From Montana...

Hi Emma, Sebbie, and Lizzie!

Last week I met cowboys that are your ages, 6 and 8. They live on a ranch and help with all the chores — even moving the cow herd from one field to another!

The older boy is good at roping: he even won a contest. While we were there he taught Dylan how to rope.

Both boys let us ride their horses. Here’s Dylan riding with his friend:

We got to spend the entire week on this ranch — it was awesome! The property is about 5 miles long and 12 miles wide with over 1,000 cows on it. Wow, right?!

It’s at the base of the Crazy Mountains in Montana. All the locals just refer to the mountains as The Crazies; isn’t that a funny name? Here’s how it looked when we arrived:

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One of the ranchers, Paul, drove us all over the ranch in his pickup truck. In one place there had been a house that burned down a long time ago, but the wall surrounding the house is still standing.

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Skye spent the entire week riding horses with her friends, we barely saw her. They’d ride out to the creek every day to go swimming.

By the end of the week Skye was very comfortable riding.

The girls spent some time riding bareback too (which means they rode without saddles.) On the last day they were practicing jumping the pony bareback.

You can see in this video that the pony was not excited about jumping. He turned quickly and Skye fell off. Don’t worry, she wasn’t hurt at all!

My favorite night was when our friends planned dinner by the creek. They packed food, chairs, and tables into the trucks, then we drove on dirt roads and across streams to get to the perfect picnic/swimming spot:

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I had a s’more that I’d never tried before; instead of a piece of plain chocolate, it had a peanut butter cup!

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I had another one with fudge striped cookies instead of graham crackers. Oh yeah!

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One day we went on a hike in the creek; the cold water felt really good!

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Dylan spent the week playing cards, riding ATVs, throwing knives and helping with a couple of the chores: giving the cows salt and minerals, weighing hay bales, and bottle feeding the calves.

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Working on a ranch can be hard work, but visiting one was awfully fun! I hope we get to go back one day.

Our next destination is Deception Pass State Park. When we arrive there we’ll have made it ALL the way to the Pacific Ocean — that will be exciting!

Horse Hugs and Cow Kisses,
Chris

P.S. I just found these pictures Dylan took in Custer State Park. It’s a baby bighorn sheep (called a lamb.) It started on the road with the others, but then a car scared it so it ran up the hill.

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