It's so good to be home again! We lost a tree in the backyard and the BFL rams managed to outwit Stan and munch on all my raspberries while I was gone, but other than that, everything is fine.
I started out by attending Chad Alice Hagen's seminar on dyeing felt scarves with dyes painted on paper. What a fun teacher she is! Immediately afterward, Kim and I got on the road out west.
Kim's friend Susan was such a gracious hostess even though she was grieving over the loss of her beloved dog, Bennie. Here is a photo of Kim on the phone with Susan a few hours before we arrived at her place. We were in Wyoming at that point, it seemed like the middle of nowhere. But the sign at the rest stop said we were on the Oregon Trail and just past the Continental divide. Just imagine people in covered wagons making that trip to settle out west!
Susan's partner, David, came home from Alaska in time to give us a back-roads tour of the Grand Tetons National Forest on a beautiful sunny day.
Views of the Grand Tetons from Jenny Lake...
Kim, David, and 100% Border Collie, Sky...reminds of the movie "Heidi".
We saw a bear cub, two moose with their calves, lots of buffalo, antelope, and deer. Mama bear was nowhere in sight so the photo above was taken from INSIDE the vehicle.
Below is a photo of an osprey nest which is located across the river from another house of David's which is located within the National Forest (and is for sale) -- note the little heads sticking up.
Kim's dog, Rabb, was so well behaved. He had a great time mingling with Susan's dogs for four whole days and riding in the truck with us the rest of the time. In the photo above, Rab is on the right and his brother, River, is on the left. It was quite cold and rainy/snowy in Wyoming, so Kim and I had to buy warm clothes -- which we lived in the whole time.
I did manage to sketch the mountainside at Susan's one sunny afternoon, and I got lots of photos to work from.
Susan's pasture at sunset...
The Estes Park, Colorado Wool Market was great! Kim and I got there in time for the BFL breeder's banquet. It was wonderful to meet the BFL breeders from out west and see their sheep. Jared Lloyd did an excellent job of organizing things and cooking up lamb for the banquet. It was absolutely delicious! I was especially thrilled to meet some of the other BFL Breeders Association Board members in person. After all those long e-meetings, it's great to finally put faces with the names. We did a little shopping on Sunday morning and checked out the sheep one last time then headed for home.
Yes, we saw some amazing scenery, but we both agreed there's nothing like getting back to good old Minnesota. Complete with mosquitoes!
I spent a lot of time getting reacquainted with the sheep and seeing how much the lambs have grown. Cocoa and Jasmine will be leaving for their new home next week, so I have a few more days to spend with my favorite ewe - sniff, sniff. (She's going to a good home with greener pastures, and that's all I can ask for with my sheep.) All the girls were happy to see me again and the lambs were too.
Elsa will be going with Cocoa and Jasmine rather than Cora since Cora has a new baby to care for. Her moorit smirslet ram lamb is still pretty little and he was trying to instigate lamb races last night, but couldn't get any takers. They were all too busy munching on hay.