Spring Playdate in the Basin

Spring has sprung and a winter weather advisory is in effect for tomorrow.  But until that point in time we will enjoy the weather.  On Saturday, I went to the Central Wyoming Home Show and visited with some of the vendors while the Dogfather relaxed and enjoyed a hard earned day at home.  The sun emitting its cocktail of radiation and vitamin D felt amazing and the typical F1 winds were truly but a gentle breeze.  I indicated to him before I left that he should reach out to one of his friends to go play while I was busy, but alas…His friend was tied to a day of domestic servitude; the Dogfather having only worked 40 hours served his domestic penance for the week while I was investigating the home show.

While the friend was not available to play on Saturday, Sunday was fair game and we were up “early” for a Sunday.  I can neither confirm nor deny that might have been caused in part that Sequoia in her older age sometimes wakes up and has a panic attack and anxiety thinking that she is by herself.  In turn, Lady is a very emotionally sensitive dog and when she hears Sequoia panting heavily / clawing, she climbs on top of me licks any portion of exposed skin and wants to be embraced and protected.  Therefore the day was upon us and we get up by 8 am.  Immediately Sequoia calms down and we give breakfast for the three girls and start our laundry.  After laundry is started, I grab our collapsible cooler and prepare sack lunches for us and the Dogfather prepares our arsenal to bring with us.  We are heading out to Shirley Basin to primarily get back into practice after the end of hunting season and enjoy the beauty that is Wyoming in spring. 

Displaying IMG_8052.jpg

The Goal is to meet up with Friend at their place at 10 am so after attending to morning chores, packing lunches, assembling supplies, making breakfast we hit the road…We make it three houses down the street and realize we left the range finder at home.  We loop around the block and he runs in and escapes fairly quickly after bribes were proved to be essential to facilitate an escape.  And then we are really on our way.  About 15 minutes later, we arrive at the Friends’ home.  We help load the supplies of the friends and after another 30 minutes of talking, we finally are en route to our first stop in the basin. 

We do make a pit stop however before commencing our epic adventure at a gas station to procure those rations which are only acceptable to road trips.  This typically means that we get the soda special deal 2 / $3, 3 / $3.33, etc. you catch my drift, a Gatorade or two so we can pretend to be healthier, a chocolate candy, and a fruity candy.  We are responsible and have packed our own chips / crunch item to enjoy obviously.  I send an emergency last minute request of the winning lotto ticket… I was rejected…I am depressed that we lost our opportunity to not win anything as every single time we have ever (not frequently, 1-3 times a year if that) bought a ticket…we have not won ANYTHING…Only even matched a number I think three times?

Our first stop is a chunk of BLM land just off the side of Wyoming 77 and there were plenty of biodegradable targets of interest so we go scope the area.  After several targets had been acquired, the wind picked up and we didn’t have my rifle out at this point, I’ve retreated to the truck and am actually working on a post as I type.  See…photo blog inception!

After time has passed and the targets had been addressed we decided to go and check out and see if we could head towards Miracle Mile and one of our favorite campgrounds, Prior Flats.  Prior Flats is a BLM operated and maintained campground with no utilities or anything available.  That being said there is an extremely well maintained vault toilet that I was also very grateful was open.  The high altitude of Prior Flats (~7,800) is off of Shirley Mountain Loop Road creates such a great atmosphere of tranquility and peace.  It’s one of our absolute favorite retreats especially as you can stay there for up to fourteen night a year at no cost to you at all.  However because of this, it is extremely popular and in the summer it is often filled to capacity.

Most of the drive over to the campground however, we had a set of very distracted boys and we were pulling over on the side of the road frequently to test our marksmanship skills.  We learned that some of us over the winter months required more practice than others.  That being said, with the wind coming off of Shirley Mountain was generating some cross winds and different calibers of bullets were definitely behaving differently than other and the distance of our targets varied greatly. 

After hiking around, exploring and stretching our legs we returned to the truck in order to start to slowly work our way back home.  We grabbed our PB&J sandwiches, chips and appropriate junk food procured earlier and start meandering back home as we do unfortunately have some chores left to complete such as laundry and puppies that miss us surely. 

Displaying IMG_8051.jpg

The target practice continues and as our friend seems to be getting sleepy in the afternoon or having his age impair his vision, I am able to verify that I would still be able to provide the metaphorical bacon if we were to get into a hitting the fan situation.  Numerous stops we would see our organic targets, he would not.  After I would get out of the truck and set up my shot, he would then shortly after the muffled sounds of the rifle go “oh, I see it now, well, not anymore.”

We head farther down the basin and the darker cumulonimbus clouds start to overtake the beautiful sunshine of earlier and a distinct and more bitterness hits the air telling us that our time playing outside is likely over for the day. 

On the way home, we reminisce on what a beautiful day it started out as and the impending arrival of the snow storm and winter weather advisory that is set to impact our evening into Monday.  Over arching mountains of the Shirleys, Laramie Range, Granite Mountains and Casper Mountain all start to loom with the color being drained from the typically vivid greens of pines, prairies, reds and oranges of oxide rich soils and stones and the blue skies all transformed into shades of beiges and greys. 

Displaying IMG_8047.jpg

Snow is spitting in the air upon return to our friends home where festive Easter décor cohabitates with Christmas as seamlessly as it possibly could and depart for home.  As we are now back into true civilization we address missed messages and phone calls from our time out side communing with nature, the world and those powers that be above us that sitting in a designated place of worship never will be able to replicate for us.  We were during that day we were able to put day to day worries and concerns aside, focus on relationships that are important, reconnect and bond with those that are the most important to us. 

Displaying IMG_8054.jpg

Some people are comforted by the senses of community and the peace of a place of worship.  But there is so much more that can be gleaned from using your common sense, internal sense of direction and the quietness and stillness that nature can provide.  A solar recharge, new sage growth scents along with the distinct aroma of warm brass.  Having everything you NEED in the world by your side with views like this…This is why we are never giving each other up, this is why we love our home, this is why our adventure to develop our little fifty-five acres of Prickly Peak is so important to us.  It is our peace, our sense of reconnection, our future.

Leave a Reply