All About The Prickly Peak

So I hope that we can instill a modicum of decorum and organization in this post as this will be a complete amalgamation of roughly a year’s worth of planning, day dreaming, assessments, etc.  We have our fifty-five acres of land.  Children are not something on our agenda so it will always, well aside from the rotating homeless shelter, always be us and our puppies.  So…What shall we do with our land?

Aside from the initial dreams of mansions, multimillion dollar projects, etc.  Coming back down to earth though, we try to develop reasonable and an achievable goal and plan of action.  Perhaps this is the part where it would be prudent to give an overview of the property.  I have such an urge right now to proclaim in the words of late 90’s , early 2000’s MTV show of “Welcome to my crib” and blast the cringe inducing techno music of the intro. 

So now that I have either:

  1. Dated myself for those under the age of 30-ish
  2. Elicited a chuckle and knowing smirk, perhaps even a longing and reminiscing of emo hairstyles and too heavy eyeliner
  3. Confused the heck out of you

We can move on. 

Okay, so there are four main areas of the land and a few sub areas.  We’ll break them down now and cover some of the interesting parts of the history of the land as well.  The ranch area we are a part of for the most part is broken up into forty acre parcels or a quarter-quarter of land.  Legal land descriptions are broken into Townships (North-South), Ranges (East-West) and Sections (Grid of thirty-six, one mile by one mile square comprising a certain Township and Range) Sections which as previously stated are one mile tall and one mile wide for the most part (680 acres) can then be subdivided into quarters (160 acres) half a mile by half a mile and then quarter-quarters which are a quarter mile by quarter mile and you guessed it-forty acres.

But alas, the type A personalities of the world shall not rejoice in perfect gridded structures and plats.  Sigh…Roads cut across the landscape so all the parcels are roughly forty acres, no smaller than 35 acres but others a lot bigger.  So our parcel is roughly a quarter-quarter and a half thanks to the county road, or at least the current version of the county road.  When we originally procured Prickly Peak, it was fun to delve into the history of the land, like how the ranch was originally formed by a former Governor of Wyoming, how said Governor is literally buried in the city of Casper cemetery right next to the city’s recreation center that I officiate volleyball for.  Below is the link I used once I learned of the burial location:

I completely acknowledge that I have visited the grave site to express my thanks and gratitude for helping us get through our turmoil when patience was severely lacking. 

Anyways, we research and find through this website:

Some old historic plats of our land; Apologies for not including the exact links, I am trying to maintain a level of privacy for us.  That being said, I am confident that you probably could super sleuth where The Peak is.  From our research, the original county road detoured compared to the current location.  On our land, we knew from the get go that there was an old two-track that cut up to the county road and down across our land and over the road south of us to the southern neighbors land.  We figured it was an old ranch road.  However when we looked at the old USGS surveys, the old two track is actually the old county road, how flippin’ cool is that?!?  We have private history of Natrona County on our land!

So like I mentioned above before I got dis SQUIRREL-ed, our fifty-five acres can be broken up into four primary sections.  We don’t have names for them right now, so what better time to come up with names that will last forever on a whim right now:

We have the Northern section, the Triangle section, the Homestead and the Peak

The Northern section of land is really actually kinda unique for the surrounding topography.  It’s about a quarter mile long and 300’ wide.  It’s a nice long / flat section of land that we are not entirely sure what we want to do for it.  It’s one of the few areas of the land that is devoid of much vegetation including name sake prickly yucca and cactus.  There appear to be some old prairie dog mounds and maybe some old badger holes and assorted critter holes.  We won’t denied that there are snakes on the property having seen a bull snake for sure and while we haven’t seen any, we acknowledge that there has to be rattlesnakes there too.  We are thinking of maybe doing some work to make a safe distance range to sight in our rifles as there are no homes to the east of us, but not sure what we’ll do.

From the top of the peak

The triangle section is exactly what it sounds like, it’s the additional fifteen acre section on top of our ranch standard forty acres.  This section fronts the “new” county road and is comprised of the most roll-y, hilly section of the land.  There are bowls and draws across the entirety of the triangle and a rock that we dubbed Carl when we did our initial walk over of the land.  I think that for the most part, we’ll treat it as a buffer from the county road but we also think that it would be really cool to establish a 3D archery course on this section of land.  Due the topography, rolling hills without my flatness there isn’t much that we can do from a structure point of view, but seems a great fit for a 3D course.  As we work up the triangle to the old county road though there is a large draw flat that is sheltered and also how it is situated drifts snow.  High plains of Wyoming are not tree friendly but with slightly less windy location along with an area that will harbor water  through the snow melt / accumulation in the soil itself, we might try to grow some fruiting trees / bushes in this area eventually. 

The Homestead is exactly what it sounds like, it’s the area of the property that we think we will inhabit and develop for our home, shop, greenhouse etc.  This area is on the southeastern portion of the land and while it is not the high point of the property, it’s still high enough to have views of the mountains all around us, low enough where we can’t see the county road or interstate like we can from the high point and situated in a location that we won’t be able to see our neighbors as past the eastern border, the land starts dropping.  We have no clue where or how we want to orient the house, as we are so high up in comparison to other parcels that we have mountain views of Casper Mountain to the south, rugged hills of the Casper Arch and edge of the Powder River Basin to the east, and rolling hills of the high plains desert that is Wyoming to the north, and the Granite mountains in the western distance.

Finally, we come to the name sake of the property, the highpoint of the land standing at an elevation of 5,569’…The Prickly Peak.  The peak itself and the sheltered nook that the U-shaped draw created is intended to be the entertaining hub of the land.  It is a sheltered hub to create a picnic area / ground to have gatherings with both of our larger families.  We may only be a family of two plus puppies, but we host family and when we do, there’s a lot of us.  Additionally, a lot of us have trailers, campers, etc and use Casper as a passing through stop.  We want to create a little campground of sorts to host people who are passing through and want to enjoy out company for an evening or two maybe before continuing on their journeys.  This area is the one that we are going to focus on developing first as it holds the lowest fiscal investment and will provide grounds for us to camp on our own land and enjoy our picnic grounds, fire ring , development area until we have the fund to start building our new and improved rotating homeless shelter.

This seems like a good natural stopping point therefore until next time…Bye All Y’alls!

2 thoughts on “All About The Prickly Peak

  1. Marlys

    Enjoying reading of the start of your adventures! We are your neighbors (180) just starting our own off grid adventures on the ranch.

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