I live in the mountains, and always will. I appreciate them for all that they are to all those who witness them: home, beauty, perspective, recreation, and sustenance, to name a few. I live in a town of 971 people in Wyoming that was named by National Geographic as the most isolated town in the lower-48, 78 miles from the nearest town in any direction…including the nearest Wal-Mart, stop light, and fast food joint. Our fast food is not in the form of the Golden Arches, but rather on four feet running through the middle of town. I am surrounded by the mountains, and that is what matters. I know this from the times when I have not lived in the mountains, and could not wait to return home to them.
My husband, Joe, and I eat wild game year-round. Joe and I were married this summer the day after the six-year anniversary of our first date. We connected with each other while working in the mountains, doing summer pack trips for a guest ranch nearby, with me as the camp cook and he as the guide.
During this time,we lived in a very remote area accessible by snowmobile only for half of the year. We could, and did, hunt on the National Forest outside our door. With the dogs chasing grizzly bears out of the back yard and foxes off the front porch. We now live outside of the same town on four acres in a home we bought a year and a half ago, and while we are a little less remote, we are able to have a garden, which I really enjoy.
Our four horses play a significant role in many of our hunting experiences, and will show up regularly on this blog. All of them pack well in addition to riding.
Taz, a 30-year old Fox Trotter, is quite the character and full of mischief for his age. Wild in his younger days like the Tasmanian Devil, he can still go on shorter day rides, still won’t allow his back feet be shod, and is in love with Yolanda, my mare. Strawberry, Joe’s mare, is a 16 year old dapple grey roan (hence the name) with a pretty face, and is a mover and a shaker. With a heart of gold, she just wants to go, ALL.THE.TIME. My bay riding mare, Yolanda, is also about 16 years old, and she too likes to step out, jumps fences to visit the neighbors if she feels like it, and hates being last. I have ridden literally thousands of miles on her, ridden on top of two quarters of an elk on top of her, and if it came to it, would trust her with my life. The newest addition is Slim, an 8 year old chestnut gelding we bought in April of 2013. Once his winter hair shed out, he revealed a “3” face brand on his cheek. Although started as a four-year old, he is mellow and reliable, cow savvy, and overall a good horse, although he has a tough time keeping up with our other three.
The freezer holds a steady supply of meat from our hunting adventures–primarily antelope, elk, and deer, plus vegetables from the garden. I am continually on the prowl to create resourceful, tasty and healthy meals from our supply of wild game. My intent is not necessarily to showcase new recipes or creations, but rather to show day-to-day how to live well in the mountains and eat well off the wild game that we have responsibly and ethically harvested. Please enjoy the journey of making meals from the mountains.