(Originally published Jan. 10, 2015)
It's January at the Castle Mountain Ranch, and the wind whistles through the veil of snow that has crystalized the mountain slopes and valley sides. Boots clank on the wood floors of the barn as the crew prepares their horses to feed cattle. The bright, meticulously painted exterior – and corresponding scarlet snow fences and out buildings – are colorful beacons on white, blustery days.
This time of year, Bev Fryer drives the cake truck while her husband Ed Fryer drives a team with the hay wagon. They'll preg-check the 1,600-some mamas-to-be on the ranch, then trail them up Sheep Creek where the winter hay source is closer for daily horse-powered feedings.
"We've been here since 1998; so Ed manages and I just work for him, basically," Bev watches out over the hay meadow panorama that unfolds outside her living room window. "I'm one of those 'jack of all trades,' you know?"
Published in Tri-State Livestock News Jan. 10, 2015.