I may not be a cowgirl but….

I know, I know.  I am waaayyy behind on getting some of my awesome adventures up on this blog.  Actually, I am a good two weeks behind, but I have a really great reason.  Really, I swear!  I am just so darn busy living my dream 🙂

In an attempt to catch up, let me tell you about this freakin’ awesome trip I took for work two weeks ago.  As some of you may know, I was off the grid for three days.  Why you ask?

Yup, that’s right.  I was on a backcountry horseback trip in my “office.”  We spent three days on the Greybull District of the Shoshone National Forest.  The first day had us heading two hours south and west from Cody to meet up with our horses and prep the pack string for the trip.

Pretty sure our Forest Supervisor was loving his job, too 🙂

After getting everything settled, we headed out on what would be an 8-9 mile day of riding.  While that may not sound like a lot to some people, it sure was for this gal!  Having just gotten back on a horse a month ago after, umm let’s see here, about 15+ years of not riding, this trip was a true test on my knees and butt!

We spent the first night at Anderson Lodge, which was built by the very first forest superintendent in 1890!  This place has some crazy history associated with it (private paintings by A. A. Anderson of his “ladies”, and it is rumored to be haunted)!

After a tasting camp meal of steak (yup classy stuff here!) the two other gals on this trip and I opted to tent it while the guys slept in the lodge/cabin or under the starts (as it would be both nights).

Our camp cook/law enforcement officer

Waking up for the start of the second day was interesting and not just because I spent all night Army crawling my way back up my sleeping pad (thanks to a 20 degree slope where the tent was!).  We woke up to find two horses had taken off in the middle of the night.  All of the horses and mules were either hobbled for the evening or so in love with the mare which was on the picket (like my horse, Ruger was) that they wouldn’t run away.  Well, two of the hobbled horses made it about 4 miles back on the trail before one of the guys found them!  Luckily everyone was unharmed.

Part of the trip crew at Anderson Lodge

After the hustle of the morning passed, we had yet another gorgeous day of riding interspersed with inspections at a few outfitter camps and other various stops to discuss the health of the forest, etc.

This pup is living the dream at an outfitter camp

We arrived at Venus Creek Cabin for another night of good food and stories.  No campfires to be had because of fire restrictions (implemented by us) due to the super dry weather.

On the third day, the horses seemed to know we were heading back to the trail head and were all sorts of screwy.  Our most seasoned horse rider was bucked off his horse.  It was pretty dang scary, but luckily, he wasn’t injured bad enough to not be able to ride out.  The next week was a different story for him…

We walked our horses down the side of a mountain after that incident to calm both the horses and ourselves.  We all made it back safely, and after 30+ miles in 3 days and countless water crossings, I have a greater respect for our backcountry horsemen and women.  I especially have a huge amount of respect for our guys and gals on the Shoshone who have to pack into the backcountry for multiple days at a time to do hard labor to keep America’s first national forest as great as it is!

Ruger and yours truly on day 1

This trip was without a doubt one of the coolest things I have ever done for “work”, and I can’t wait to go back out for more!  What was the coolest/craziest thing you have ever done for work?

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