Real-Life Red Dead Redemption: Takes From A Wilderness Camp Cook. Part II (26 pics)

Posted in PICTURES       4 Feb 2020       1496      

Part 1:

Real Stories About Life In The Wilderness (19 pics + 3 gifs)


“I come from a lifelong horse background and have been spending time in wilderness areas (sans horses) for more than half the last decade. I’m also an insufferable nerd, so I’ve included some educational information here solely because I can’t help myself.”


“We try to hit the trail as soon as possible during the day to avoid the heat of the day. As summer moves along, conditions get hotter and dryer. This photo is shortly after breaking camp, the beginning of an 8-hour ride to the next location. Because the weather in the mountains can change quickly, we all ride with gear to handle any incoming weather. Here, our guide has a rain slicker tied behind his saddle and surely other survival gear in his saddlebags.”


“To get to the main base camp of this particular outfit requires nearly a 15-mile ride from the trailhead. These loads may contain groceries, duffel from guests and crew, and any supplies needed at the main camp.”

“Here, the string of blonde mules is bringing a load into camp with a pro packer, Jeff and Wonderdog, Faith. Jeff makes leather goods and sometimes hosts packing workshops.”


“The Mountain Goat is a species native to the region. Both nannies (females) and billies (males) have horns. I snapped this photo on a hike to an alpine lake where there was a small herd using the cliffs as a jungle gym for the kids to practice their climbing skills.”


Izismile Video Collection

“Here, my partner is releasing a Westslope Cutthroat trout he caught on a fly. I think they’re just beautiful. They thrive in only very cold, very clean waters. These fish are one of two subspecies of native trout in the state. They’re particularly at risk due to warming water temperatures and habitat loss/degradation. I always, always release cutthroat when I catch them even though we’re not legally required to do so.”


“Wildflowers begin to bloom as soon as the snow melts in the spring. The plant communities in each zone (ex. foothills, subalpine, or alpine) are all different and specially adapted to their habitats. One of my favorites is in this photo: beargrass. It’s that tall stalk with white flowers at the top. They’re a member of the lily family and bloom in much of the Rockies.”


“One more goat photo because I can’t get enough of their Victoria’s Secret hairdos in the wind. This one was sure keeping its eye on me, even with my telephoto lens far away.”


“The wood cutting station and hitching rails on a smokey morning in July. While I’m fixing breakfast and doing dishes, the wranglers and packers are tacking up the stock. Tack refers to all saddling and bridle gear that goes on the stock. After the stock is tacked up, they begin putting together the loads on large sheets of canvas, called manties.”

“The guys who do this work are pretty incredible at matching weights and sizes — the loads must be perfectly balanced for the comfort and safety of the stock. Even a pound of difference between the two makes a difference over many miles.”


“This is my kitchen setup when we’re on the trips that rove through the mountains. Almost every day, we pack up everything in this camp, the packers put together each of those canvas wrapped loads on the mules, and we ride to the next camp. When we get to the next camp, the packers unload each of the mules, we unwrap the goods and set up camp all over again.”



“When the stock comes home after grazing. You can hear the bells and me shooing them away from the kitchen tent where I’m standing. Sorry about the Blair Witch Project camera work.”


“It’s tough to be in the saddle for hours on end, especially walking. Riders and horses may find some stretches more comfortable on foot for a little exercise and to give one’s body a break. Can we talk about how gorgeous Sampson’s long tail is here? What a hunk!”


“Headed into work this past summer in one of America’s largest federally designated wilderness complexes. Over 1.5 million acres of protected wildland.”


“Here, we’re letting the stock out to graze at night. Every evening, we release most of the herd, keeping a couple back to ride in the morning to gather up the stock. Generally, predators don’t usually bother a herd of stock this big. Horses can deliver nasty, even fatal, kicks.”


“This guy’s name is Harry, and he’s very cute.”


“Every camp and every outfit runs a little differently. My favorite outfit I’ve worked for (I’m the cook!) has a nicely equipped kitchen complete with this flat top grill that they pack in each year on the mules at the beginning of the season.”


“Horses and mules like to roll, and even though I’ve been working with them for over twenty years, I still love to just stand and watch them do it. They’re so cute! Here, I’ve just released these ones to go graze in the meadow down the trail.”


“I’m only sharing this one because I like the ponies in the background. I took this photo at the end of a day helping at a ranch. I cooled my beer in the snow and enjoyed the view.”


“Hunting camp special: elk tenderloin breakfast sammiches with cheddar, spinach, and garlic aioli on English muffins.”


“In wilderness areas, no mechanized tools are allowed. That means anytime we come across a log or fallen tree that’s blocking the trail, the guys get out the saw and go to work by hand to cut it out.”


“Wet gloves are no fun to work in, so we’re warming some of ours on the wood stove here. Don’t worry, no gloves were harmed in the making of this photo.”


“Marco’s mane is so beautiful. I know women who would pay out the butt at the salon for his locks.”

“Marco is cool because he’s a Ride and Tie horse. Ride and Ties are combined endurance races of 20-100 miles. Teams consist of two people and one horse.”


“Wildfires burning in the mountains in the background. Horses grazing in the foreground.”


“A spooky time to ride: when the wind is whipping through the trees and you’ve gotta ride through an area that’s got standing dead trees. People and animals have died when a tree fell on them out here.”


“The kitchen tent, lit by lanterns, under a full moon on a snowy night. Thanks for following along on my adventures in our shared protected public lands.”






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