Thursday, August 16, 2012

Out West Day Six- Driving to the Sand Wash

We are driving on Wyoming 430 towards Colorado and the Sand Wash Basin... This entire area, which is managed by the BLM, is desolate and mostly sage and scrub brush... There are horses here- a few scattered herds- and we managed to find a herd of three. A bay stallion, a dark brown/black mare and a chestnut foal. Abby and I had to crawl under a barbed wire fence but a fifteen foot deep gully prevented us from getting closer to the tiny herd. But we managed a few photos nevertheless.

We passed over the state line into Colorado and the road becomes a dirt road. It is an 'open range' which means we have to watch for cows on the road. Most of the time it isn't a problem but once in a while we run into a cow-jam. The road, Moffat County Road, travels through a gorgeous canyon called 'Irish Canyon' which was a favorite hide-out for bandits and bad-boys of the old West. Butch Cassidy reputedly buried $30,000 in silver coins here and there are other rumors of $150,000 in gold ingots hidden in the canyon. It gives me the oogies (chills, the good kind).

Irish Canyon is also as Area of Critical Concern- environmentally speaking. The photo of the sign mentions some critically endangered plants. There are petroglyphs - ancient writing as well.

We are determined photographers and Abby has definitely inherited my tenacity! At Pilot Butte she was adamant about getting out of the warm car to photograph the mustangs despite being severely under-dressed for the cold. Clad in only Wellys, a sweatshirt and shorts she bravely went with me to photograph the herd... The mother in me wanted to send her back to the warm car but I gave in, allowed her to decide if it was too chilly and admired her spirit.

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