Calling all cowboys!
Our old buddy James has left us to travel west into the great wide open.
His destination: The E Bar L Dude Ranch, located 30 miles east of Missoula, Montana.
Have a look: http://bit.ly/Sw4psd. (Are those crop circles???)
E Bar L is a 4,000 acre ranch located in Blackfoot Valley. Its land has been managed and cared for by conservationist Bill Potter since he was 13 years old. If my calculations are correct, Bill would be 95 years old today, although I am not sure if he is still alive. His granddaughter Juanita also helps him with the conservancy.
Here is an article about Bill http://www.newwest.net/index.php/city/article/a_blackfoot_valley_ranchers_open_space_legacy/C8/L8
And a link to a video of him and Juanita.
James will join the E Bar L Ranch team as a ranch hand, helping with the day-to-day operations of the ranch. On days off and during down time, hands are allowed and encouraged to enjoy all the amenities the ranch has to offer. How amazing!
Prior to his arrival on the ranch, James had to mail in and initial a supply checklist of items he promised to bring with him. The headlamp and cowboy boots list items got us really excited. We couldn’t help daydreaming of how great we would be as ranch hands ourselves. Living on the ranch, riding horses, milking cows, mending fences, wearing chaps, chewing straw, you know, like real cowboys do. What we wouldn’t give to have an experience like that!
During my research about the ranch, I’ve also discovered that Missoula is the home of the Grizzly Riders International. (Who coincidentally are coming up on their 2012 Annual Ride on September 7-10, held at the Ranch.) These guys sounded tough until I realized they don’t ride motorcycles or grizzly bears, they just ride horses and then basically loaf around on the ranch and go fishing. James will be rubbing elbows with these cowboys in just a few weeks!
James wrote to us this week and sent some pictures of his outdoor adventures. So far he has gone horseback riding, rafting down the Blackfoot River, skeet shooting, wine tasting, stargazing and swimming in Salmon Lake. James also mentioned he has been spending his nights by the campfire and has been frequenting the nearest bar (which is conveniently also a gas station!)
We are looking forward to more updates from James. I will share his newest adventures when he does.