Part 18: Cody, WY


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The Trip

Our night in Laramie was windy, rainy and cold.  It snowed in the hills over night, but fortunately it did not snow in town.  We broke camp and headed north to our friend's place outside Cody, WY.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

The rain in the valley turned into snow in the nearby mountains.  Happily, we would not have to deal with snow on the road.  We traveled from Laramie to Cody without issues and then planned to spend several days in Cody.

Our friends Bob and Sandy own the "Lost Ranch" on the south fork of the Shoshone River.  The views from the property were breath-taking.  Within a few days of our arrival it snowed.  While the snow cover in the valley melted quickly, the peaks of the mountains retained their snow for weeks.

The ranch sits between Carter Mountain and the Absaroka Range.

The cliffs of Carter Mountain were covered by snow during the recent storm.

The Absaroka Range was visible beyond the Shoshone River.

The upper peaks were very rugged with many faults and upturned bedding resulting in spires and hoodoos.

The Carter Mountain side of the valley sported a huge palisade of cliffs.

I was helping Bob with some chores in a nearby town when one of his friends called with an "emergency".  One of his (30) horses had to be put down due to hoof laminitis and something needed to be done with the carcass.  Aside from the ugly sight and smell, it is unwise to leave rotting meat around your farm or ranch.  Dead animals attract bears and wolves and a problematic encounter is sure to result.  So, plans were made to travel to the friends' ranch the following day and dispose of the carcass.  We used Bob's CEE tractor (a model 406 Unimog with a bucket and backhoe.  Upon arrival at the horse burial ground we got a nice view of the western cliffs.

The terrain on the flanks of the Absaroka Range has been tortured by faults, uplifts, erosion and glaciation resulting in unique landforms.

In the distance is a volcanic plug named "Castle Rock".  The Absaroka Range sits astride the Yellowstone Caldera and has been touched by volcanism and lava flows for millions of years.

The western cliffs of Carter Mountain were visible in the distance.

Steep cliffs have been eroded to produce curtains of rock.

Our "customer" arrives on the scene.  Death is a part of nature and one never really thinks about the consequence until you have 1500 pounds of dead, soon to be rotting, meat to dispose of.  The rancher's loader was used to transport the carcass to the burial site.

This small area is the normal disposal area for dead animals.  Bob's CEE tractor was going to be used to dig a deep hole for the body.

And away we go.  The hoe cut easily through the soil.

Like most construction projects, one person worked and the balance watched.  Bob dug the hole easily in about 15 minutes.

The soil in this area is likely a lateral moraine from the last ice age.  Note the large number of cobbles.

Time to finish the deed.

Moving the horse carcass without a machine would have been impossible.

The backhoe was retracted and the bucket was used to scrape the soil back into the hole.

Since the soil was freshly dug, it was quite easy to move.

One horse, laid to rest.  RIP.

Having had to euthanize several of my own horses, I felt the owner's pain.  Once the hole was covered and tamped, we drove the CEE back to Lost Ranch.

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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2019, all rights reserved.
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.