Thursday, February 5, 2015




       The Ranger, the Apprentice and I have talked about our love for the outdoors and for Wyoming. We hunt, we fish, and we spend lots of time in wild country. But the fact is that none of this would have been possible without some remarkable people. And of these remarkable people, none is more remarkable than Grandma.

Who would have guessed that a little girl born to Wyomingite expatriates in Washington, DC and raised in a succession of southern California beach communities (followed by a stint in New York City) would return home to the Cowboy State to nest? Who would have guessed that of all of us, the most respected rifle or bow shooter would be that same gal? Friends, we have 40+ years of experiences to draw upon when we say that Grandma is the real deal.

Grandma and I met on November 13, 1970 in Green River, WY. And we've been hunting and fishing partners ever since. She was a competitive small bore shooter back then, and a wicked shot with pretty much everything. When other high school sweethearts were going to the Sugar Bowl for a Coke, we were shooting or fishing. She learned to drive a stick shift in my old ’68 GMC, and she learned her way around every two-track road in Sweetwater County. She killed her first antelope with a Winchester Model 1894 in .30-30.

We went off to college together in the fall of 1972, and were married in the summer of 1973. We spent our honeymoon at the cabin on South Temple Creek. She helped pack out the bull moose that fed us through that first year together, and she taught me how to butcher it just like old George
Grandma and The Ranger
Phelps the butcher taught her. She shot a cow elk year after year in the desert country north of Rock Springs. She killed at least one antelope every year and multiple antelope most years. And she learned how to make antelope not only edible but absolutely fabulous.

When Rangermom, Apprenticemom and their little sister were born, she simply put them in a backpack and took them hunting and fishing. When they were old enough to walk, they walked the same mountain meadows and desert canyons we walked. They were there when we got rained out in the Bighorns and decided
Grandma, The Apprentice, and Co.
that maybe tents weren't for wimps after all. They were there when we packed the deer out in the dark north of Baggs. She taught her daughters to hunt and to fish by hunting and fishing with them. What’s more, she taught them how to do it with respect for the land and the critters. Now, she’s teaching her grandsons and granddaughters to do the same.

But most important of all, she taught all of us that wild things and wild country are a gift from God. She taught us that we had a right to love that legacy and a concurrent responsibility to take care of it for the next generation. If any of us ever amount to anything, it’s probably because of what we learned from Grandma.


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