Bow Tie Tour

Alaska and back again, our motorcycle tales

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Day 11 – Ranching in Casper

We were awakened early by the sound of laughter and young archers… 14 cousins were playing together in the early morning light, many of them trying their hand with one’s new bow.

We were summoned to an amazing breakfast a couple of hours later, where we met another one of our hosts families.

See, the “True” family has a “homestead” as they call it, with most of the siblings and their close family all living on property, surrounding a grass field and the big horse barn… The families have 2, 4, 6, and 8 kids respectively and they all homeschool.

Talk about a neat place!

After breakfast we were hurried along by a group of the kids, BACK to the barn where they had horses saddled, bridled and ready for us to have an adventure on “the mountain” behind their homes.

Horsewoman

After going through a couple of sets of gates, it was immediately evident that we were REALLY in Wyoming, the sky seemed to open up as we climbed the hillside and the “homestead” shrunk beneath us. Everything is so BIG out West!

Another thing became very apparent too… These kids could ride! I grew up on and around horses, but it seems that I’ve lost a lot of it since these guys could EASILY ride circles around me, BAREBACK even though I was in a saddle.

Really cool to see actually :-)

Here’s a shot of the whole gang, with Ethan (briefly) in the lead.

Leading the Pack

Ethan’s unique riding style of “oooooh Lordy, I’m gonna go fast!”
Riding Style

Though I didn’t bring any kind of telephoto lens, I was able to capture two of the MANY antelope we saw as we journeyed across their 160 acre play area.
Antelope

Checking out the neighbors new place…

Neighbors

I handed the camera over to Ethan so he could show off my use of riding boots…. They make for unique tan lines ;-)

Eric Farewell

Hard Lean…

Hard Lean

Perspective…

Perspective

After returning, we spent the rest of the afternoon just lazing around a bit… Ethan spent the majority of it catching up with his lovely fiance on the phone.

I spent my time writing on this blog, working, and drinking far too much Arizona Green Tea (great stuff!)

Green Tea

In the early evening our slothfulness was interrupted by a call to help carry dinner over to the barn where most of the family would be joining us to find out who these crazy motorcyclists were.

What a dinner it was!!

Trues Dinner

There was so much steak that there was actually LEFTOVERS even with over 20 people eating. I can’t remember a time when I stuffed myself so completely, it was lovely!

The kids table (How cute are they?):

Kids
Oh man, I almost forgot to mention… Just before dinner, Ethan and I went out to the store to pick up some drinks. Rather than ride the bikes, we were told to take “The Suburban”
Suburban

Something odd about that truck, isn’t there?
When we got out at the store, I turned around and started laughing… It was hanging over a parking space and a half and looking completely out of place. But hey, it has enough seats for their 6 kids!
After dinner, we headed out to one of the houses, where we sat on the front porch to watch the sun go down and discuss things like homeschooling, calvinism, family, and business… Great times!
This flag pole sits near the middle of the homestead:

Wyoming Flags

We decided to meet with the two brothers in the morning, and headed off to bed.

Ethan’s side –

As a kid I enjoyed watching old western TV shows like Bonanza. Good cowboys, cattle, horses, barns, steak and good people. The True family and their ranch are very similar to the Cartwright’s ranch. I woke up in a large, finished room replete with Fireplace, grill, couches and tables all above a functioning horse barn.

I heard a faint whistling down below and went down to investigate. I answered with my own whistle and kept following the responding whistle. It was one of the kids, he gave me a tour of the garden and I started my day with a breakfast of fresh green beans and strawberries. His sister and brother joined us and we shot some arrows at a deer target in the yard. Soon a multitude of children filled the yard, running around and filling the air with a cheerful tumult.

A brunch was served to us at the Kip True homestead and by brunch I mean a true western brunch (pun intended). After riding a motorcycle through a storm, cheesy eggs, homemade pancakes with fresh blueberries and strawberries, bacon and toast a piece of heaven on earth. With a full stomach we chatted around the breakfast table then went out with the kids for a horseback tour of the “homestead” as they called it. They gave me a horse named “Preacher” which at first sounds like a nice horse but they didn’t tell me the denomination :-) A better name would be Fundamentalist Baptist preacher from the hills TN. He had a mind of his own and was a little ornery to boot. But like a good baptist once you get to know them they are good people. We rode all through the fields and hills seeing antelope and deer. I had fun cantering around chasing the dogs that were chasing the deer. A horse is an old fashioned motorcycle I thought while musing in the saddle. And the modern day biker is like the old time cowboy and drifter. Everything you need is strapped to the saddle and you have the freedom to go anywhere.

We got back from the horse tour and relaxed siesta style for a little while and I took the opportunity to chat with my future wife on the phone :-) For dinner the four families came up to the top floor of the barn and we had a feast. But first Eric and I drove into town in the stretch suburban to buy some tasty beers because the unenlightened only had coors light in the fridge :-( Driving in the stretch suburban I felt like a rapper on MTV except I was in the middle of Wyoming. It was a strange feeling. The feast we had was awe inspiring. Large tasty cuts of marinated steak grilled to perfection, corn on the cob, salad, rolls and good beer. It was a feast of epic proportions. After the feasting had ended we sat outside and enjoyed good conversation as the kids played in the yard. Food Family and Fun equal Fellowship. And that is what we experienced with the hospitable True family.

That night I climbed the ladder to the very top of the barn and slept in a small 7x7x7 screened in room and fell asleep to the wind howling and the moon in the distance casting an eery glow over the mountains.

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