Monday, May 2, 2016

Sombrero III

To get to Maybell, you can go several different ways. I chose to go via Colorado 14 that runs from Sterling, CO to the foot of Rabbit Ears Pass and US 40. From Fort Collins you go up the Cache la Poudre river, a favorite drive if I’m not in a hurry. The area was heavily burned last year but a fresh covering of snow covered the scars. Seems Mother Nature was wearing her make up. The terrain is rugged.

Stopped to take pictures of some of the locals.

The Rabbit Ears of Rabbit Ears Pass.

Community pot luck the night before. There are probably fewer than five people in these pictures I’m not related to by blood or marriage. I attended cowboy style. A cowboy is an appetite riding a horse down the grub line.

The horses.

Some of the dudes who paid $2,500 to take part.

Many of the riders were passing out candy. Zoro was tossing dollar coins. Big horse he is riding (and riding very well). At least 16 hands.

Tough duty. Later he was talking to a couple. Seems their daughter and his daughter were at a track meet in Rangley the day before.

What is an event without vendors?

Several of my relatives are members of Sisters on the Fly. The outside of that spam can make look plain but the inside is WOW.

One of my cousins taking care of the important things while his lady is taking pictures.

Another cousin, a New Mexico LEO, proving twenty+ years of eating donuts hasn’t hurt him.

My relative, being who they are, took the strategic corner early and held their ground.

This is a local rancher who is the real deal. Fourth generation on the land. When one of my aunts moved herself and her five children from Illinois to Maybell, he became close to all of them. They consider him family. That bottle is some Blackberry brandy. Just to take the chill off, you understand.

Excellent timing. You have a big load to move. You choose US 40 on a Sunday afternoon. Nobody told you about a damn circus.

Highway 14 takes your through Walden and the North Park. North Park is the headwaters of the North Platte River. After the Civil War, a lot of settlers moved in from the upper Midwest. My maternal ancestors came from Wisconsin.  North Park once was the summer home of vast numbers of Bison and the natives who hunted them. It also attracted assholes.

The modern day ones are the rich who buy up ranches and consolidate them. Hobby/trophy ranches.  Every time the park loses two to three families. Logging has always been a staple economic engine and now there is a minor oil boomlet.

But I digress. Many building were erected along the same style of construction and many survive.

The natives used controlled burning to kill off sagebrush and weeds. The next spring native grasses, which the bison preferred, would grow. Get rid of the water suckers (sagebrush, etc) and the native grasses will get belly deep to a horse.

The private land owners have an economic interest in keeping the land productive.

Who were the better caretakers, natives and private land owners or the fucking BLM?

Wow, WSF, you managed to write a long blog without any profanity until you reached the end. Do you have a low opinion of the government caretakers of our public lands?

ADDENDUM. No cell service or WiFi hot spots in Maybell. Two days of withdrawal symptoms. 


  1. A good post and some very good pictures. One of my best friends is from Walden and I am sending him the like to this post so he can enjoy it, too. He lives in TX now, but still has Walden in the blood.

  2. Awesome pics! That looks like fun. I have not been to Walden for years. A college friend had a cabin there and that is when I last stayed there. Thanks for sharing that! Looks like a good time.

    1. There were twenty five relatives plus their significant others there. Good to reconnect.

  3. Nice AAR, and glad you had a good time! Family is always fun! :-)

    1. Thank you. Didn't realize how much I needed a break until I got there.

    2. That's usually the way it works! :-)