Clean Up Ride
In spite of the overwhelming positive response we have received from most all of our guests, we have always wanted to offer a trip which would more closely represent our lifestyle exactly as it was during the turn of the century.
"Its too bad people couldn't spend a night or two in the Little Horn Cow Camp so they could see how it was," Dana would often remark when he would relate stories about his teenage years as the rider in the Little Horn Camp. "Cowboys like Dick Babbion and '44 Bill' have all left their mark on those of us who experienced their tenure at the cabin. To us, it's quite real. The cowboys of my father's generation, and his father before him, are nearly all gone now. Most are just a name in a story Dad would relate about his childhood in cow camp. I guess we too will someday become just a name in a story, and then, over time, events which seemed so important to us, becomes nothing at all."
"Now I realize that seems terribly empty but, to me this is the appeal of the Little Horn Cow Camp because it is here the stories and names live forever. Every time I step through the kitchen door and hear the creak of the aged wooden floor under my boots, I always expect everything to be exactly as it was the first time I saw it at age nine. It always is."
"In the dim light from the hissing gas lantern, my mind can see Dave Fuller in his old denim apron and brown leather bedroom slippers shoving another stick of firewood into the massive Monarch cook stove as he turns out another batch of horse-hair pad pancakes. Boy, could those things soak up the syrup. I watched him for years and could never figure out his secret. Sometimes he used milk, sometimes water, sometimes bacon grease, sometimes butter, and sometimes eggs but it never seemed to matter, they always tasted like horse-hair pad pancakes. Dave is gone now; he lost his battle with colon cancer in the spring of '99, but within the century old log walls of the Little Horn Cabin, he will live forever."
Here is what we have: we are offering ten spots for guests to accompany us on our CLEAN-UP RIDE as we re-ride the entire permit about two weeks after our September cattle drive. We will likely spend two nights at the Lake Creek Cabin, two nights at the Little Horn Cabin, and a night or two at the Dry Fork Cow Camp. Depending on the pasture rotation the days and nights spent at the individual cow camps may change from year to year.
This trip is wide open as far as the number of cattle and what we would be doing. In all likelihood you will be spending a couple nights in each camp as we ride the entire mountain allotment. These three camps range in elevation from 6,800 feet to over 9,000 feet. The beauty to this trip is that when you are finished riding for the day, we actually feed people in the cabin where it is warm and dry. You will still be sleeping in a tent though. After riding all day in cool to cold weather, it is nice to be able to come in, strip down to your shirt sleeves and have a meal in a warm comfortable cabin. One of the cabins is over 100 years old and the other has logs in it that came out of the original homestead built on the Double Rafter in 1887. When the Dry Fork cow camp was built in 1932 the original log cabin was dismantled and parts of it were loaded on a wagon and a team of horses pulled it to the mountain to reconstruct a cow camp in the Dry Fork. The wagon also had the original Majestic stove on it for the cow camp. It is pretty steep getting into the area they wanted to construct the cabin, and the weight on the wagon, overran the team causing serious enough injuries to have to put the team down!
My family was grazing the Dry Fork area before it became National Forest in 1890. Consequently we have lots of history and stories of the family in this area.
There will be many miles in the saddle. I do think you will find this trip quite unique because you will experience things few people will ever see. Again, we must limit this trip to ten guests so this trip is going to fill early. Don't wait.