Friday, January 16, 2015

A Tribute to Sheep (and the Sheepherders' Gathering Schedule)

Here's one of the traffic jams around here. These are the kind of traffic jams where you might get out and take a photo.

If you've been following my blog for long or read my book Great Basin National Park: A Guide to the Park and Surrounding Area, you know that sheep come to this area every winter. And we're not talking just a few sheep, we're talking thousands, actually tens of thousands of sheep.

Back in November I saw them eating leftovers off the fields.

Most of them were too concerned about eating to look at me, except for one.

The sheepdogs watching these sheep came over to see what I was doing, but when they saw I was just sitting on the ground taking photos and not approaching their sheep, they just laid down and hung out.

It can be a lonely life as a sheepherder, living in a small camp and following the sheep around to very isolated areas. So over a decade ago, Denys Koyle got the idea of having a Sheepherder's Gathering at the Border Inn to celebrate this vanishing way of life.

It's a fascinating gathering, and it starts today. Here's the schedule:
January 16th
5:00 pm Industry Appreciation Dinner
7:00 pm Open Mike Program with Emcee Hank Vogler 
January 17th
6:30-10:00 am Sourdough Pancake & Breakfast Buffet with Dave Okelberry
10:00 am Screening of "Operation Haylift" starring Ann Rutherford
2:30 pm Mary Kaye Knaphus in concert
5:00 pm Basque Dinner ($25/person)
7:30 Sheepherders Ball with the Silver Sage Family Band
For reservations, please call Denys or Gary 775 234-7300
See you there!

Unfortunately it looks like I've gotten sick, so I'm not sure if I'll be able to make any of it. I'm bummed, because the music and food are outstanding, and it's so interesting talking to people who are sheep experts and hearing about their way of life.
Here are links to past Sheepherders' Gatherings:

1 comment:

4RRanch said...

Lovely pictures, but I'd better not show my husband. After the Sandhills of Nebraska, a high desert ranch is his second choice, especially after all the mud we've been dealing with this winter. You can always dream.

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