August 2008- sitting at the picnic table surrounded by the comings and goings of dozens of hummingbirds while the ice cream churn does its magic is a sweet way to spend a Saturday afternoon at Shepp Ranch. In talking with a guest today I found I had been remiss in summer updates! Yes we have been busy but in a great way and not at all in the smoky stressful atmosphere of 2007’s summer. So…the update…all is well at Shepp Ranch. We made it through high water from the winters heavy snows unscathed. The river came up to the 9 on the measuring tree which puts the river on the lawn near the strawberry patch and makes it so you can step right off the jetboat on to the front lawn.
The weather has been beautifully mild, no days hitting 100 on the chestnut tree thermometer and so far only a half dozen hot nights where it took longer than normal to cool down. The stream fishing has been great and with nearly everyone practicing catch and release these days it makes for some fun action at the dam and bridge holes.
The beach in front of the cabins is sand all the way to the river and into the eddy. All the rocks are currently buried under several feet of beautiful Salmon River sand. Of course I love it when I am traipsing back and forth to the river for my swims but the tractors find it difficult to find traction and so we have been having to keep it wetted down to settle it to some degree.
The garden is going great guns, the challenge this time of year is it takes all the time harvesting berries, broccoli, tomatoes and other yummy veggies and so the weeds quickly gain hold and threaten to swallow all of Charles hard work. The harvest is plentiful though and it makes it into somewhat of a scavenger hunt where the reward is a basket of bush beans or the first eggplant.
Between the high snows and the high river we weren’t able to get our riding stock in until July this year. They all wintered well and are fat and sassy and happy to be home. Belle, our 4 year old mare out of Annie, is getting worked as a riding mount and keeps things interesting for Rex!
We have had a great staff this year. Ashley and Pete are expecting a baby in November so she has left recently to return to her home in Grangeville to await Petes return from fire season in Utah and the arrival of their baby girl Frances Rose. Allison is on the river guiding for the summer so stops in occasionally and will return in early September. Dave and Gini are both working at home in Driggs this year and will be back here for hunting season. Charles is cooking up a storm to a large number of guests and excited to get up to hunting camp for cooking the early hunts out of Fawn Lk camp before putting in 50 days of cooking for steelhead fishermen. Rex has been keeping busy fixing whats broken and guiding guests on their daily adventures. He recently checked out some hunting trails that were burned over by the fire and found over 100 trees waiting for he and his crew to conquer with their crosscut saws, bars, levers and wedges.
We were fortunate to have several new faces enter our lives here this summer. Roy has done a great job of keeping the lawn watered and then mowed and weed eated. We all know how contrary it seems each summer to water lawn so that it will grow only to cut it back a few days later. It is a vicious cycle that he has kept at with a spring in his long step and a smile on his face.
We have had a great group of teenagers spend the summer working here. Elli has been here most of the summer except for a break to go home and help hay. She spends her days helping in the kitchen, harvesting berries and helping keeping the cabin ship shape. Kyl has been in the kitchen at Charles right hand for several weeks, learning the ropes of making meals and has really got a handle on his cookie technique!!
We were also lucky to have Colton, Rachel and Alec each spend a few days with us. Our special treat was three weeks with Jeanie, a friend of a friend of Shepp Ranch who turned out to be a real bright spot in our teen summer help roster.
A new young couple has joined our ranks, Matt is our wrangler ranch hand for the fall. He will be lending a hand wherever needed while learning packing. He is very handy already with the tractors and sprinkler system. Megan is our housekeeper and her cheery attitude and willingness make her enjoyable to have in the kitchen and she keeps her work area spotless and organized, a real plus for me!
Mike and I are well, we spend our days bouncing from one thing to the next…Mike in a never ending stream of boat trips to the boat landing, Buckskin Bills, the swimming hole and fishing holes at Warren Ck and Sheep Ck. Me running up to the office and down to the beach and all points in between greeting guests, watering flowers and lending a hand wherever needed.
Well the ice cream churn is done and Charles says dinner is in a half hour so I am off to clean up! Thanks for looking in on us and I will post lots of pictures soon!
August 13, 2008
The Turnbull family is here with a group of friends this week and it is a beautifully sunny week with clear skies, a full moon and the river is finally warming up. It is fun to watch Tims nephews grow up and share his special place with his group of friends.
A few weeks ago some relatives of Pete Klinkhammer came for a visit bringing lots of positive energy to the ranch in their quest for knowledge about Petes life here. Here is a link to some pictures they have dug up showing the ranch buildings and Petes time with his nephews.
Last weeks guests put up a website yesterday and here is the link for some fun pictures of their time here.
The sun is working its way down the hillside above the Polly Bemis ranch and I can smell Charles muffins coming out of the oven so I will close for now!
August 31, 2008
Happy Labor Day! Labor Day is always a turning point in our season. It marks the end of our summer trailriding season and the beginning of our serious commitment of energies to getting ready for hunting season. We have cleared the trail Fawn Lk and started getting camp equipment there.
This weekend we had the happy event of Laurie Clemons and Lee Mitchells wedding. Laurie had been a guest here with her family and Lee is a former rafting guide. They had 24 family and friends here and it was perfect weather. 80 degree days and not a cloud in the sky.
Many thanks to all of our great guests for such a wonderful summer. The difference between this summer and last was so extreme! No smoke, fun volleyball games, peaceful cookouts up the canyon. Laughter and cheering filled the days. Thanks and hope to see you all again soon!