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October 7, 2014

Wild Wild Wyoming

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I always wanted to be a cowboy. Wearing a cool hat, riding in the dust through grizzly country, having eggs, beans and cowboy coffee over the campfire for breakfast. Luckily I got to try all that for a week in july in the middle of the wilderness in Wyoming, bordering the almighty Yellowstone national park. Back in the days this was the playground of Buffalo Bill, who got his name by winning a buffalo shooting contest where he killed 68(!) buffalos in eight hours…

About 70 miles of riding was ahead of us and on the first day we spent 6 full hours on the horseback. Which was an adventurous day of riding, My horse, Big Scout started the journey by leaping over the motor way and made my cowboy hat almost fall of. Immediately after we had to do a big river crossing with the water being exceptionally high because of the latest snow melt and rain fall. I was riding in the back (Big Scout was a kicker) and I got to see one of my travel companions almost take a plunge in the river when the horse stepped in a hole and lost its balance almost throwing him into the river. A little brisk start on the trip but I was able to cross the river without dying, About 20 minutes later we entered the wilderness area and suddenly my friend Jaret’s horse is bouncing up on two feet and kicks Jaret off the saddle. Jaret survives. Another hour goes by and one of the wranglers also falls of the horse while we are doing another river crossing! He survives as well. At this point I had no hope left and had accepted that sooner or later I was gonna fall of the horse. Luckily that didn’t happen.

The second day we went bushwhacking, meaning that we ride off the trail and into the densely grown bushes – exploring new areas while whacking off branches and stuff like that. On the other days we rode up a steep mountain, so steep we had to walk with the horses on the way down. We got to ride up another mountain to the border of Yellowstone national park, Me and Jaret saw the opportunity of having a little fun and skied (with only our feet…) 1000 feet down a mountain hill covered with snow. Adrenaline was high, but nothing compared to when we saw a big pile of fresh grizzly poop, grizzly tracks and a thigh bone at the bottom of the hill. Not armed and not knowing where the trail down to the horses where – we started running through the woods while yelling loudly so we wouldn’t surprise the grizzlies if/when we ran into them. Thankfully the bears was not hungry that day so we survived to ride down to camp for the last night where we played horseshoes, ate smores and pie and fell asleep to the sound of a lone wolf howling in the distance.

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