Other than that, the day was filled with the regular Hoggan kids & crew antics. Rita & I argue. J2 is funny. Hadley is a rock star! Andy did super good too! Junior, J2, Nathan, everybody was super awesome, tough, and made 200 bales fly by. That’s right, 200 bales fed & not a single elk. Finally at 3 pm a small group started to trail down into the feed grounds and from that it turned into a steady stream across the horizon of elk single file making their way eat.

Insert pictures of elk trailing in

Once again, a huge atta boy to the whole crew! Everybody was awesome! One of the funnest lines had to be by Nathan & J2. For some reason, while loading a sleigh with hay bales, the topic of me & Rita's dating life came up. Nathan was saying....we are us girls are just SO SPECIAL that there is just going to be that 1 special guy out there for us....(it was hilarious) I'm thinking to myself "Ya, specail kind of guy that can put up with our special kind of bs" ;) .......J2 chimes in, ever so seriously, ....."I wonder who it will be?"........Brothers contemplating who you will marry.....priceless!

INSERT pics of boys on Nip & Tuck

J2 & Junior riding Nip & Tuck back to the barn to unharness.

There is now only 1 snow machine running....out of tons. There are 7 of us to freight up to the cabin for dinner. Nathan was going to make trips with 3 at a time. he & the little boys run to Alkali to feed the team at that feed ground. The rest of us stayed & cleaned up the elk cabin. (Or Hadley & I....thanks Had, you rock! ) When the boys get back from feeding, Nathan has the bright idea to hook the cargo trailer to the snow machine & haul us all at once. Great idea...if you are Rita & Nathan riding on the snow machine. Andy, J2, Junior, Hadley, & I all pile on the trailer. Soon Oscar is in the mix & standing on my head....Rita's favorite part is me screaming "Get the Dog off! "Get the Dog off!" Oscar didn't even make it to the barn before his riding priveledges were revoked! Keep in mind that it is a muddy mess! Barely enough snow to sled & we are getting splashed with mud and water as we all cling to each other to stay on! (sounds funny...but not can laugh...I know you already are) We arrive in 1 piece, soaked & dirty cussing Nathan & Rita. Moving on.

J2 actually provided much of the entertainment for the evening. We were sitting around the living room. There is a big warm fire roaring in the fireplace. The boys have packed in a big pile of wood to keep it warm thru the night. There are some small strips of kindling sitting by the wall. I look over just in time to see J2 lift a piece up above his head......& proceed to pull it down with both hands, full force....right over the top of his head! Quickly OOOOOOooooouch! It was HILARIOUS!!! I am laughing so hard I'm crying! He was trying to break the sticks over his head....similar to a martial artist that you would see on tv. I point it out to the rest of the room & he gives it another try!.......SERIOUSLY! Funny every time! I caught it on film this time.

Junior joins in & the crashing sticks over your head begins. This only to be made funnier by Nathan coaching them....."Get mad! When you feel the pain just put it away &......AAAAAA! Get mad! push thru it!".....Hilarious! Laughiing again just thinking about it! I was worried I'd have no new stories...hahaha! (there is video on Rita's Facebook but I don't know how to link it)

Sunday, March 14th, 2010
Sunday morning, we thought we were off to a great start....until Casey informed us that it was daylight savings & we'd actually lost an hour! Dang it! I miss the college days when whether you spring ahead or fall back you spending that exrta hour losing sleep out on the town! Dang it! Nathan drove the team up to get us this morning. Much better alternative, I thought. We stopped over to show Andy Mike's awesome pad. Here are some pictures J2 took while Hadley & I waited with the team.

The Team ~ Legend & Bug (or Legend & Ary, as Rita likes to call them)
Hadley & I rockin the bomber hats, chillin on the sled with Oscar & his Dad Rocky
We only ran 1 sled Sunday. Fed 150 bales & then worked on getting everyone packed up to go. Nathan showed me the ropes for running the snow machine & sent J2, Junior & I to feed the horses at Alkali. Sounds simple enough....this is the part of the weekend where the boys lives would flash before their lives. He head out of the feed grounds. It's going pretty well. Real muddy, but were ok. I haven't drove a snow machine by myself very much & never started one. The mud is hard going it jerks you around. The boys are coaching me as we go. We finally make it to Alkali......whew! J2 exclaims that "I'm a crazy driver" as he gets off the sled. We were going all over the place. I thought it was on purpose at first but you're a crazy driver! Haha, ya, I couldn't disagree with that. We get watered, fed, & put the big mares up. This is where is starts to get interesting. The sled started easily before. Now....1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, arms getting tired. Re-group.....pull, pull, pull.....finally we got it started, hop on & take off. Everything is going good. No snow but we're going.....HOLY CRAP....rut.....something....I don't know......WE ARE SIDEWAYS!!!.....Seriously running on our side.....HOLY CRAP! I just kept on the gas & pretty soon we are back down. I didn't even loose the they stayed on...I'll never know!, if they weren't scared before...we all were now! hahaha

We made it back to the elk cabin safe & sound. Mike headed back to Jackson with everyone. Don't worry, the boys told Dad as soon as they met up with him in Jackson about our little sledding adventure!

Hmmm, well, home, alone. Dad will be in soon I'm sure so I just stay at the elk cabin. Clean what I can, nap for awhile, twittle my thumbs......hmmm. It's 6 o'clock. Looks like I'm going to have to brave the snow machine again & drive up to the cabin. Wedge a box of Captain Crunch in the back rack & rig the other supplies to hopefully stay in. Starts good. I'm headed out! Real muddy, trying to stay on snow. Oscar is following behind & tell him to jump on as I'm driving but ....shocking....he can't stay on with my driving ;) As we come up over the hill there is couple hundred elk spread out on both sides of the road. I better get Oscar loaded up before he decides giving the elk an afternoon jog would be a good idea. This time I have him job on while I'm driving.....but in front of! Ya, that's I'm driving 1 handed thru a herd of elk holding a dog on the front of my snow mobile. I didn't even do any stunt driving this time. Whew, I was soo so happy to shut that engine off when I reached the cabin.

Hmmm, home alone. Don't worry numerous times throughout the day I was cussing Dad for leaving me in there but Monday would make up for it all!

More stories coming soon!

"Thanks for reading my blog. I appreciate everyone's great comments. To say thank you I'm sending out a Lil' Red Roan Prize Package to a lucky blog reader. Just email your Name & Mailing Address to to be eligible for the drawing To get your name for more chances to win, become a "Follower" of the blog! Thanks again & good luck! "

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Gros Venture 2010 ~ Feeding Elk

Gros Venture 2010 ~ Feeding Elk

Thursday night rolls around, my friend Jana is supposed to come over for dinner and a beading party. Well, I give her a call and say, How about we load up and go feed elk! Once in a lifetime opportunity to see new country and be up close & personal with a couple thousand elk! Let’s go! Twist, twist of the arm, and we are headed to the mountains!

J2 calls 1st thing in the morning to confirm his spot on the trip. Off to school & pick him up as soon as the bus drops him off. I’m off to the grocery store to fill the grocery lists needed in camp & cook up a storm! Homemade Taco Soup, Homemade Lasagna, Oreos, Chocolate Chip Cookies, and No Bake Cookies to top it all off! I yi yi! What a morning & if you’ve ever seen me cook….what a messy kitchen!

Clean one mess up, make two more ;) , pack warm clothes, headlights, camera, ….you know…the essentials! Before I know it, the afternoon has flown by, Jana is here, and J2 will be home from school in no time! Running slightly behind schedule….Hoggan Standard Time. Oscar, Jana, & I load up headed to Dad’s. J2, also running on Hoggan Time….is running slightly more behind than me.

FINALLY, on the road! The 1st stop on the tour is the gas station in Rexburg. I’m rocking Muck Boots, a Carhart vest, head light around my neck just in case. Jana is in a similar outfit. Basically, we’re looking pretty cool. J2 however, is in ROCKING his Christmas pajama pants which put our outfits to shame! He says something to the effect of “shouldn’t go in public like this” It didn’t stop up though. We went in & didn’t bat an eye. (shockingly enough….the cameras never caught a glimpse of this : )

The rest of the trip was filled with playing guess the animal game and J2’s numerous other antidotes. That kid says so many things I’m gonna have to pack a note pad to remember them all. We roll into Jackson & decide that even tho slightly behind schedule, we better get 1 last meal….for J2’s sake. He says If I’d a known we were gonna do all this stopping I would’ve worn some different clothes!

Mike & Dad meet us at the trail head, we pack up and head out! (Mike, good friend to Dad & our family that owns a place just up from elk camp) Gros Venture bound! Yeehaw! Jana & I ride with Mike. Dad & J2 head out on a snow mobile. A quick stop at a neighbors ranch because…well, we are going to run out of fuel. Just enough to get by and back on the road again. About half way down thru the trek there are lights on the trail. Dad has stopped along side the road. One of Mike’s employees, Casey, broke down on his snow machine with a load of supplies. After some mechanical analysis, the guys decide the best decision is to pull the sled in. Never a dull moment! I don’t know how the trip was was for Casey but Jana & I thoroughly enjoyed keep watch to make sure the sled was still behind us. It was pretty wild at times….good watching though.

Home sweet home, for the weekend! Mike let us girls stay at his cabin. It is FABULOUS! Unpack and get settled in. Now, time for serious business…..Playing Cards! I don’t think I’d played a hand of cards since Dad went in to feed. J2 & I were both craving a game! Tyler & Amber have been in feeding with Dad. Plenty of people to start up a game. Mike & Casey even joined for a round or two. They were all subjected to the same amount of trash talk we would encourage our family with. Good times! Good times!

Soon the night is coming to an end. Oscar, Jana & I are sharing a room. After a night of blanket tug a war morning has finally arrived. It’s time to feed some elk! Piling on the layers of warm clothes begins!

Now if you will all think back to last weekend & getting wicked sunburned gathering horses. I got wicked sunburnt. In an attempt to avoid the same predicament I decided to slap on some make-up & SPF. I walk out into the kitchen and Tyler says “Hoagie why ya wearing make-up!” I try to explain the SPF….He’s quite certain and blurts out “It’s to impress CASEY isn’t it!” (rescued snow mobile from the night before) Ya, he is cute….I reply …….geez…..I should wear make-up more often to avoid suspicions!

After Amber fixes a breakfast fit for Kings, we are feed ground bound. The most pleasant surprise of the morning is the team of Haflingers Dad got this winter. They are like a draft horse cut in half. Absolutely perfect size for me and J2 to harness! Outstanding! (or so I think until later)

Nip & Tuck ~ Haflinger Team

Tyler & the Big Blondes

Dad, Jana, Nip & Tuck


Tyler Harnassing

Today is a vaccination day so Dad, Tyler, and Amber set out with a team and we set out with our Haflinger team, NIP and TUCK. We feed about 20 bales from our sleigh. Jana & I got back to load again. Dad’s crew go to vaccinate calves. Oh, did I forget to mention that it wasn’t a solid 20 bales fed. Ya, cuz trying to get through the stack yard I played ping pong down against the fence & stack….managing to knock off 6 bales and our bale cutter. Awesome….as if loading bales once isn’t enough….. : )

Jana & I head back to load 30 bales again. Living the dream! (about know I’m sure Jana is seriously contemplating why she let me talk her into this) Slowly but surely we get loaded & fed. That is more than the other sleigh can say. Vacinating crew…..7 hits, 8 misses : ) ….just sayin

One of the bosses came out and we had to get a count on the herd at our feed ground. About 1,700 that day total that day, 33 spikes, and 3 bulls. Not to shabby.

In case you didn’t hear that…..It is now LUNCH calling our name! All this manual labor has worked up an appetite. If I do say so myself, It was the best Taco Soup I’ve ever eaten….best Kool Aide too, as a matter of fact!

Feed some more, feed some more, and finally the days chores are getting wrapped up. Take care of our trusty steeds & last but not least, run the snow machines up to feed the team at the the alkali feed grounds.

I took on the courageous task of riding with Tyler. I survived the trip. So did our traveling partners on the other sled but they may or may not have experienced there sled bucking them off & driving away….I don’t know…..just a theory…..not my story so I guess we’ll never know : )
Alkali Feed Ground Pics

Mike has very graciously invited us to a home cooked Pork Chop dinner at his home. This was definitely one of the highlights of the trip. Not only is his home the coolest thing I’ve ever seen…..his pet Wolves are pretty fascinating too!

Pictures of Wolves


Sunday morning services in the church of the Tetons

The feeding begins! Today is an all girl sled: Jana, Amber, & Myslef with the Haflingers. We got quite proficient….Rockin actually! (Don’t worry, I’ll brag on my girls more later)

We are on the 2nd set of 30 bales. Sweats rolling, getting good and warmed up. Dad hollers over from his sleigh that he won’t even charge me much for the weight loss program. I reply right back “Now if I get all skiny just think of all the boys that will be chasing me…..and we can’t have that!” Haha…I think I’m hilarious. Well….my smile doesn’t last long because Tyler chimes in something about how I’m chasing Casey. SERIOUSLY….he says this in front of Mike…in front of my Dad…..Aaaaaaa! I’m blushing now! It gets worse! Mike follows suit with a “I hate to break it to you but Casey’s been asking about you too!” (seriously, I will admit that he is a nice looking young man…..but this whole thing was provoked by nothing other than putting on make-up!)

Loaded, we head out to the feed ground again. Normally, I would think driving is a great job but these pulling dirty tough little Nip & Tuck have been pulling on me all day! I’m not sure if I’m sweating harder loading hay of driving the team!

As we approach the stack yard, I’ve gotten quite a bit more conscienous about driving thru the stack. We’ve even profected a program of shutting the gate in front of our horses so they can’t adios on us while we load. 90 bales loaded & we head out are getting ready to leave again. All the sudden there is a big commotion on the boys side of the stack. Dad has stepped off to load some bottom bales. Tyler and J2 are throwing bales from the top down. Something spooks the team & they shoot forward in a kind of slow motion rush. Lunging sideways, I will never know how they kept from hitting the gate as they slide by….WHOOSH! They are running away from the stack…..throwing the contents from the sled as they head out! We all are standing in disbelief! I have a team….but really don’t know protical for a runaway team in a country of limitless possibilities. Hmmm, looking for guidance from Dad……? He has us girls wait until the runaways are good & out of sight so they can’t turn around & run into us. We head to the feed ground.

I’m quite certain we are missing some John Wayne STUFF! This is how it went down….(or atleast this is how it was recited to me) Tyler runs back to the cabin & grabs a snow mobile. He & J2 are in hot pursuit! They run the snow machine along side the sled. J2 drives while Tyler jumps to the runaway sleigh! The big white horses bridle is completely off as Tyler grabs hold of the reins! Thank the good Lord above for a gentle Roan next to the wild white horse because he was able to shut the Roan down with a sliding stop into the ground & enough to power down the big white beast! (Dang it, hope you can imagine because that’s the only picture of that you’re gonna have)

Back to stack for our last load, the only 7 bottom bales & some loose hay before we have the haystack row cleaned up. The bottom bales are HEAVY! We team up to get them loaded! There is a light at the end of the tunnel…..oh wait, I spoke too soon! My team is a little trigger happy….I don’t get them shot thru the gap, and run the tongue into the fence! (SERIOUSLY!) No harm, no foul….Tyler got us out & even drove us for our last round.

Unhook the horses & get ready to head in for lunch. We take the snow machines back up to Mike’s cabin so we can pack up our things. Tyler & Amber leave first. Janna, Oscar, & I load up on our sled and make our way towards home. J2 & Dad are left bringing up the rear. I drive really really conservatively especially because I have 2 passengers. It seemed like it was taking forever for to get back but I didn’t think much about it. Well, when Dad & J2 arrived on the same sled we soon learned why. J2 was still crying! He was going to drive a sled back. When he went to leave the yard Dad said “Hock It In Her” (which in our family means hustle or go fast) Well, J2 did just that but he couldn’t get his steering wheel turned enough…….Ran into the garbage can….and then proceeded to slam right into a fence post in front of the cabin. J2 is ok. He whacked his head on the steering wheel but….we’re hard headed & it didn’t do any damage. The sled on the other hand…….well, as Dad put it “If he did it any good I’d gladly pay him for it”

It wasn’t enough excitement to kill anyone’s appetite. We dined on a delicious lasagna dinner. Mi ke met us at the cabin & had a present for all of us! He’d framed pictures for each and everyone of us! They are wicked awesome! One of mine is of two elk raring up fighting! The other is a black bear that Rita & I almost ran over 2 years ago…& we didn’t even see it…(haha….go figure) They were awesome things to remember our trip to the Gros Venture! Thanks Mike!

(Akward side note: While at lunch, 2 of Mike’s employees dropped into say hi. Tyler had been over talking to them on his way back to the cabin for lunch. I was so embarrassed I didn’t even make eye contact with them. Yip, avoidance is my answer. As they walked in the door it suddenly became the most intense game of cards I’d ever played, requiring lots of focusing! : ) …..I know, I act like grade schooler…..ridiculous.)

Let’s review the Gros Venture Adventure. Rescue broke down sledder, bucking snow machine, J2 hitting fence with sled, Mindy hitting sled with team, a team running away, John Wayne rescue and a few close calls in between. Hmmm, in comparison, the trip out was very very uneventful. Tyler did have his hand on the door the entire time ready to jump….just incase. We made it out safe and sound, only stopping to glass the mountain side to see the herds of Mountain Sheep. Very cool.

Back to my cute lil’ blue car and “We’re headed to Jackson” (belt out the Johnny & June Cash Jackson song here) A brief stop at the Dairy Queen for a tasty treat and back over the hill to the farm country we go. Tyler has a new job so we came out with us also.

If you can imagine, our trip home was filled with lots of tall tales. You just never know what you’re gonna here, especially when J2 is involved. For example, J2 informs me that “EVERYONE SAYS I’M NEVER GETTING MARRIED”…..really, who is everyone that is saying this? I ask. He pretty much names off everyone in his immediate family indivisually. Wow! Really! Finally, I ask J2, do I need to get married? He replies , “No”. Could call….buddy. I informed him that if I get married…..that’s just one more big brother to pick on him ; )

Last but not least , Rita has left me a message to report in when I get home. The 1st words out of her mouth are “I’m calling Dad to see who’s tougher!” No need to call Rita, you are definitely tougher! I don’t even want the title.

I’m a glutten for punishment. Headed in for more fun this weekend! Haha, wish me luck! I’ll need it!