The Story of the Sheep

I have had a few people ask me where the picture on my blog banner came from.  Well, grab a cup of coffee (or tea), sit back, relax, and I shall tell you! 

Jon and I don't take normal vacations.  I always hear people our age saying, 'Oh yeah, we're going to Cancun or Cabo or the Bahamas or Hawaii or here or there for some sunshine and relaxation.'  Yeah.  That's not really how we do things around here.  First, let me tell you that we have only taken two legitimate 'vacations' together in 10 years.  Kind of depressing, but that's what happens when one or both of you are either in school or working retail somewhere in there.  So, last May when I found out I would be gainfully unemployed, we jumped on the chance to take our second real vacation.  I would finally be able to leave for more than 3 or 4 days.  There was a little grumbling and head butting at first, but mostly because we started planning as my last job was ending, which was a little bit stressful and emotional, to say the least.  I wanted the typical relaxing vacation where I could sit and drink fruity cocktails while knitting on a warm seashore, and Jon wanted something a little more energetic.

After a bit of grumbling on both our parts, we decided that we had so much fun on our first real vacation to Yellowstone and parts of Montana, that we wanted to do something similar but a little more extensive.

Ha.  A little more extensive? 

In 10.5 days (actually, we came home a day early, so make that 9.5) we went from Seattle to Glacier National Park; Livingston, Montana (with a quick stop at Beaverslide Yarns); Little Bighorn National Monument; Devil's Tower National Monument; Spearfish, South Dakota; Mount Rushmore; through the Black Hills State Park; back to Spearfish, SD; through the Thunder Basin National Grasslands (wow, that was a lot of grass...and antelopes and coal plants and trains...that was actually all we saw for 4 hours); Casper, WY, where we camped on top of Casper Mountain and narrowly avoided being attacked in the middle of the night, in our tent, by a mountain lion that sounded rabid and may or may not have been screaming through a metal tube; Grand Teton National Park and Jackson, Wyoming; through Idaho where we stopped at Craters of the Moon National Monument, Minidoka National Historic Site, and the Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument; on to Boise for the night; and then FINALLY back to Seattle.  Oh, and we camped all but 3 of those nights.

I told you it was extensive.

By the time we left Jackson, WY and crossed over the Idaho border we were getting a little rummy but still had a good 2 days of exploration ahead of us.  So as we were winding our way through the twisty mountain roads to get down into the rolling hills of Idaho, neither of us quite knew what was happening when we saw (what we later found out to be) 1,000 head of sheep being herded down one side of a ridge and back up another.  All on the side of the road. 

Now, I grew up in the Central Valley of California and I am totally accustomed to dairy farms, cattle ranches, and bovine creatures en masse (and the lovely odor they emit).  But never have I ever experienced anything quite like all of these little bleating sheep, drenched from crossing through a creek, scrambling to get up the side of a steep cliff, all while multiple sheep dogs were nipping at their legs.

Needless to say, I swung my trusty 4Runner off that road and onto the gravelly pullout and flew out of my seat, camera in hand.  It was just too amazing.  I was trying to coax one of them over to, you know, maybe snip a bit of wool off as a souvenir, but that wasn't really working out so well.

The funny thing is, I think I have more pictures of these guys and the sheepdogs, except the film is still in the camera and the roll isn't done yet!  Ah.  I'll get around to it...eventually...


  1. Now that sounds like my kind of vacation! Love this story.

  2. That picture is wonderful! Your vacation sounds amazing too - like the kind of thing I always think I would love, but would probably chicken out on halfway through. Mountain lions, eek!


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