Nights on a Farm in Wyoming

Reflections of a clear Wyoming sky on the irrigation canal

I’ve been staying at a farmhouse in central Wyoming for a few days while working in Riverton – huge sky, hay and alfalfa fields, with a rippling blue line of mountains in the distance. Besides farming, the couple also hunts and fishes most of their own meat, including elk, deer, antelope, turkeys, rabbits and big horn sheep. The basement “man-cave” walls are absolutely jam-packed with mounted heads of these and other animals – a wild boar with bared teeth and two immense lake trout among them. They have a big vegetable garden doing very well this season. Karen grinds her own flour, and daily makes gluten free pancakes for her husband after he returns from coffee with the locals at the cafe. Being gluten free myself, I was happy to partake of their breakfast ritual. The pancakes were accompanied with fresh butter, pure maple syrup, and strawberry puree. Perfect!

One morning Karen took me canoeing on nearby Ocean Lake before it became too hot. There’s a rocky island some distance out, where sea gulls nest and raise their young. Oh, what a treat to be rocking over the waves under our own paddling pace. There were dozens of gulls of various ages, flying around us, floating in the water, and clambering over the rocks on the island. We encircled it and floated awhile ourselves in midst of all the birds.

Easy going dinners were also a part of my stay.

One night Karen grilled local ling cod fillets she and her husband had caught ice-fishing last February. Absolutely delicious! The image she gave me was so picturesque –  they drove out to the frozen lake with their camper, drilled their holes in the ice, and set the lines with minnows during the day. After ice skating, or cross country skiing, they would come back at night, ice cracking in the cold, to check the lines and pull in the fish by lantern light, sometimes ling, sometimes lake trout. She served the grilled fillets very simply with lemon butter, a dash of shoyu, brown rice, steamed home grown spinach, baby zucchini and the broccoli I had brought to her from my garden:

“the biggest” head of broccoli I’ve ever grown taken as a gift for my hosts near Kinnear, Wyoming

The sunset that evening was inspiring (and cooling after a 95 degree day!):

looking towards Karen and Ken’s farm

I took a walk, exploring the country side. As I turned out of their drive to the gravel road, I was surprised into laughter to see the heads of about 10 cattle rear up, ears flapping, as they all broke into a fast trot to come check out the walking traveler in their territory. They stopped in a friendly line to ogle me:

Mexican roping steers overcome with a comical curiousity to greet me!

Then I was overcome with a wide open joy, watching the sunset in all directions as I followed the irrigation canal along the road. Mallard ducks with their young ones skimmed across the water, mourning doves and red winged blackbirds calling out their distinctive song. Wishing you all the same wonder of this world, and peace.

sunset glimmering on the canal

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