The day was dawning bright and clear as I walked down to the corral at Deep Canyon Guest Ranch for the morning wrangle. Dylan was already up and had the wrangle horses caught and was busy saddling when I arrived. As we headed up Pamburn Creek in the Teton Canyon, conversation was light at 5:30 in the morning and we were both still thinking about what the world looks like that time of the day, and where we just might find the horses. Pamburn Creek is such that the best grass lies at the far end of the pasture and we’ll normally have over a mile ride before we hope to hear their bells. The trail takes us near a Goshawk’s nest where there are the young ones still hanging out. It’s early July and time they were fledging. But this morning we hear the squawking and are put on guard. Sure enough, here she comes, dive bombing us and putting our horses on edge. One dive and she returns to her young.
We found the horses grazing peacefully in the bowl beyond the wind gap and made it back in time to have breakfast with the guests at the ranch. Say Chuck, what do you think about packing a lunch today and heading up Chicken Coulee says Dylan, and take the folks horseback riding to show them that trail that follows along towards Blind Horse. We can ride over to that nice basin and have lunch by the waterfall and slip the bridles and let the horses graze right along with us.
It was about a five mile ride, taking us up Pamburn Creek, dropping into Chicken Coulee, then along the bench of scattered fir and open grassland near Blind Horse Creek. A mule deer doe jumped up, startled by our passing but didn’t go far before stopping, so we knew she had a fawn hiding nearby. An unusually clear day, quite common here along the “Rocky Mountain Front” of Montana, we point out the Sweetgrass Hills as they straddled the US, Canadian border almost 100 miles to the north, and the Highwood Mountains another 100 miles to the east. Upon arriving at the waterfall we dismounted and dug into our saddlebags to see what Deb and Sharon had packed in our lunch bag. The guests were stretching their legs and remarking on the scenery. I had to smile as I thought back about the lady last year who had come out from Michigan with some friends. She had used up all the adjectives she could think of describing the beauty of the land, so all she could think of was; this is just “Ridiculous”.
After a fine lunch made up of a tasty sandwich, cookies, candy bar and an apple, we had a short snooze, caught up our horses and headed back to Deep Canyon Guest Ranch, our Dude Ranch haven in the Teton Canyon. Another fine day, good country, good horses, good company.