I just returned from a whirlwind 3 1/2 weeks in South Dakota and Wyoming. Kathy and I started out headed for South Dakota for a Cattle Drive. We were too late for the roundup and branding at the Sides Ranch but we were able to help Chuck Seeger move his cattle 18 miles to the branding area. We almost made the whole trip but both of our unshod ponies came up lame about 2/3rds of the way and we felt it better to put them in a corral we passed and finished the drive in the pickup. We saved a little on the soreness since we don't ride distances all that often.
It was then off to our place "The Welcome Wigwam" in Dubois Wyoming. I was able to get in a lot of painting time and was able to produce 4 paintings and 4 small miniatures. The weather was wet and overcast a lot but we had two interesting hikes. The first was with my friend Sig Schulz. We drove my pickup up to about 10,000 ft in the Absoraka range then hiked to where we knew there were some old Indian Sheep Traps on a platau between Windy Gap and Indian Point. At the second trap we found some broken flint points and then the weather threatened. We headed for some trees and there we found the remains of Big Horn Ram killed over the winter, most likely from a Mountain Lion as there was a large log that had been dislodged from its resting place nearby. Three days later after a significant snowfall I took Gary Keimig a fellow artist up to see the Sheep Traps. While on the trail we saw some large bear tracks that were not there a few days before but continued on to the first trap. After being there just a few minutes we were both aware of a definite bear stench. We figured he was just down the hill resting in the timber about 50 yards away. We had intended to cut through the timber to the next trap but decided it was time to head back to the truck and leave well enough alone. We both had bear spray and I had a pistol but we did not want to test them out. I am now back at my studio in Ohio and look forward to reorganizing for a return later this summer.