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  • Writer's pictureMarie

July 2, 2023

While 5 of the 8 herds are trailing up Dempsey Ridge way, and my mom, Trudi, is moving all 5 camps every day, the other 3 herds trail up Commissary Ridge on their own. The guys start in their pack outfits at the base of Sheep Mountain and begin their trek to the forest. They load their tents, food, and other supplies on the pack horses each morning to move the approximate 5 miles north per day. Since we are not up there each day, we must take a drive up the rocky ridge to leave sheep salt and dog food at the first three campgrounds.

We could not make it to the first campground, called Primero Pinos, due to this large white road barrier! Instead, we left the 6 salt, 2 dog food, and Teo's chainsaw stacked on top of the ridge near the camp horses.

Although we don't see the camp or the guys, we know they've made it to the campground since that's where their horses are hobbled for the night. The campjack leads the pack horses ahead to move and set camp while the herder brings the herd of sheep.

The further north we go, the more snow we see! Huge drifts surround the 3rd campground, which we call Caballo Muerto. Snow drifts are super beneficial for trailing the herds because the sheep can use them for water. Most years, we have to haul water and a trough up Dempsey Ridge to two different spots for the sheep to get a drink for that day. This year, the water and snow drifts have been plentiful so that we didn't have to.

Not only does the snow serve as water for the sheep, it has replenished the dry soil for an abundance of forages to grow. The ridge was booming with color, and I feel blessed each day that I get to work out in the midst of the beauty.

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