Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Deafening Silence

Grazing Horses in the Wildflowers

Why Deer Creek Trail is dangerous
Recently my job took me into the backcountry.  100 miles of horse riding over five days into God's wilderness where the silence is deafening.  No audible sounds but nature were present in the wilderness.  I expected to hear birds and other forms of wildlife but during our trip it was eerily silent with only sounds of rivers and streams and the ever present wind gusts that would relocate your hat about 40 feet away.  Our trip began from the ranch  up to the deer creek trail ( aka the widow maker trail).  We made our way over deer creek pass which is 10,000 ft above sea level and were greeted with spectacular views that stretched clear to yellowstone.  We made camp on the Bourner Fork for the evening and were welcomed into the wilderness with a great storm and a spectacular rainbow.  

Real Cowboys 
Interesting history tidbit about the Bourner Fork, it is commonly referred to as the Boner Fork.  In the early 1900's Miss Bourner who owned Cassie's a local roadhouse in Cody, decided to set up a brothel back in the wilderness to service the hunters.  Hunters in this time period came from all over the world to hunt for six weeks in Wyoming, they would hunt every species Wyoming had to offer Bears, Big Horn Sheep, Elk, Deer, Wolf and Coyote.  Miss Bourner's brothel was located in a large meadow where the hunters would venture through in weeks two and four of their six week trip.  It is said that Miss Bourner and her ladies serviced high society members, Arab princes, and even one of our Presidents.  I personally thought it was a hard trip back into the wilderness 25 miles but can you imagine hauling in box springs and beds and big canvas tents by horse back into the back country that far?  The old box springs are still there, rusted out of course, but they sure make for one hell of a cool history marker.

Bourner Fork Wildflowers

On day two we moved camp farther into the back country over a few more mountain passes and made camp towards the head waters of Butte Creek.  We awoke the next morning and went for a really cool short day ride further up in to a valley with a snake like river.

Thoroughfare River

Deer Creek pass
On day four we started our two day journey back home down Butte Creek through some seriously washed out trails.  This trail had not been used this season so there were plenty of downed trees impeding our journey and we were snapping branches left and right on horses as we made our own trail through the wilderness.  The last day we proceeded back up to deer creek pass.  My poor horse Ringo got a rock stuck between his foot and his shoe and he suffered a bruised foot, really painful but not detrimental to the leg.  He was limping pretty badly and I felt bad for the horse so I got off and led him by the lead rope for 4 hours about 13 miles up and down the Deer Creek trail.  We made it back safe and sound and Ringo's foot is feeling alot better, however my feet took a serious beating and im not sure I have recovered yet.


All I can say is that trip was epic.  I slept early and woke up with sun sometimes covered with frost and other times drenched in dew.  But it was rejuvenating to my soul I felt replenished and full in spirit.  While there, my mind was continually thinking of John Muir and the similarities we both share.  He found his peace in the wilderness and it was his connection to God.  I found this quote of his that really sums up my experience on this trip.

Deer Creek Trail with a view of the Hawkeye Ranch

"Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer. Camp out among the grasses and gentians of glacial meadows, in craggy garden nooks full of nature's darlings. Climb the mountains and get their good tidings, Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. As age comes on, one source of enjoyment after another is closed, but nature's sources never fail." ~ John Muir

Butte Creek Sunrise

1 comment:

  1. I love you, baby. Your photos are incredible - I can't wait until everyone gets to see some of the panos you shot on your pack trip, too. :) This is my favorite post you've written!