Fall Wyoming Ranch Trip
As part of a yearly trip ritual, my mom (Parker Dusseau's sister) and I took a trip last Fall to the high desert in Wyoming to learn how to drive cattle and brush up on our horse riding skills. Growing up in Idaho, this was a great chance for me to return to the Intermountain West, a region of the country that has always held me in its sway. This trip also turned out to be a good chance to test some new fabric we were considering which has made it’s way into our line of Five Day Heavyweight Shirts.
The trip started when we landed in Cody, Wyoming - a town located in the central part of the state. At nearly 5,000 feet above sea level, it’s a high desert town, characterized by warm days and cool dry nights in the Summer and bitter cold temperatures and wind in the Winter. It’s the kind of place where wild horses still roam the barren landscape and your line of sight remains unimpeded for miles and miles.
Upon arriving in Cody, we were picked up by one of the wranglers from The Hideout, a top-rated guest ranch located just outside of Shell, Wyoming. We all piled into a van and headed to the ranch, known for its focus on disciplined horsemanship and first class amenities. While the accommodations, meals and grounds are all top notch, this is a working ranch and they take their relationship with the land and the animals very seriously. They also advertise no nose to tail riding, meaning that they allow you to trot, lope and gallop out of formation.
The first day on the horse was a cattle driving day. Simply put, you get the horse behind the cows’ butts and drive them the direction you want them to go. We had an unusually high ratio of guests to cows but we all managed to get in some legitimate work and familiarize ourselves with our animals, the staff and the land. Myself being pretty new to horse riding, I spent the morning in the corral, learning how basic riding skills.
During the first part of the week, the weather was hot and dusty. In addition to wearing my Wool / Cotton Heavyweight Work Shirt, I threw on one of our merino tees underneath and a pair of 34” inseam Naked & Famous jeans. My clothing choices proved to be the right combination as the merino under layer managed to keep me cool and dry while the work shirt kept sun off my arms and later proved to be abrasion resistant as I smeared up against a tree chasing a calf back to the larger group.
Subsequent days were more geared toward sightseeing and the red rock buttes and dramatic exposures did not disappoint. Plunging valleys, exposed precipices and windy peaks gave me that wide open feeling that I seem to need to tap in to on a regular basis to exist.
The final day was the most dramatic as we were treated to falling temperatures and an early season snowstorm. Sure footed as ever, our horses carried us through high valleys and we got to feel that sense of perfect aloneness and pure, quiet solitude.
If you get the chance, book a week with the friendly staff at The Hideout in Shell, Wyoming. They pride themselves on their horsemanship, luxury accommodations, amazing food and personalized service.