We're having a great time. I have made it my goal to learn about this country, specifically about the 351-person town of Meeteetse, Wyoming. The land where the town sits was originally a seasonal hunting site for the Crows Indians. It was not settled by white Americans until 1877. This is a town and state completely given to the life of ranching. Everyone is in some way connected.
I got to meet a young 2nd year college student, home for summer, and helping her mom run their ranch. She was brilliant and seemed twice her age. Several points stuck with me from our conversation. One is that four years ago, she and her mom decided to raise cattle that will only eat grass, called Heritage Herefords. They are some of the only cattle in the country that don't get sent to corn-fed feed lots, and because they are relatively small, can be maintained on a small amount of land. They can't afford getting the organic label put on their beef, but she was impassioned about raising healthy, natural cattle. One of the many striking things about the conversation is that even though she did not personally agree with the ranching practices employed by her neighbors and family, she supported the industry as a whole. She did not try to tell others why they were wrong. She just lived her life acting upon her ideals, and enjoying good, sustainable farming. She could have been one of the good guys on Food, Inc. We cannot buy her cattle in the Midwest. They sell only locally.
We had a good time horse-back riding with Holly's sister, Faith. Suzy for some reason found that horse-back aroused some affinity for the third reich!
Eli enjoyed himself.
Yesterday we went hiking in the Rockies. We didn't take a gun. Someone we met today said this is a bad year for grizzlies, and we were dumb to have not taken a gun. Maybe my fears weren't that far off base, after all.
We went to Meeteetse Community Church today. The pastor is Chad and Holly's brother in law. It was a small group that deeply loved the Lord and their town, and that shines with light. The Kingdom of God is among them.