The Sublette County Journal
Volume 3, Number 27 - 8/5/99
brought to you online by Pinedale Online
by Terah Palmer
Terah Palmer of Big Piney is an association rider for the Silver Creek Cattle Association. The ten permittees in the assocation run a common allotment for 2,000 head of cattle high in the Bridger Wilderness above Silver Creek east of Boulder. What follows are two days of entries Terah made in her journal while riding in the allotment recently. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did. - Editor
Editor's Note: Terah Palmer of Big Piney is an association rider for the Silver Creek Cattle Association. The ten permittees in the association run a common allotment for 2,000 head of cattle high in the Bridger Wilderness above Silver Creek east of Boulder. What follows are two days of entries Terah made in her journal while riding in the allotment recently. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did.
4 Riders - Bridger Teton Wilderness
7/8/99 Thurs. Day 3.
We dropped salt all the way up to Silver Lake. How beautiful! Eye to eye with the peaks of the Wind Rivers. There was a gentle breeze & it was cool. Wore a jacket all day. The bugs were way down today, thankfully. Yesterday the bugs were horrendous. Unloading the salt was a speed event.
We rode up on a herd of about 300 elk at a place they call "the old cow camp". We knew they were around because we had already seen signs of them. Hundreds of tracks everywhere on just about every trail that day. They saw us and slowly moved away like a giant wave. Then they stopped and the wave slowly moved back. Way up at the top, were 5 big bulls. I could see them with binoculars. One had antlers that were almost touching his tail. We rode on and left everyone in peace.
Over the years, I've seen a lot of wildlife. Always while punching cows or packing salt or packing dudes. I never cease to be awestruck.
Day ? Up at 4 a.m. Same routine. Slam coffee, but no breakfast today. We need to be on cows at daylight and beat the bugs. A tough contest. 3 of us take a short cut down through the timber to a lower gate. About an hour ride. Luckily, fewer cattle than we thought were hanging on the gate - only 4 pairs. We grab them and start up a rocky, steep trail up the East Fork of Jim Creek. We pick up about 25 more pairs & a lucky young bull and push them up, up up & up. Where even a horse has trouble standing. There were a couple of slicks that couldn't travel too well so we dropped those pairs. They will catch up later. The bugs are winning the contest.
We finally reach a series of high, lush, grassy meadows & drop the cows on a salt ground. Wait a while to mother them up. We're happy because they got straight pretty fast. No screw-ups today.
We ride the rest of the sheep boundary anyway, all the way up Boundary Creek & above Silver Lake. Saw a big, healthy-looking black bear with 3 cubs trailing behind. One cub was black and two were cinnamon. They were as curious about us as we were about them. We all looked at each other for a minute and went our separate ways. She was probably the reason there were no cattle there. Lucky for us it was on the sheep side.
We pick our way back down. Checking salt grounds and cattle from Silver Creek, the Old Cow Camp, down Whiskey Creek, and back to our cow camp. The cattle are spread out and settled good. Everyone happy, but sore & tired.
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