The night before, my roommate and I danced with two cowboys at the Silver Dollar bar. Later we all went to the diner for coffee and there the guys explained a cowboy's attachment to his hat, while I listened and learned about a culture so foreign to me. When they dropped us off at our trailer, they asked if we wanted to go elk hunting with them the next day. I said OK, but my girlfriend declined. I thought they probably won't show.
But they did, two Wyoming cowboys in a pickup truck. I jumped in and we drove off to pick up the horses. It was 1969 and I had lived in Jackson Hole for a few months. While I had spent time with other locals, artists, writers, as well as some guys with long hair from San Francisco, I had never bothered to get to know a Wyoming working cowboy. I probably thought them too different from me, coming from Sweden, living in Princeton, in the midst of that mix of East Coast establishment types and university intellectuals.
But there I was, in an old pickup truck, and I knew this was an opportunity for me to learn about cowboy life, for real, not the movie version. So I listened as they talked about the war and the time they served in Nam. I learned a little about who they were, what they believed in, what was important to them, and how their daily lives went. All of it very different from anything I had known before, but in the end I liked them both.
Somewhere along the way, we picked up the horses. I had been riding horses all my life, English saddle mostly, but I also knew how to ride a horse with western tack. Little did I know that this would be a completely different horseback ride from any I had ever experienced before.
It was a beautiful, crisp fall morning in Wyoming when we set out and headed for the mountains. Sounds of the rutting season were all around us, from elk, moose and other critters of the forest. My cowboy friends worked as guides for the hunters that came every fall, so they knew where to find their elk. Actually, in addition to the large National Elk Preserve, there were elk to be found everywhere around Jackson Hole from what I could see.
The mountain got steeper as we climbed. The path became narrower and narrower and soon ended at a deep ravine. The guy ahead of me turned his horse onto a ledge, not much wider than the horse, the deep chasm to the left and a solid mountain wall to the right. I thought, you gotta be kidding me! I guess I forgot to tell you guys I'm terrified of heights.
To be continued next week.......
Source: Wikipedia & Bing Photos
you had an experience most of us only dreamed about - because you dared to. :)ReplyDelete
Hurry up with part two, please!!ReplyDelete
When you were young and free! Wyoming is a beautiful state.ReplyDelete
How can you leave us with the cowboy standing on the edge of the world?!ReplyDelete
I love how open to adventure you were/are!
Wow! What an adventure!ReplyDelete
I've heard of cliffhangers before, but this is ridiculous! You tease, you.ReplyDelete
You sound like a lot of fun, Inger. You try to get to know people before judging. A very good trait.ReplyDelete
I'll be back for more of this episode.
im going to patiently wait - but cant wait to hear the rest of the story!ReplyDelete
You've grabbed my interest. You know I'll be back.ReplyDelete
Hi Inger - that's great you were able to have the cowboy experience .. though I'm not sure I'd like to know what happened next - 'cept obviously all was well as you're still here ..ReplyDelete
But my heart is beating rather fast .. can't wait!!
Cheers - Hilary
Darn next week is a long time away:)ReplyDelete
You are truly a brave woman on many counts my dear Inger.
I cannot wait to read more. Hug B
i have always wanted to do something like this and was born a fraidy cat, so never did. good for you and can't wait for the rest of the story.ReplyDelete
The things we do when we're young --I'm thinking you overcame your fear of heights. Looking forward to the next installment.ReplyDelete
Sorry, Inger, the post was part of a blog fest that roasted Alex (in a nice way) for his contributions to the blogging community. The battery in my car had died so I didn't set the post up properly as I rushed to tend to the car. Ahhh, the holiday season and unexpected gifts, LOL.
DEar Inger, you've got me hooked! I'll be back next week to learn more about those cowboys and you. And by the way, you're doing more "showing" here in the writing as well as "Telling." Congratulations on that because you said that's what you wanted to do now. Peace.ReplyDelete
You have had so many fabulous adventures in your life Inger. I enjoying reading about them. Hurry with part 2!ReplyDelete
Tjena! Vilka äventyr du varit med om, himla intressant vad du mötte där borta när du lämnade Sverige.ReplyDelete
Intressant att höra vidare med spänning
Kram, här snöar det igen, hela ostkusten får snö.
Kolla Aftonbladets hemsida de skriver mycket om det
I'm learning something completely new about you now, Inger! I love that. What an interesting experience. I guess I'll have to wait for part two! I will be so eager to hear all about your cowboy days! :-)ReplyDelete