A Visitor From The Frozen North

Life continues to putter right along.  I seldom cook breakfast, we both eat breakfast but it’s a “do your own thing” in this household.  Sunday morning I was craving pancakes and made breakfast.  After church we both went our separate ways–I did not sleep well Saturday night and just wanted to be a couch potato.  The Cowboy was off to hang some more ceiling joists.  My couch time was productive–I finished a little Valentine wool piece and I’m very pleased with it.

Someone in our Montana community has started a Facebook page–You Know You Are From Big Timber if you remember….  Friends and neighbors post the absolute coolest photos and this photo below is one of them

And here’s a funny story about sheep–area sheep raisers would herd their bands of sheep high into the back country approximately 70 miles from their home base for summer grazing.  That meant these bands of sheep–1000 ewes and their offspring–2000-3000 animals would go “up the Boulder” as we say traveling the same highway the residents and tourists used.  The animals and their herders would stop for the night in various pastures along the way.  They documented their travels by leaving evidence on the highway–not as messy as when cows would travel–but evidence all the same. 🙂

When I owned a store in Big Timber, I would travel the Boulder Road every weekday.  We would usually know when the sheep were traveling.  The Cowboy always told me–“sheep are not like cattle, stay close behind the car in front of you so the sheep can’t get between you.  Once several cars have built up behind the sheep Lawrence will usually come through the sheep with an ATV and lead the cars through–stay close behind Lawrence on the ATV or close behind the car in front of you.”  OK–I’m gotten my orders I can do this.

First time on the way to town I come up behind the sheep–there is a minivan with out of state license plates in front of me.  Several cars build up behind me; I see Lawrence coming back through the sheep on his ATV.  He has a conversation with the lady in the minivan and off we go.  We haven’t gone very far when the lady driving the minivan stops and gets out to take photos!!!  WHAT???  The sheep go everywhere and we are stuck in the midst of the band.  Here comes Lawrence again, he has another conversation with the minivan driver and off we go.  She does it again!!–stops, gets out and takes photos.  When Lawrence came back the third time, he had what I could tell was a rather pointed conversation with the minivan lady and this time we made it through the sheep.  And people wonder why we locals have a difficult time understanding tourist behavior at times.

This photos was taken by Elaine, Lawrence’s wife.  She dates it as probably late 1980’s–early 1990’s.  When the wolves were planted in our backyard, this way of life was gone.  The herders in the mountain country could not keep the sheep safe and sheep stopped going “up the Boulder.”  I was sad.

Monday was a go to Sierra Vista day–we needed a couple more doors–changed our minds again!  Remember we put windows in that “open air patio”–well it didn’t make sense to have just a screen door–might as well put up a real door.  We also changed our minds about the door we had purchased for the “back door.”  We had thought we wanted a solid door but decided that corner of the house was dark and maybe we needed a door with glass.  The Cowboy came home yesterday afternoon and went to work–he rough installed the patio glass door.

We find it difficult to eat out in Sierra Vista–we’ve tried fast food, Mexican food, we tried the Texas Roadhouse and now we’ve tried Chili’s.  Let’s just say Chili’s won’t be an option again.

The other cowboy–Lonn–arrived from Montana this afternoon after a tense couple days–closed freeways due to snow, icy/snowy roads and big city traffic.    We enjoyed some time on the patio in the sun with an adult beverage and we ate well as usual–hamburgers on the grill.


10 thoughts on “A Visitor From The Frozen North

  1. We were in a sheep jam coming out of a campground in Colorado a few years ago. And yes, I stood on the running boards of our truck taking pictures; no one was around but us and we were stopped, waiting for the sheep to finish coming down the road. Finally some sheep herders on horseback came and cleared the way so we could be on our way. A truly memorable experience.


  2. I would have had a tough time too… my camera finger would be twitching… so eager to take photos. But hope I’d done what the herder told me to do. Your valentine piece is lovely… and finished just in time.


    1. The lady had plenty of time to take photos before the sheep owner came back to get us and it certainly wasn’t necessary to hold up the show twice! I’ve had that Valentine project for a long, long time–it feels good to have it finished!


  3. Love that wool piece. I keep thinking I need to try wool applique, it looks like such fun but is so expensive to get started! sheesh. Still, it would be nice to have an on the road project. My knitting obsession has seemed to wane in the last couple of years. Love the Boulder story. My daughter and her husband are driving in that awful stuff. She isn’t happy right now. It is windy and chilly even here in Florida, so we may not get the kayaks out again this week, but there are four more weeks ahead of us so I am sure we will eventually.


    1. Wool is incredibly expensive if you buy it in yardage–$65/yard. But I buy pieces and then it’s not so bad. And, every time I see a men’s 100% wool sports coat at a garage sale, I buy it then cut it into pieces and dye them. I have a small quilt which needs to be finished on the longarm and the majority of the wool came from men’s sports coats. Hope your weather improves. We are heading into another cold snap–GRRRR!


  4. Got stopped by sheep herds a couple of times when we lived in Italy. The herds were small enough to be managed by one shepherd on foot. Long time lurker by the way.


  5. Great pic of the huge sheep herd! I hope you’ll share more photos of your cute little town as folks post them. Having to be told three times to keep moving…..Lawrence is very patient! Glad Lonn made it safely and hope your weather gives him a nice warm visit so the ‘boys can get in some riding.


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