Sagebrush Sven

Time doesn’t change too much in a place like Buffalo. This column was written six years ago (2013) and it could have been yesterday.

Made a quick trip to Jackson last weekend.

The breath-taking view of the Tetons towering into the blue Wyoming skies stirs the hearts and emotions of anyone who visits the area (especially for the first time).

But a 20-minute grid-lock of traffic in downtown Jackson (some road work is underway) on a hot afternoon melted much of that enthusiasm away.

If you like high prices and crowds of people, then Jackson is great spot. It all gives me more appreciation for the Bighorns and good old Johnson County.

We wonder if a lot of tourists might get more enjoyment with one day in the Tetons and four in the Bighorns.

This week Maudie and Sven took a ride around the village and stopped by the fairgrounds where an “all girls” roping event was underway.

They tell us one of the most expensive hobbies is yachting (a racing boat can set you back over $300,000). The “sport of royals” is polo where you can spend $10,000 for membership in a club, and a decent horse starts at $20,000 plus stabling, vet care etc.

Or you could own a “cigarette” racing boat for a mere $200,000, but that’s just the start.

After looking over the “rigs” parked at the fairgrounds, we suspect roping might rank right up there with other expensive sports. There were dozens of those “equine/RV” trailer units that stretch out to 40 feet or longer. Prices of these fancy trailers are $70,000 and higher.

Many were being pulled by special built truck/tractor units or at least by heavy duty diesel-powered “dually” pickup trucks. Prices for these outfits start in the neighborhood of $70,000.

The horses we saw were certainly not the $500 variety. It suggests the sport requires a good-sized ranch or a family with a six-figure income to support.

This isn’t a criticism of the ropers, but an honest evaluation. It obviously takes a serious commitment.

Down at the coffee shop we heard of a good one Frank Peck pulled on some fellow WYDOT employees. He had been talking with Sue Means over the weekend and learned she had sold the place north of town (along with a big old Texas Longhorn steer which has been part of the scenery out there for years.)

“How old is that longhorn?” Frank asked.

“I’m pretty sure he’s at least 23 years old,” said Sue.

The next day several Highway Department vehicles were headed for a project near Sheridan. Frank was one of the drivers.

As the convoy approached Rock Creek, he got on the radio and said,“See that Texas Longhorn off to the left?  

“I was out there this weekend, looked under his tail, counted the rings, and I can see that he’s 23 years old.”

The department radios cover a large part of northeast Wyoming, and there was a stunned silence on those airwaves for a minute or two.

Then a voice from the Sundance area broke the silence . . .

“That’s the biggest bunch of ‘BS’ I’ve heard all week!”

And finally this week we want to share a wonderful true story about a couple who moved from New Mexico to retire in Buffalo.

They told one of the Bench Sitters they were in Ace Hardware and asked where they might hire some strong young men to help them unload some furniture and carry some of it upstairs in a home they had rented.

A local contractor told them his crew was finishing a job and could stop by after lunch. The crew did that and in no more than an hour had everything unloaded and moved.

“How much do I owe you?” the newcomer to Buffalo asked.

“Nothing,” the leaders of the group said. “It’s our way of saying ‘welcome to Buffalo.’”

We hope your garden is growing and we’ll drop a line again next week.

SVEN

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