This week I spent time at the Ladder Ranch in Wyoming working on my documentary, "A Handful Of Dust." In the fall, ranches that use BLM or Forest permits in the high country move their cattle off government land and back down to lower elevations in advance of winter.
With my limited experience on horseback, I was grateful to have a very gentle and accommodating steed as I shot cowboys gathering cattle in the back country. It was challenging juggling two camera bodies slung around my neck, exchanging lenses on the fly, and trying to keep things dry in the steady rain that fell all day. Still, it was an exhilarating experience "cantering slightly out of control" (as one of the cowboys said of me later) through vast meadows surrounded by large stands of yellow and orange aspen trees. No question that I need more time in the saddle to get good at it, but I clearly want to do this more. In some ways, it reminds me of skiing, feeling a brisk wind against your skin and the sense of defying gravity as you lift up into the air while posting. I absolutely loved it.
Yesterday morning, I left the ranch at 6AM in order to be back in Denver for a meeting at noon. I took the shorter way back, over the Snowy Range and down through Laramie, and as I climbed one of the higher passes, the fog became quite thick and the roads became icy. Once I crested the pass, though, the fog lifted and I was graced with this beautiful view. Winter is definitely on the way.
There's lots of images to pore through, so I'll post photographs from the ride in the next few days.