Wednesday, February 27, 2013

February Favorites from the Gros Ventre

Weekend in the Gros Ventre ~This past weekend, I had the oppurtunity to visit my Dad and sister, Rita, in the Gros Ventre area, where they are feeding elk this winter.  Here are a few of my favorite images from the weekend.

"Horse Power" 
"Head Shot"

"Team Work"
"Lone Homestead"

"Behind the Scenes

"Friends in High Places"

"View from the Top"
"Headed to Water"
"Riding in Style"

Moon Over the Tetons
More adventures and stories from the Gros Ventre coming soon.  Thank You so much for stopping by!
Happy Trails,
  • Rodeo Tales & Gypsy Trails
    is proudly brought to you by
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    Lil' Red Roan Lovely Lady Leg Knives available now!

    THANK YOU for shopping small! You, our loyal customers, are the driving force behind our small business. Thank you for your patronage and continued support. We are honored to be able to provide quality goods and look forward to serving you again in the future. ~ Mindy
    Visit us ONLINE!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Finger Lickin Good BBQ RIB RECIPE by Mary Stoecklein

FINGER LICKIN' GOOD BBQ Ribs...delicious, fall off the bone, grilled to perfection!  Oh my!  Oh my!  Over a year ago, I had the honor of attending a David Stoecklein Photography Workshop.  It was as amazing as it sounds....and it would be paired with an equally AMAZING MENU!  The meals were prepared by none other than the beautiful and talented, Mrs. Mary Stoecklein and Jolene Zollinger!  

Finger Lickin' Good Ribs, Photography by Mary Stoecklein

I had the great privilege of attending a Stoecklein Winter Photography Workshop this past monthWith a little begging, pleading, and a PRETTY PLEASE with a cherry on top.......they agreed to SHARE their AMAZING FINGER LICKIN' GOOD BBQ Ribs Recipe with us!  How cool is that! Not only that, the talented upcoming Photographer, Mrs. Mary Stoecklein, was gracious enough to provide mouth watering photos to go along with this great recipe!
Right here on Rodeo Tales and Gypsy Trails, with Mary Stoecklein's FINGER LICKIN' GOOD BBQ Ribs Recipe debut! 

(Yes, I'm ridiculously excited to share this with you!  Almost as excited as I was to indulge in this deliciousness!)

Ding, Ding Ding (insert ringing the dinner bell)

Mary Stoecklein's FINGER LICKIN' GOOD BBQ Ribs

Meet the Meat!  Start with Pork Loin Back Ribs.  Rinse off the ribs and pat dry.
Season with Salt and Pepper or any seasoning you like.  Montreal Steak Seasoning was the ticket at the workshop!
 Oh my goodness....doesn't it look divine already!  THANK YOU so much to Mary Stoecklein for not only sharing her Finger Lickin' Good Recipe but also her talented photography skills!

 Cut pork loin baby back ribs in sections of 1 or 2.

Pour Coke, not diet, into the pan about 1/2 inch.

Place cut and seasoned ribs in pan
and cover tightly with foil.

 Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place in oven for 3 hours, do not open door.

After 3 hours start BBQ and place ribs on grill and baste with BBQ sauce on both sides.

(HUGE THANK YOU to Mary and Jolene for braving the sub-zero temperatures and wind chill to not only grill this amazing meal but to snag a picture on the grill!)

Additional Side Note about Grilling: 
"Jolene and I put the ribs on a charcoal grill when coals are glowing. You need to work fast or the BBQ sauce will burn on the ribs....hate that! We have a grill that we can raise so we have better control. If using a gas grill put it on medium. Place ribs on grill and immediately baste them with the sauce,then turn over and baste other side, Remember they are fully cooked so you are warming them up and cooking in the BBQ sauce. Serve extra BBQ sauce on the side." ~ Mary

Ok, here is where I absolutely must apologize....I had every intention of getting a final picture of the beautiful plating of the ribs and amazing setting that Mary serves.....but when those ribs get in reach....the are undeniable and MUST be consumed immediately!  Before we realized it we had a plate licked clean and nothing but the bare bones remained! 
Oh my!  My mouth is watering just thinking about the FINGER LICKIN' GOOD deliciousness

Thank You so much to Mary Stoecklein, again for sharing her time and talents!  Thank You to the entire Stoecklein family for a great weekend soaking up knowledge!  David Stoecklein taught a wonderful photography workshop!  Tayler Stoecklein was a rock star with his Lightroom Class.  Check back soon for posts with some of the Photography highlights! 

Thank You!  Thank You!  Thank You for taking the time to stop by and visit.  Hope you enjoyed this Finger Lickin' Good stop on the trail!  Hope to see you back soon! ~ Mindy

Quick Reference Recipe:

Party Guest List:

  • Pork Loin Back Ribs
  • Salt,Pepper, Montreal Steak Seasoning (or any seasoning you like)
  • Coca Cola
  • Barbeque Sauce of your Choice  
  • Oven Preheated at 325 Degrees
  • Barbeque Grill
 Ribs are very easy just follow the photos. First rinse off ribs and pat dry. Season with S&P or any seasonig you like. Cut pork loin baby back ribs in sections of 1 or 2. Pour Coke, not diet, into the pan about 1/2 inch. Place cut and seasoned ribs in pan and cover tightly with foil. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place in oven for 3 hours, do not open door. After 3 hours start BBQ and place ribs on grill and baste with BBQ sauce on both sides. Time to eat!

* Stoecklein Photography Workshop :

*"What Story Are You Trying To Tell" -

Stoecklein Photography Workshop Part 2

* Here is a link to some of the delicious dishes we enjoyed throughout the weekend!
  1. Cheesy Card Game Chip Dip ~
  2. Just for You Sweet Pea ~ Sugar Snap Pea Appetizer:
  3. Treat Your Taste Buds - Tomato Salad:

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Beaver Trappin' with Tommy

Beaver Hides
Pictured Milt Thompson holding the beaver pelts.
The little guy in the front right corner is Tommy and Deione's 1st born son, Don about age 2
Tonight, I was visiting one of my favorite neighbors, Milton Thompson. (I call him Tommy or Tom Cat most of the time and have since I was little) Tommy has been my neighbor for as long as I can remember.  He's also been "retired" from his real job all of my life.  I think Tommy retired the year before I was born.  I use the word retired very lightly because Tommy, even now, at age 85 works harder than most people I know.  He is the local "Go To" when it comes to fixing anything!  Tommy is just down right amazing!  He can make anything run...and usually with spare parts rolling around in his outfit.  Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing.....he can do it all.  I'm pretty sure he has single handedly kept the Hoggan and Small family's Ranches running for all these years.

 Anytime you get to visit with Tommy is good time.  Tonight I had the honor of hearing 1st hand about this amazing picture.  The man shown here is none other, Milt Thompson!   He was kind enough to tell me a little about his trappin days.

Who is pictured:  Milt and Don Thompson
"Why that's me of course" Tommy replied as I asked him about the picture :) The little guy in the front right corner is Tommy and Deione's 1st born son, Don, about age 2.  Tommy figures that he was about 21 or 22 years old at the time. 

Where was this picture taken?  Roy Laird RanchThis picture was taken up at the Roy Laird Ranch.  I think the roof has fallen in but the cabin is still standing there today.  

Job Title: State Beaver Caretaker Trapper
In the Winter, I was a Trapper.  In the Summer, I was a caretaker.  We'd use live traps to move problem beavers that were plugging irrigation ditches and head gates.

~ Aside from trapping, Tommy also prepared the hides for auction.  The hides were put on round stretchers.  I asked how he made the stretchers.  The stretchers were made out of rebar.  He found some old wheels, bent the rebar around the round form and welded them. 

I am constantly in awe of this amazing man, his talent, resourcefulness, and cheerful spirit!

In the spring of the year the hides would be sent to Boise, Idaho for a big auction.  They were auctioned off to fur buyers.  I would get 75% and the State would take 25%.  A big beaver would bring as high as $60.  Most averaged $40-$45.
If you kept a little hide and stretched him out anyway, it was about the same size as a Muskrat.  That hide would bring about $1 and Muskrat would bring $3. 

What was your Trapping Area?
All Beaver Creek and it's tributaries.  Dairy Creek, Modock Creek, 3 Mile, Rattlesnake, West Camas, Indian Creek, Middle Creek, and Medicine Lodge Creek.  I guess that was about all.

Thank You so much Tommy for letting me come visit and sharing a piece of history with me!  So so lucky to be able to soak in some of your greatness! 

Thank YOU for stopping by to travel the trail with me today.  Hope you enjoyed the trip back in time. 
~ Mindy

  • Rodeo Tales & Gypsy Trails
    is proudly brought to you by
    Lil' Red Roan
    Lil' Red Roan Lovely Lady Leg Knives available now!

    THANK YOU for shopping small! You, our loyal customers, are the driving force behind our small business. Thank you for your patronage and continued support. We are honored to be able to provide quality goods and look forward to serving you again in the future. ~ Mindy
    Visit us ONLINE!!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Elk Feeding Adventures with Dad and Rita

Elk Feeding Adventures in the Gros Venture!  My Dad and baby sister, Rita, have been feeding elk in the Gros Venture area since December.  Since day one, it has been a pretty wild ride and every phone call has SEVERAL stories that leave you laughing until you are crying!  I've been meaning to jot them down for quite some time so here goes!  
(**** Details maybe revised after visiting with them again to double check stories but this is a start)

January 3, 2013
Conversation while unhooking the Mules at Elk Camp.
Rita: "I don't want anything to do with the Mules!
I hate Mules!"
Dad: "Don't say that! They'll kill us!" Stories from a phone call with MargaRita Hoggan! More stories coming soon!

January 6, 2013
Gros Ventre 2013 Story Teasers ~ Dad got ran over by the mules..... Rita breaking a hole in the ice with her head......tipping sleighs....runaway collisions and more.....this week. ~

*I asked Dad what he was doing & he said ...gonna eat some dinner & go to bed. He sounds beat. Poor lil' fella. Wolves were right in camp this morning I guess. Just down at the horse corrals

*Dad and Rita are having a discussion.  He asks her if she wants to drive the Mules to the sleigh or be in front leading them.  (Rita does not particularly care for the mules) She will drive them.  Dad is in front leading them.  He is lecturing her about keeping a tight hold of the mules.  Before they make it there.....The Mules RUN OVER Dad.   Rita, whom is quite strong, has a hold of the mules for about 2 seconds after that, holding as tight as she can.....before they bolt away! 

Later, I was spoke to Dad on the phone and made some snide comment about the Mules and if he was ready to give them away.  He said No! I LOVE My MULES!  Best Mules in the Country!  How's that I ask?  They ran over me and never touched me!.......hahahaha Only Dad! 

January 10, 2013
 ""Do you know how to stop a team of horses when one of them has rubbed his bridal off? .....You don't. You just hold on.". Jay Hoggan (thanks for sharing MargaRita Hoggan)

****Must ask Rita to tell the story again about loading 10 bales, team running away in stack yard, flipping sleigh, hurting ankle***********

*A friend has came in and is going to help Dad and Rita feed up at the top feed ground.  They only have 2 sleds so he is riding one and Rita and Dad are on the other sled.  There are a couple of ways to get to the upper feed ground.  One of those is go the opposite direction, cross a bridge and back up the other side of the creek.  Another option is cross the creek, a ways up above the cabin.  They decide on the 2nd option but it's early in the season and the water isn't all the way frozen yet so they will have to get across the water. 
(I should mention, Dad is a big guy and when you ride behind him, you can't really see past him.  You just hold on)
The friend carefully surveys the area and finds a good place to cross.  Dad, however, does not cross in the same spot.  He takes another route, Rita is completely unaware of what is about to happen.  Dad has chosen a spot that has a hump they will have to jump to get over the running water.   He takes the jump and THROW RITA OFF!  She doesn't see it coming at all.  She HITS the ICE HEAD FIRST, like a dart being shot into a target!  Head 1st,  her skull crashes through the frozen ice!  She is dazed and not quite she what has happened. Wet and now on her hands and knees, shaking her head confused.  Luckily, she did not fall all the way through the ice. 
As far as I know, they continued on with the days tasks and got all the feeding done.  Rita's head throbbed pretty bad for days.  She went by a few days later and took a picture of the open hole still remaining in the ice from where her head had plummeted through.  

***Ask Dad the Story of Getting Kicked

January 14, 2013

Phone Call with Friend Asking if they should "Rent a Snow Machine" to go into the Gros Ventre.....I told her Yes, I would. (Thinking about all the times Dad's sled had broke down and were un reliable) I told Rita about the conversation....Rita replies....Ya, you should tell her Ya, as we sister's sled is broke down and she is walking 5 miles back to wolf tracks!

******DIFFERENT STORY about walking home.....Ask Rita details to write up 

Even better, Dad was mad at her when she got back to camp for taking so long and was certain that she should've been able to fix the sled.  Upon further investigation....he would learn it was not a mechanical failure that could be fixed on the trail. 

This has to be my favorite story ever! 

Dad and Rita have a new saddle set of horses they are hooking.  One is an outlaw saddle horse that came from a cowboy on a ranch in Utah.  These horses don't really know how to pull yet so they have been taking small 10 bale loads with them.  ( A regular team would pull about 50 bales a load.  Even the Hauflinger teams easily pull 30 bales)   Dad has the team hooked to the sleigh, EMPTY, no bales are loaded.  They are just getting hooked up over in the parking spot by the corrals.  When you park the teams, you pull right up to the corrals at night.  When they go to leave in the morning, they have to step to the side to miss hitting the corrals. There is also a sleigh parked nearby so when pulling out, you kind of "shoot the gap" towards the stack yard.

Dad CAN NOT get this team to leave.  He tells Rita to get up on the sleigh and drive.  He is going to get them going from the ground.  (I'm not sure how long this has been going on but Dad is on the verge of being really mad)

The Utah outlaw, is sour and sulking.  He has now laid down.  Dad is getting even madder and his brain has pretty much rolled over.  Rita switches him and gives a try at getting them going.  The horse on the other side sincerely wants to go but can't pull the sleigh and the sulking horse.  Dad finally gets fed up enough that he decides to unhook the willing horse and go get one of the seasoned horses to hook. 

As they go to lead the other horse away, the sulker steps across the tonuge of the sleigh.  Keep in mind that he is STILL Hooked to the sleigh.  Rita goes to grab him but Dad says he is fine and to leave him.  (Dad still has steam rolling out of his ears)   They are headed towards the horse pen when the Sulker starts FOLLOWING them!  Not long after, he realizes that the Sleigh is following him!  He takes off running from the sleigh (which is hooked to him) and still FOLLOWING Dad, Rita, and the other horse.  He is spooked and they don't know which way he will go so they are RUNNING IN CIRCLES  and circles trying to stay in front of the Runaway Sulker!  Finally they have to pitch the lead to the horse they have.  It takes off bucking away from them and the other horse finally untracks. 

HAHAHAHA.....I was crying picturing them ALL (especailly Dad) RUNNING in CIRCLES!

February 14, 2013
 Phone call from Rita....

Driving the Team over to hook them up to the sleigh.  Something was hooked up starts gaining speed....Rita is baring down and saying WHOA!  Before she knows it, she is sliding on her butt behind them and trying to get them stopped.  Dad shows up right as the wreck is beginning.  She hollers to him ...DAD MAKE THEM STOP as she is sliding by.  Finally gets one rein pulled around and gets them circled up. .......She is my hero!  (hahaha....but it does make me giggle to picture her sliding by on the ground)

WOLVES ~ Had wolves RIGHT ON the feed ground this morning.  One was sitting right out there laying on a pile of hay! 

This is just a few of the many many many stories that have drifted out of camp this season.  I hope to update and edit soon. 
Happy Trails,

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Liebster Award


Oh my goodness, so excited!  THANK YOU so much to Trevor and Emily, of the Fuhriman Ranch, for nominating Rodeo Tales for the Liebster Award!  Loved reading their post and seeing some new fun blogs!  You must go check them out!  Emily was such an inspiration and shining example when I started.  Always so great to answer questions and share tips. To this day, still some of my FAVORITE Friends to rodeo with! Love the Furhiman Ranch
Rodeo Tales and Gypsy Trails came about by accident.  I used to have an email newsletter that I sent out to friends with fun stories from the rodeo trail.  System upgrades and changing technology, some people were having a hard time being able to see the photos and open documents.  A simple them on a blog and the rest is history.  The email format has been eliminated and now when I have a fun story or fabulous to share....I just click publish!  Love to go back and see favorite stories, recipes, and amazing people stories that I've been able to share!

The Rules:
1. We must post 11 random things about ourselves.
2. We must answer the questions the nominator set for me.
3. We must create 11 questions for the people we nominate.
4. We must choose 5-10 blogs that we love ( with less than 200 followers) and link them to my post and let them know they were nominated.
5. No tag backs.
 11 Randomly Things About Me
  1. I have 2 half Corgi's, Woodrow & Mr. Shorty
  2. Favorite Pizza toppings are Pineapple, Mushrooms, and Almond Slices
  3. I love doTERRA Essential Oils and use them all the time.
  4. Emerald Green is one of my fav colors and I am always in search of the perfect pair of Green Cowboy Boots.
  5. I went to college at the University or Montana-Western in Dillon, MT
  6. I got my very own gun this Christmas
  7. Bucking Horses make my heart go pitter patter.
  8. If I have to be up, I love to how BLUE the world is in the winter 1st thing in the morning and right before dark.
  9. Writing and telling stories is one of my very favorite hobbies.
  10. I love the warmth of a wood stove.
Questions from Nominators: (Questions asked by Furhiman Ranch, Answered by Mindy)
1.  Favorite Horse, Dog or Cat
Horse, anyone that bucks in the rodeo arena & Any saddle horse that doesn't
Dog, love my lil' brendle Corgi Cowdog, Woodrow
Cat, anything that mouses
2.  What was your first car/truck?
Blue Oldsmobile....or it would've been.  It was a graduation gift but I totaled it a few weeks before that.
3.  Are you a neat freak or pack rat?
Pack Rat
4.  What color are the tops on your favorite pair of boots?
5.  Favorite Disney Cartoon
Faint Hearts Never Won Fair Ladies! ~ Robin Hood! 
6.  What was your high school mascot?
7.  Favorite dinner meal
Homemade Pizza
8.  What is the brand of your favorite pair of jeans?
Wrangler Q Baby's
9.  Sunrise or Sunset
10. What picture is on the background of your computer right now?
None. (lol....don't even know how to change it) 

Blogs I'm nominating for the Liebster Award.  No particular order just lovely ladies that inspire, entertain, encourage, and brighten everyday! 

Questions for Nominee:
  1. How did you get started blogging?
  2. What is your most read blog post? 
  3.  Favorite Hobby or Past Time?
  4.  Song that Makes Your Heart Happy when it comes on the radio?
  5.  Favorite Pizza Toppings
  6.  What makes your heart skip a beat and pitter patter with excitement?
  7. Do you like to play in the snow?
  8.  Favorite rodeo event?
  9.  Favorite read?  (, book, ect)
  10.  One thing you are Thankful for?
Rodeo Tales & Gypsy Trails
  • is proudly brought to you by
    Lil' Red Roan
    THANK YOU for shopping small! You, our loyal customers, are the driving force behind our small business. Thank you for your patronage and continued support. We are honored to be able to provide quality goods and look forward to serving you again in the future. ~ Mindy
    Visit us ONLINE!!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Butters Family Makes Silver a Family Affair

Oh how I LOVE the AMAZING people you meet out on the trail! 
The Talented Butters Family, Fine Sterling Silver Pieces are a Family Affair!
Swan Spurs by Randy Buuters, Engraved Sterling Cuff Bracelet by Braidie Butters
and Chinaware Horsehead Scarfslide framed in Sterling Silver by Brenda Butters

While wading through the crowds at the High Noon Trade Show,  a pretty little ring would catch my eye.  (Yes, I know, imagine being distracted by pretty jewelry) That cute lil' ring would lead me stright to a gold mine!  The table of beautiful wares that I stopped to look at would be none other than the Butters Family!  Legendary spur maker, Randy Butters, Talented Silversmith, Braidie Butters, and Brenda Butters, with her stunning sterling jewelry!

After admiring their gorgeous pieces, I knew that I had to share their talents with YOU!  The Butters family was gracious enough to allow me to shoot some pictures and visit a little. 

1st off....My VERY VERY FAVORITE thing about this family was their humility and how encouraging they are of each other.  While visiting with each of them individually they were slow to compliment their own work and fast to speak very complimentary of the talents of the others. Brenda and Braidie both praised Randy's finesse with his Swan Spurs.  Randy was quick to compliment Braidie on her ever evolving silver engraving skills.  LOVE that spirit of encouragement and support that they radiate!

Randy Butters, SPUR MAKER (Father), has been making spurs for over 30 years.  His signature piece are the legendary Swan Spurs!  Brenda, shared the story of from years ago, at a show in Abilene, Texas.  Randy was commissioned to make a pair of Swan Spurs for a tall, thin, day work cowboy.  The rest is history!  The curvature of the swan's neck, so elegant and such a difficult piece to master.  Often imitated but never duplicated.  Randy's Swan Spurs are a beautiful example of artistry in a functional tool!   

Lovely Lady Leg Spurs!  Aren't those fabulous!  

Brenda Butters, FINE Sterling Jewelry (Mother)

"It is an honor to make heirloom pieces!  I am so grateful to be able to do what I do!  Love being able to make one of a kind pieces but even more than that it is such a honor to be able to take a piece of the past and turn it into art piece that you can touch, feel, and wear! " ~ Brenda Butters

To read full article on Brenda Click on link below:

Braidie Butters, Silversmith/ Engraver (Daughter)
Braidie is the whole package!  Talent, beauty, and charisma rolled into one.  Braidie was one of the talented young guns in the TCAA Emerging Artist Competition.  Entering a intricately engraved "mini mug"
Braidie was also the recipient of the TCAA Fellowship Award, a program to help emerging artists hone their skills.  (:
I asked Braidie if she had a favorite piece?   

 "I don't think I have a favorite piece...every piece is interesting in its own way and teaches me something about the trade. Maybe my current project of a 5 1/2" tall beer mug/stein will be my favorite. Who knows...until I come up with another crazy project!"  Braidie Butters

Such a talented young lady!  Can't wait to see more from her in the future! 

Braidie's skilled sterling engraving adorns the cuff bracelet and knife shown above

Here are a collection of photos featuring all pieces from all three talented Butters Silver Artisans!

Last but certainly not least.....the spunky lil' hereford ring that caught my eye!
If you would like to see more about the talented Butters family, please utilize the contact information below.
Contact Information:

Randy and Brenda Butters
4275 22 1/2 Mile Road
Homer, Michigan 49245
(517) 568-4188

Braidie Butters, SilversmithDalhart, Texas
(517) 936- 3226

THANK YOU so much for stopping by the gypsy trail today!  Hope you enjoyed getting to see a glimpse of the talented Butters family.  THANK YOU so much to the Butters family for taking the time to visit.  It was truly a pleasure to meet you. 
Happy Trails,

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