Discover / White Grass Dude Ranch
Save a National Treasure
REGION: West
LOCATION:
Jackson Hole, WY
TYPE: Landscape
White Grass is one of America's last, great pioneer dude ranches. | Photo: National Trust
White Grass is one of America's last, great pioneer dude ranches. | Photo: National Trust

Our Work at White Grass

Success! We have saved our National Treasure thanks to contributions from valued supporters like you.

Opportunity
Save one of the last, great pioneer dude ranches.

Overview

Homesteaded in 1913, White Grass operated as a dude ranch from 1919 until 1985 when it was acquired by the National Park Service as part of Grand Teton National Park. The 13 buildings on approximately 30 acres were deteriorating due to abandonment and deferred maintenance until a public-private partnership between the National Trust and National Park Service pledged to rehabilitate White Grass as part of the Western Center for Historic Preservation. The Western Center will teach National Park Service employees and volunteers traditional building crafts to help them preserve log architecture in national parks in the West.

National Significance

The log buildings at White Grass are among more than 27,000 historic properties nationwide that the National Park Service lacks either the funds or the staff to adequately protect and maintain.

Campaign Goals

  • Raise $950,000 in private donations to match federal dollars for the rehabilitation of five of the most significant cabins on the ranch.  

 

Ways To Help

Donate to support our ongoing work at White Grass Dude Ranch.

Tell us why White Grass Dude Ranch matters to you.

Partner

  • National Park Service

No Update for This Treasure Till Now

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Roger Butterbaugh on June 15, 2014
I am the seasonal caretaker at the White Grass Ranch, Grand Teton National Park. I am interested in corresponding with Carlos Sanchis about his two wonderful YouTube videos he wrote about on May 24, 2014. Please contact me at roger_butterbaugh@partner.nps.gov Many Thanks.
Carlos Sanchis on May 24, 2014
I was a guest at the White Grass Ranch from June 7 to 11, 1981. I enjoyed my stay and the way the Galeys and the ranch crew treated all of us, guests. It was a wonderful experience that I've treasured since then. I've uploaded two videos (not monetized) on YouTube showing my pictures and the mementos of that time for people to enjoy again. Look for "White Grass Ranch Memories - June 1981". Thank you so much for restoring this national treasure.
Sharon Mure on March 20, 2014
Being at White Grass was a life changing moment for me...I was 35 at the time and a real city girl..I guess you could say I was going though a mid-life crisis when I discovered White Grass..It was on a whim when I pulled up to the main house and met Frank, he was so kind and took me under his wing.Well I stayed a week and ask to stay a second week he of coarse said yes. After that I returned the same fall, the following winter and again a summer. When that came to an end and had to go home I cried all the way home...as soon as I walked into the house I called Frank and asked if I could return the next summer to work and he said yes. On monday morning I went into work and took a 3 month leave of absence, everyone there thought I had lost my mind. Come june 1982 I left for White Grass ,when I got there Frank was not feeling well. He asked me to help with the guest because he knew I had experience in the hospitality business, meeting guests,dinning with them ,and booking future guests...Sadly that was the end for the ranch...Frank died that summer and I helped close the ranch for good ...This is one of my sadest memories...Life does go on and because he showed me a wonderful way of life I moved west and started riding more and playing cowgirl...I return to Jackson every year to relive some of the best days of my life. I was glad to see they are restoring the ranch.I hope where ever Frank and Nona are they are as happy as they have made so many...God bless you both
ChrisKriendler on November 29, 2013
I was at the White Grass in 1960, and several years in the 70's and in the 80's. Saw many changes and always loved the place and Frank and Nona. The White Grass was one of the places that made me realize that I had no interest in living in New York. I left for Alaska from the White Grass one summer when I hurt my back and could not work on my feet, drove up to take a look and stayed, except for one trip back to the white Grass for a last summer. I stayed in alaska till my heart gave me some major trouble, and I had to get closer to civilation. NOw in Florida, Gods waiting room. I remember you, David Kinker, I was running the kitchen at the ranch one of the summers you were there. You had a good artistic slant on things. As I remember you are Cindy's son. That was back in the mid 70's, before I moved to Alaska, where I spent 30 years. Curley was just jealous of your relationship with Frank. You were a good kid. I first showed up at the White Grass in 1960, and spent the season as the "Chore Boy". Pretty much did what was needed. What I did not know how to do, I learned. It was a great summer with very little money and lots of great memories. I returned in the early 70's from over in Meeteetse, where I was living with a friend and doing what ever I could to live. I have a lot of restaurant experience from working with my family in NYC, and I stopped in one day to say Hi to Frank,a nd he offered me the job of taking over the kitchen. I took it and spent several summers working there, and one winter watching the ranch, when Frank and Nona went to Fiji. Frank ended up being a pretty good friend of mine I always thought he was one of the most informed people that I ever have known. I got along with Nona too, and had many long talks with her and built her some lamps for the Dude Cabins. We went our seperate ways in the late 70's and I came back once with a new wife in the early 80's. Had a bit of a falling out because of the wife, and went to Crowheart where I cooked for Franks nephew at his hunting camp, and then returned to Alaska. That was the last time I was at the ranch or saw frank or Nona. I heard that he had died from his nephew who called me to let me know. I tried to go to visit his grave on a trip down to the states, but could not get into the ranch due to the snow. I just read in these comments that Nona has died. I guess we all get old. Just to remember some of the highlights of my years at the White Grass startin when I was 19, and ended up when I was in my 40's.. The cowboys coming up with the idea to rope a bear that was messing around with their cabin. Set up a noose and tied it to the end of one of the beds. It did catch the bear and the bed,empty, was last seen going through the cabin door in pieces with the bear on a rope. Taking the garbage out to the hogs,White Grass disposal system, and as I was dumping the can wondering where the extra hog came from, and realizing it was a bear feeding with the pigs. Learning to drink with Frank. We got real good at it. Arguing with Curley. Having to wait for the moose to get off the road in the winter so I could get by to go to town. Sides of the road were about 10 feet high in snow,a nd the moose had to go to the turn around on the moose wilson road before I could get by. My jeep got kicked several times that winter. Going down to the Snake with Cindy for a party with some of the hands from the other dude ranches and getting stuck coming up the steep road from the river, and having to walk back to the ranch and explain to Frank why he needed to help me retrieve my car,a 1949 Studebaker. That was in the days when you could drive down to the river in the park. The end of the year horse drives to Dubois, where Frank and I built a rolling kitcen in a 10 horse trailer to use as a chuck wagon. It worked very well, and I would meet the drive every evening. Those were fun trips. Going down to Moose to do Franks Laundry and spend 5 or 6 hours. We discovered later that Nona would take her laundry out when she heard we were going. Hours and hours spent at Dornans drinking and talking and just kicking back after a long day. That was a great place too. White Grass was very important to me. Met great people, had great times, went on great trips. There we several things that I had built with Frank in 1960, still there the last time I was at the ranch. One last little story. Early spring and frank was trying to heat the loft in the barn to use it for a Rec room. Needed to get the snow load off of the roof, so Frank had some Dynomite, we cut a stick in half and capped it and threw it with a short fuse and ran like hell, Got out side and wehen it went off the roof lifted a bit and setteled back down with out the snow. The roof never leaked, but we thought we needed to change our system in the future. Those were in the days when you could walk into Jackson Hardware and pick up a few stick of dynomite from a box by the front counter. My but times have changed. There was a lot more to the White Grass than the horses and trips and fishing. The ranch affected many young people to change life styles and goals It was a good place and Frank and Nona were good people. I will write some more when I get the chance. Cindy if you read this blog. email me. loki2@bellsouth.net.
david kinker on November 02, 2013
i worked at the ranch as a "jr wrangler" we teens lived in a old army mess tent with a pot belly stove, ridiculously uneven floors as the plywood sheets had warped between the logs that was the foundation, the beds were in similar condition as the mattress became a cacoon as it saved in the frame. the families had paid for them to work some 72 hours a week+ room and board. i was spiecal and didn't have to pay nor did i make anything, one year "dabad", frank gave me a very fun two toned moose hid jacket with fringe. teenagers firsts happened on the ranch and in so many ways from drinking to sex ate night mischief including and not limited to bareback horse rides, taking Curleys golf cart on wild rides and having to push it back to the shed, brownie powered skinny dipping at kelly hot spring, drunkin chats with Bullwhinckel os we seabed our way back to the tent with hours to our 4:30 wake up to ride off and get horses before breakfast. Curly the head wrangler at the time hated me so i ended up with the most laborious, smelly, or otherwise unpleasant tasks, though i did guide some fishing trips, and joined in many horse rides with kids, a few back pack trips into yellowstone. i learned many things from building a round cora to maintaining the old trucks, braid rope, through knife and axe, how to wrangle a horse to a stop when the saddle spins to the belly and your holding on by an ear and your legs at full speed and chasing the found horses of the morning to the barn or how to get yourself out of the trouble you had gotten yourself into, and prevent them.
David Carter on October 16, 2013
Does anyone have or is anyone able to take photos of the graves at the ranch? I'd like to submit them to the memorials at www.findagrave.com - for my cousin, etc. Feel free to contact me directly: carter@valuist.com.
David Carter on September 30, 2013
My cousin, Marie Adele Ireland, was Harold Hammond's first wife - and I guess that's how my family first came to White Grass. We spent a few summers at White Grass and my brothers and I were campers at Teton Valley Ranch Camp/Rawhide in the 70s. Many happy memories of the valley and White Grass and the Galeys. I've got some nice, professional photos of White Grass by Rolf Myerin (sp?) that I will scan and submit. Glad to see the blog and hear about the updates.
Robin Winters on July 10, 2013
My Grandfather Hans Nolde owned the small cabin a bit away from the ranch, the one with the pond, on 5 acres. My Mom Jeanne Winters and all of her 4 daughters, Nicki, Pam, Denise and myself spent every summer there from mid fifties till...would Love to be notified of reunions etc. The White Grass was a huge part of my life...
Bernie on May 15, 2013
May 6, 2013 - What a strange twist of time that you should write, Lynne, and that I am in your diary of more than 50 years ago. I was 13 that summer also, utterly ignorant about girls--what do you expect from a kid who attended an all-boys school? But somewhere in an old album of mine is a picture of a 13-year-old girl in frontier pants walking up the lawn toward the main cabin. And under the photo I think it says "Lynne Mitchell, Birmingham, Michigan."
Lynne Mitchell Werner on May 15, 2013
November 21, 2012 - My mom, dad, younger sister, and I [age 13] stayed at Whilte Grass for a month in the summer of 1957. I still have so many vivid memories and many pages of wonderful, funny details are preserved in my teen-age diary. We came from the small town of Birmingham, Michigan and this visit began my love for the West. [I love reading so many similar comments from previous visitors!] I am so excited to read about a few of the 'ranch hands' I remember! Oh my gosh, BERNIE HUEBNER, you are in my diary!! :) And I remember the big, black, beautiful horse, COON! And the 'cowboys' scared me with a 'stuffed' deer head at my window just like another woman wrote when she visited the ranch in the 1970's! Another favorite memory is listening to Singing Sam sing Ghost Riders in the Sky while the fire blazed in the darkened room. The wonderful pack ride to Phelps Lake where we teenagers got to sleep in tents under the stores....my younger sister was 'bummed' that she couldn't stay, but rode back to the ranch with the cowboys. I met a cute boy, or two also so have memories of 'young love'... I remember my little sister and I feeding a few cute, little mice at their mouse hole while my mother was less that thrilled! How I would love to visit White Grass again.....My husband and I now live an hour south of Yosemite Nat'l Park and these mountainous parts of our country are very special to us. I always feel close to God when surrounded by His handiwork. I'm thankful the the national park service is involved with the restoration and care of White Grass! I hope I can visit there again!
Lynne Mitchell Werner on May 15, 2013
November 21, 2012 - My mother, father, sister and I stayed at White Grass from June 29-July 29, 1957. I know the dates because I recorded in my diary all the wonderful days we were there! I was 13 and my memories are still very vivid. It was such a special place that I will never forget. I was a'city girl' from Birmingham, Michigan and the experience began my love of the West. I eventually moved to S. California after college to begin teaching. I have been reading my diary tonite and feel like my wonderful summer at White Grass was just a short time ago. I laugh as I remember all the 'cowboys' and 'cowgirls' that provided all the fun experiences for us kids. I have all their names! Including'Singing Sam' playing the haunting Ghost Riders in the Sky as we sat in the darkened room by the blazing fireplace. The cowboys took us teens on a 'pack trip' to Phelps Lake...my little sister was 'bummed' that the younger kids couldn't stay overnite to sleep in tents by the lake, too! I am thankful that the National Park Service is making sure this beautiful place will be restored and cared for. My husband and I now live just an hour south of Yosemite Nat'l Park and we love these natural wonders so much! Lynne Mitchell Werner
Jayme Puddephatt on April 03, 2013
I have to thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this website. I really hope to see the same high-grade content by you in the future as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own blog now ;)
, webmaster on February 18, 2013
In reading the comments I saw one written by Eric Gerst, I was the friend he went west with in 1977. This is one of those cases that you know exactly where you were when an event happened. This being the anniversary of the passing of Elvis. I was in Bachelor Quarter and heard on the the radio that the "King" was dead, it was just one of those moments that stick with you. I remember nights BQ sitting in the dark with a desk lamp on the floor shooting mice with a .22 as nibbled at snacks we'd placed as bait. One early morning coming back from a bar in Kelly, along the Buck-N- Rail fence that lead into the ranch I spied a cowboy hat on one of the posts , picked up the hat and saw the name Frank Galey on the sweat band. The next morning took the hat to the main house to return it. I found Frank was messing with a pump shotgun that had jammed he could not get to cycle. I asked him if I could look at it, He looked up at me over his glasses like "who is this dumb kid" he handed me the shotgun which I cleared promptly and handed him back the shotgun. He said Griz (I had curly and a bushy beard) you fix 'em but can you shoot it, we went to lower pasture where a clay pigeon was set up. Mr. Galey and I broke many birds that morning, from that point on whenever a guest wanted to shoot clay pigeons, Frank would say "Get Griz to show them how it's done." The ranch foreman Kluas "Curly" Temple was colorful character. He had a mangled foot from a misunderstanding with a horse which cause him to have pronounced limp in his step. On more than one occasion I heard him say "When I get my bionic leg you'll sure see some ass kick'n around.
Wayne Aldridge on October 15, 2012
In reading the comments I saw one written by Eric Gerst, I was the friend he went west with in 1977. This is one of those cases that you know exactly where you were when an event happened. This being the anniversary of the passing of Elvis. I was in Bachelor Quarter and heard on the the radio that the "King" was dead, it was just one of those moments that stick with you. I remember nights BQ sitting in the dark with a desk lamp on the floor shooting mice with a .22 as nibbled at snacks we'd placed as bait. One early morning coming back from a bar in Kelly, along the Buck-N- Rail fence that lead into the ranch I spied a cowboy hat on one of the posts , picked up the hat and saw the name Frank Galey on the sweat band. The next morning took the hat to the main house to return it. I found Frank was messing with a pump shotgun that had jammed he could not get to cycle. I asked him if I could look at it, He looked up at me over his glasses like "who is this dumb kid" he handed me the shotgun which I cleared promptly and handed him back the shotgun. He said Griz (I had curly and a bushy beard) you fix 'em but can you shoot it, we went to lower pasture where a clay pigeon was set up. Mr. Galey and I broke many birds that morning, from that point on whenever a guest wanted to shoot clay pigeons, Frank would say "Get Griz to show them how it's done." The ranch foreman Kluas "Curly" Temple was colorful character. He had a mangled foot from a misunderstanding with a horse which cause him to have pronounced limp in his step. On more than one occasion I heard him say "When I get my bionic leg you'll sure see some ass kick'n around this barn yard." I was lucky enough to be asked to stay and drive the horses to DuBois, Wyo for the winter and then help close-up the ranch for the season. We made it as far as Lake of the Woods at the Continental Divide when we were hit by a early season snow storm. Horses, snow, campfires and wranglers let me tell you it was like living a Louis L'Amour story. I was asked to return the following season, but life got in the way and I never went back. I will always remember fondly my adventure on the White Grass Ranch.
Jim on October 15, 2012
Lived and worked there in 82 -83 summers loved it.
Taylor Edmisten on October 15, 2012
I took my ten-year-old son to the White Grass Ranch in May of 1978. Then, the site was still a working horse ranch as well as a dude ranch. As a "junior wrangler," my son fell in love with all things cowboy. The most unforgetable character there was "Curly," who knew everything about horses and tack. We arrived in Jackson Hole after dark. It was a cold evening, and the owners picked us up, taking us to their beautifully rustic cabin for a drink before depositing us in our small cabin. We woke in the morning to the sound of bells. Looking out the window, we saw horses trotting in an adjacent meadow. Every day they were released to the woods. The bells allowed the real wranglers to keep tabs on each of them. Each cabin had its own litle pot-bellied stove. I recall the bucket of wood shavings that we used as kindling beside our stove. They smelled of turpentine, like littern, or "fat wood." The cabins were so cold those early spring mornings that the heat from the stove was welcome. We always looked forward to the family-style meals, especially after coming in from long rides, like the one to gorgeous Phelps Lake, with its freezing, glacier-blue water. I still treasure those memories, as does my son to whom I gave the photos from our western adventure.
Dave Slack on October 15, 2012
I stayed there with my family a couple of years back in the early 80's. I asked Frank if he was hiring the following year? He said for me to put in an application. He called me the following year and asked if I wanted a job? I jumped at the chance. I thought I would do dishes or whatever. But to my surprise, Frank offered me the river guide job, it was the best summer of my life. I really enjoyed the work as well as the people and the employees. I also help build the pillars that surround Franks parents grave sites. I was wondering whatever happened to Curly? My family is heading back up to Jackson, my daughter wants to see where I worked. If anybody has info about Curly, contact me at dlslack111@yahoo.com Thanks for the memories.
Rachel Trahern on October 15, 2012
this is just a 'heads up' to say you can now get back onto the -SHARE YOUR WHITE GRASS STORIES easily - SO - please submit your memories and tell of the re-union last September. Also email me with thoughts we should discuss - godivauk@gmail.com
Keya on October 15, 2012
I am searching my deceased mother's photos to find out if this was the dude ranch we stayed in in 1954. It had a kitchenette. Do yours? I was recently in the Tetons at the Triangle X and was given the name of several defunct dude ranches. This had a picture window overlooking the mountains, a small field in front, can't remember if there was a lake, a bdrm, bunk room, and kitchenette. I would appreciate your letting me know the part about the kitchenette.
Keya on October 15, 2012
If you had kitchenettes there, then it is possible i was there in 1954. we had a cabin overlooking the Tetons, one bedroom, a bunk room, lvg and kitchenette. let me know
Marco Raimondi on October 15, 2012
Happy to have found this site! I was 10 years old, and a guest with my family in early July, 1968. When we arrived, I remember the Galey's dog had a litter of pups. I remember Frank Galey looked just like Clark Gable. The wranglers (I think Beth was one) took us out for lovely rides, and we learned how to ride bare-back. At night, the wranglers would take the kids out in the dark to where Frank's dad (or grand-dad?)was buried and past a pit where they dumped the dead horses. My little brother was only five years old, and he was given the nicest, sweetest, gentlest horse to ride: Peanuts. I have many more fond memories of the two weeks we spent there (I learned to fly fish); my best memories are of the nice young people who worked there and showed us kids such a beautiful part of the world; I spent many years in Jackson after that (esp at Goosewing Ranch with Harold, Claudette, and a beautiful young girl named Jenny). White Grass holds a very special place in my heart, however; why can't time stand still?
Mary (Moran) Bowman on October 15, 2012
In the summers of 1968 and 1969, what an incredible opportunity for a gal from a small town in upstate NY: spend the summer working on a Dude ranch in Wyoming! As my college roommate Nancy Zimny has already posted, it was thanks to Beth Thomas that we got to do this. Having ridden a horse maybe twice before in my life, learning to ride was the major accomplishment of the summer. Waiting tables and washing dishes was nothing new to me. But riding up the mountain in the early morning to wrangle the horses down for the day; hearing elk bugling for the first time, That was a memory worth holding onto. When Frank, or maybe it was Nona, decided it would be picturesque to have ducks/geese swimming on the pond, they hadn't considered the natural inclinations of their Yellow Labs. When a bunch of us heard the ruckus and ran to the pond to investigate, it was left to Tom Barrett, more animal-savvy than the rest of us, to mercifully put the poor birds out of their misery. But watching him grab a flopping bird by the neck and with a quick flip of the wrist snap it's neck for good; was quite a dramatic intro to the realities of ranch living for this greenhorn! I confess that memories of a moose calmly eating water plants in a marshy meadow are more pleasant if less dramatic. Riding into Moose on horseback and tying off at the rail, to send letters back East to friends less fortunate in their summer employment, rated high in bragging rights. Twenty years later, my ten year old son could hardly believe that his mom, who was "ruining" his hot young quarter horse by saddling him up and moseying off for leisurely trail rides, ever rode in an amateur gymkhana herself in Wyoming. No need to tell him that she fell off in the very first round when the trailing end of her Mexican style vest got hung up on the saddle. And definitely no need to tell him that she drowned her sorrows in her first taste of tequila, using her fake I.D. And didn't touch tequila again for twenty years!
Barb Pahl on October 15, 2012
Jokin, please call me at the National Trust Mountains/Plains Office in Denver about the brand and other items you would like to see returned to White Grass. My number is 303-623-1504 or email me at Barbara_Pahl@nthp.org
Jokin on October 15, 2012
I don't have a story, but Nona Galey (wife of Frank Galey) was my best friend. she died recently, and we inherited a lot of her things. Amongst her possessions is the H-B branding iron that was used at the White Grass Ranch until it burned. She also has a framed, black & white, panoramic photo of the ranch from many years ago. We would very much like to see these items returned to the ranch, if possible. Please advise.
thatcatapultguy on October 15, 2012
One of my earliest and most cherished childhood memories was of a day long horse back riding trip I took into the Tetons which I later learned from my parents originated from the White Grass Dude Ranch. I was sad to see it closed when I returned in 2009 on a trip to Yellowstone and the Tetons, but was glad to see that it was actually being rebuilt and would open again. I'm planning another return to the most beautiful part of our nation in 2012 and will hopefully be able to take my kids on a similar adventure.
Ceci on October 15, 2012
There is going to be a memorial gathering for George N. Clover on May 28, 11:30 a.m. in the Fair Bldg. at the Teton County Fairgrounds in Jackson, Wyo. Please come bring your pictures and stories. Rsvp to Ceci Clover at circlingthesquare@hotmail.com
LaRita on October 15, 2012
Please let me know the dates of the White Grass Dude Ranch Reunion. I would love to attend. I worked there for 2 summers 1968 & 1969. LaRita Wills
Patti on October 15, 2012
my brother mike worked for mr. galey from may 1976 through november 1,1984.mr. galey (frank) was a very nice gentleman and boss.frank galey was very fair and honest with his emploees.we visited my brother mike at the white grass dudue ranch moose,wyoming lots of summers back then and we always enjoyed our stay.
Rachel Trahern on October 15, 2012
Nancy and Eric who have just written more stories for the White Grass history book - please send me your email addresses - am about to put out an email blast regarding a re-union in early September. My email; is godivauk@gmail.com ---if you know of others who may be interested in this 'happening' please let me know.
Nancy Zimny on October 15, 2012
In 1969, I was a student at the University of Pennsylvania who’d never been east of Albany, NY. One day, Frank Galey’s niece, Beth, came into our dorm suite and said, “Anyone want to work on a dude ranch this summer?” My roommate, Mary Moran and I jumped at the chance. I still have the photos of the wings of our small plane as it landed at Jackson airport surrounded by the most unbelievable mountains I had ever seen. I became a cabin girl and Mary a waitress (Mary went back another summer as an assistant kid wrangler to Beth). The young male wranglers played many tricks on us ‘eastern dudes’ especially in those first few weeks. One night we were entertained in the main cabin as a welcome and told many stories about being careful about bears. The meat storage cabin was across from ours. I remember returning to our cabin and going to sleep in a top bunk only to be awoken by scratching noises on the window. I pulled back the curtain to see a bear’s head in the window and much to the delight of the wranglers, totally freaked out. The bear, of course was a rug, taken from the main cabin. Another time, being a total novice on a horse, Willie, the head wrangler put me on ‘Danny’, supposedly a nice, small horse. And he was… until Willie rode up beside me to “check on how I was doing”….which, since Danny had been a race-horse, meant that he would take off like a shot. Or the time I volunteered to help wrangle the horses in the morning and was allowed to do ‘the meadow’ (assuming it was flat and easy) only to discover the ‘meadow’ was the very steep side of a slope and we had to start at the top, screaming at the top of our lungs and riding down at full gallop trying to get the horses out from the trees at the side. There were so many experiences…when the porcupine ate the floor near the toilet in the cook’s cabin so she got out her shotgun to take care of the problem…being able to ride by horseback into Moose to get the mail…learning to jump the irrigation ditches bareback… watching the elk jump the ranch fence at night…walking the new foals to get them used to halters while they nipped you from behind….walking with Becky, another cabin girl, to clean up one of the ‘tents’ and seeing a bear come out from under the tent flap…collecting the leftover liquor in dudes’ cabins…swimming with horses bareback in the pond down below the barn and of course the times we got revenge on the boys in the BQ. I went back to Moose many years later and thanks to an older ranger, found the ranch property and Frank’s grave. The barn was gone but the main cabin and some of the smaller cabins were still there. I understand that now the ranch is being resurrected as a preservation area. White Grass introduced me to the west and the glory of the Rocky Mountains – I will never forget it.
Eric Gerst on October 15, 2012
A friend and I went west from southern IN after graduating high school in 1977. Our first night in Jackson Hole was spent in a tent on the town hall lawn. We saw an ad in a local diner for kitchen help and waiters at White Grass and applied. Frank Galey hired us that same day. We stayed in one of the tent cabins up the hill from the bath house and Main Cabin. The creek behind our cabin was ice cold and we would put our beer in a plastic milk crate in the water to keep it cold. The days were long; up at 4:30 to make breakfast for the hungover cowboys and then for the guests. After a 2 hour break, used for a shower in the unheated bathhouse and maybe a little laundry, it was time to prepare and serve lunch. Each afternoon we had about 3-4 hours to kill and I would often go up to the Snake River at Moose and fly fish. Caught many a cutthroat that summer. I recall one day a game warden came floating by in a kayak. I was missing a lot of strikes and his advice was "...when you the feel the strike, say "God Save the Queen" and raise your rod as if tipping your hat." Worked every time. After dinner we would clean up the kitchen and prep for the next day's breakfast. Evenings were spent hanging out at the girl's trailer to watch the only TV we had access to or going to Blackie's Fish Creek Inn at Wilson. I have fond memories of the other kitchen and cabin help who were my contemporaries. Curly and the other wranglers wouldn't have much to do with us long hair hippie types. In fact, Curly would've been better named "Surly". He was not a happy man. But what a beautiful place to be in our wonderful country. I was saddened to see how it had fallen into disrepair after Frank's death but now heartened to see it being restored. I hope to make it back to the area some day and spend some more time in God's Country.
Fleury Mackie on October 15, 2012
The love for the White Grass ranch all started with my late husband Don Mackie. In the early 40's before WW2Don worked on the ranch for the owner Marian Hammond and her son Frank Galey. Marian came from Philadelphia, fell in love with a cowboy and proceeded to buy the ranch, that started the years of friendship with Frank. Don always complained that he always stole the beautiful Philadelphia girl dudes that came out very summer. Another tale was that Frank was such a great poker player that he was able to pay his tuition to Princeton University with his winnings. // Don and i went to White Grass every August starting in 1970. It was in the small town of Moose, Wyoming, Jackson Hole, which was nestled at the base of the Teton Mountains. It was always the high point of our summers. // During one particular summer I talked my friends Mike and Betsy Rea from Washington D.C to join us for a week at the ranch. Betsy was a beautiful blonde and Mike was a tough looking contemporary art collector. // We spent many evenings with Frank and his wife Nona, having night caps and listening to Frank tell tales of his adventures at the ranch. One particular evening, after many nightcaps,we decided with Frank's encouragement, to take a 3-day pack trip to Yellowstone Park. Frank asked us if we had a preference as to which cowboys we'd like to take with us on this adventure. We chose Rick who played a guitar and sang great cowboy songs. The other cowboy we suggested was John, a little guy who was very amusing and told entertaining stories. We were told the night before we were to start on our trip, we could only bring 1 duffle bag per person. The man who gave us our orders was an ex staff sergeant who was the head wrangler and a tough old bird names Curly. He did not have a great sense of humor. We called him Curly Temple; of course he was completely bald. // The nest morning we drove down to the coral with our gear. Betsy brought her hair dryer, tennis raquet and a golf club. I brought pillows, a duvet and a case of wine. We let Frank and the cowboys in on the joke but Curly was furious!! // We had a wonderful 3 days of riding in new territory, eating good food, drinking and listening to Rick entertain us on his guitar. Those boys told us some wild stories of their experiences on the ranch. // When we got back to the ranch, Frank asked us about our trip. We were ecstatic about the trip and the cowboys. Frank said," Well I'm glad it worked out, because those two cowboys are the biggest boozers on the ranch!" // Another summer, we invited friends Percy and Nancy Wood, from Princeton to join us at White Grass for a week. Percy was a Psychiatrist and they both loved to ride. They had recently moved to San Cristobal in Chiapas, Mexico where they ran a beautiful guest house that offered 3 meals a day and riding. // Nancy was a Southern beauty and Frank was taken by her charm. One evening we were having nightcaps at Frank and Nona's house that was filled with museum quality Indian rugs, baskets and pottery. Nancy had noticed some old saddles hanging on the banisters up stairs. Nona, who was not participating in this nightcap evening, was watching TV upstairs, she could be very anti social. // Nancy asked Frank if she could buy two of the saddles for her horse and guests in Mexico, stating that Mexican saddles were very uncomfortable, Frank feeling very generous at this point, after several vodkas said " we never use them, so take them as a gift." // All at once, a shrill voice came booming from upstairs. "No, you cannot have those saddles!" Thanks Nona! // Or 8 children came out at different timed during those years, and have m,any wonderful memories as well. // We made many ranch friends in our 16 years going to Wyoming. Dee Dee Wilson came from Miami and we bonded instantly. She was a good friend who I would always visit when in Florida. // One summer, Dee Dee's daughter came to the ranch, having just separated from her husband. // One vening an architct friend of mine, John McFadyen, who designed the Snow King hotel in Jackson, was jopining us for dinner at White Grass. He asked me to invite Manuel Lopez, who was the manager of that hotel as well. // As soon as Deborah and Manuel met, it was love at first sight. They live in Wilson, Wyoming with two handsome and charming sons Sebastian and Alexander Lopez. // Bill and Peggy Stout, from Los Angeles also became good friends. Bill was a news anchorman with CBS. Peggy was a top rider in the hunter,jumper world in LA. // In the summer of 1987 Frank Galey passed away. Because of the arrangement of the park, the ranch reverted back to Grand Teton National Park upon his death. // Frank's final resting place is White Grass, a place he cherished. We were devastated by his death and th summer of 1987 on the ranch was a very sad time without Frank and knowing it would be our last at White Grass. // We were lucky enough to find another wonderful ranch named Trail Creek. It was run by an ex mountaineer and skier, Betty Woolsey. We went there every summer for 6 years. // Dee Dee Wilson and the Stouts followed us there and made it their new ranch. Peggy Stout even brought her horse named White Grass along. // Don loved to fly fish and loved the scenery even more. Even if he didn't catch anything, he loved his day out in nature. // In the Spring of '94, Don passed away. I felt it only fitting to return to Wyoming with his ashes to have a memorial. My dear friend Cal Reimers, a minister from Princeton joined me, to perform the memorial service. // It took place at the edge of the Snake River, in front of the Moose bar, where we frequent. Don's ashes were spread from his cowboy boot into the Snake River. The celebration then continued on the deck of the bar with our friends Dee Dee Wilson, her daughter and son in law Debra and Manuel Lopez, Mugs, Doris Platt and Alex Menolascino from Trail Creek. a cowboy was there with his guitar and sang one of Don's favorite songs, "The Street of Lerado". We went to Don's favorite Chinese restaurant in Jackson called The Lame Duck, run by Italians. // A fitting end to a beautiful memorial service for a man who showed me a Wyoming i will never forget.
Fred Matthews on October 15, 2012
For those of you whyo may not have heard of the passing of a legend at the White Grass ranch,George Clover ,who taught many of us all we know,passed away Nov. 20 2010.He was part of the W.G. history for many years and will be fondly remembered by many of us old timers.
Bernie on October 15, 2012
Assuming there's a statutue of limitations for this sort of thing, I suppose it's finally time to fess up. Blame it on some combination of adolescence and testosterone, coupled with a gawky case of teenage inferiority complex. Sing Anderson, a cabin girl, and her tentmate (Padget?), and I set out for Jackson one Saturday evening. My parents, who were at the ranch as guests even while I was working there, around 1960, had let me take their Oldsmobile. When we broke out onto the bluff above the Snake River, we pulled off the road on the chance there was a moose feeding down below. We parked at the edge of the dropoff and got out to have a look. Sure enough, there was large bull with his entire head underwater, blissfully unaware of us. Maybe this is what cued the predator in my limbic system. With absolutely no premeditation or, for that matter, any kind of rational thought, I reached into my shirt pocket and pulled out a cherry bomb left over from the Fourth of July. The moose's head was still submerged as I lit it, but just before throwing it I noticed a car turning in way down at the other end of the overlook gravel...with a big gold star on the driver's door. The die was cast--or you might say, the bomb was lit--and so all I could do was throw it. But what a throw; it splashed exactly between the moose's front and rear legs, sank for half a second and then went off, sending a gusher of water up against his belly. Unfortunately I don't know what the moose did next as the three of us were piling into the car, spinning wheels trying to get back to the tarred road. I could see the Sheriff's patrol car pause and then turn toward us, which was all the incentive I needed to embrace fully the need to depart the area. Like a seasoned getaway driver, though in truth I had never done anything quite this foolish, I floored the Olds, thinking ahead that if we could just get down the bluff to Moose and over the Snake River bridge, we might be able to turn onto the main north-south highway without the sheriff's deupty seeing which direction we went. I can't say we slowed down going through Moose. Luckily the intersection with the main road was just out of sight on a rise above the bridge, which let us turn north, accelerate to the turnoff onto the dirt road that runs out behind Blacktail Butte, and disappear. Except of course, I then realized, in our haste we were throwing up an enormous rooster tail of dust. But maybe the deputy turned south and so didn't see it, which we recognized for the lack of a pursuing rooster tail. Of course once behind the butte there were only two places you could go: to the generously named town of Kelly (one building? maybe two?), or Jackson by circling around the east side of the butte back to the main road. But remember, it was Saturday night. And so hoping we weren't riding into a waiting trap, we went on into town and the Cowboy Bar...where we must have felt pretty proud of ourselves, and so celebrated with multiple beers. This, in turn, led to a renewal of irrational youthfulness, this time consisting of a little visit Jackson Airport on the way home. Now circa 1960, Jackson Airport was just a two-mile strip of asphalt and a small terminal building. No fences. No lighting. And, evidently, no people. I drove around to the back side, that is, to the airstrip itself. And then recognizing the opportunity presented by two miles of six-lane paving, drove down to the south end of the runway with my lights off. I can't remember any more if the little blue runway lights had been left on. Probably so, but once we started north and built up speed, I had to turn on the headlights, though we were clearly driving beyond their reach. That's about when I saw the DC-3 parked square across the runway, much too late for us to stop. At 120 miles an hour you really can't turn very sharply, and so, slowed to maybe 80 miles an hour, we just managed to slip under the plane's right wing--I heard the aerial twang against the metal--next to the landing gear. Needless to say we left the airport more slowly, but promptly. I never told my parents, who would have been no more pleased than the Homeland Security folks who make air travel so much fun these days.
Cindy on October 15, 2012
WINTERS ON WG, Cynthia Galey Peck 1943-48 ----My earliest memories of White Grass in winter involved staying warm. There were the thick logs, but no insulation in the floors or ceiling. All the windows were single pane with ice on the inside corners. When I was still a toddler we spent the winter in cabin #4, (the large cabin west of the road.) Dad had made the north bedroom into a kitchen; the middle bedroom was Mom and Dad’s. I slept in the far bedroom. Grandfather Hammond had built an oversized pole couch in the living room. That was my playpen. Even though there was not a forth side to keep me there, I feared to get on the “freezing” floor, as Mom frequently reminded me. She could become a tyrant if I didn’t behave. ----We didn’t have running water during the coldest months and it did not defrost until May. We bathed in a tin wash tub placed on a heavy towel in front of the fireplace, the warmest place in the cabin. Dad hauled the water to a large “garbage” can on the porch by team and sled. Mom brought it to heat on the stove with a metal bucket. Then the warm water was transferred to the round galvanized wash tub. I was washed first then Mom would use the same water, Dad got fresh hot water for his turn. ----Another winter we were staying in the Hammond cabin. We had pigs, Porky and Bess. Mom threw the food scraps out the kitchen window to them. They were free roaming, clean, never smelled, and friendly. We used the “Annex” as the kitchen with the small storage room behind. It was open to the large living room with stone fireplace which Grandfather Harold Hammond built. There was a basement beneath the kitchen that flooded every spring and smelled musty year around. Mom and Dad used the bedroom next to the living room and I used the corner room past the pea-green bathroom. Again I had the coldest room in the cabin. The farthest room, which used to be Grandma Hammond’s sitting room, was shut off to conserve heat. ----During a winter in the Hammond cabin, Dad decided to make “bathtub gin.” He had a hot concoction on top of the propane kitchen stove. After a time, it boiled over. Being flammable, there was a kitchen fire. With jet-speed Dad dumped a bucket of water on the stove and Mom cleaned up the mess. That was the last time Dad tried to make gin. I think Mom had lots to do with the decision. ---- My family would be gathered in the kitchen by the fire, Mom with her knitting, Dad with his pipe, and I sitting at the table in the circle of lantern light. Dudy, a mixed Chesapeake and Labrador dog, and Little Man, a mixed Labrador and Dalmatian, would be stretched out on the floor happily twitching in their dreams. The lantern flickered as Dad read The Three Musketeers aloud. Mom kept us in knitted wool socks. She said that Dad and I could wear out socks faster than she could knit them. # Dad, the dogs and I would have had a hard day. Dad would have been up first in the dark, lighting the wood stoves as fast as he could, then jump back into bed till the room was warmed. When I heard Mom and Dad in the kitchen, I would jump up, grab my clothes and run for the warmth of the fire where I would dress. As Mom started breakfast, Dudy and Little Man would lead Dad, carrying a pail of hot water, and me along the snow-packed path to the barn. We would throw hay from the stack for the horses and cattle. Then we would feed the chickens, dump the ice out of their water trough and pour the hot water into it for them to drink and then gather eggs. Next we would go into the barn to feed the team and milk the cows. The barn always felt warm from their bodies and the acrid smell from the night’s accumulation of manure. Dad would milk Tobie (she hated me and would run all the way across the field just to shake her black horns at me, I never hung around to see if she would really get me; I was too scared.) I would milk Peewee, (I was put on top of her once for a picture and she stood nice and still). We each would squirt some milk to the cats’ their mouths opened to catch it. Dad would help me get Peewee milked dry. I did not have the patience to get her dry enough to suit Dad. The cows would then be turned out for the day to feed with the other stock. Because we would throw the hay to the very edge of the snow packed area they would reach thus enlarge the packed area. The dogs would scamper ahead as we would head back to the house with the eggs and steaming milk. Breakfast would be served, bacon from our summer pigs, eggs from our chickens, butter that I would have helped Mom churn and the last of the home made bread. (Today would be bread-making day; that was a twice-a-week job.) # One bread-making day Mom went up to the Main Cabin, where some flour was stored. She ducked under the eaves slid down the snow bank into the cabin. When she had gotten the flour, she discovered that she couldn’t climb up the snow bank. The snow kept shifting under her like a steep sand dune. With no fire wood in the closed up cabin she could have frozen to death. She called the dogs. When they looked down into the hole at her, she grabbed the scruff of their necks and they pulled her up to safety. # After breakfast, Dad and I would take hot water to the barn and dip the frozen bits. If the bits weren’t warmed, the horses’ mouths would freeze on the cold metal. I didn’t believe Dad when he first told me, so I tried it. I put my tongue on the buckrake’s metal handle. My tongue froze to it, sure enough. When I jerked it lose, a good-sized layer of tender tongue flesh stayed behind, leaving a fuzzy white coating that was part of my tongue. It hurt for weeks, but I would not let Dad have a chance to say “I told you.” I didn’t anyone to know how stupid I was. # We would shovel out the manure that the milk cows and horses left during the night tied in their stalls. After, we would harness the team, hook them to the sleigh and get the big containers in which we would carry the water supply to the house. We would break the ice on the stream with an axe. The hole also supplied water for the stock. We would fill the large containers by dipping a bucket into the stream and pouring the water into them. Then we would take them back to the house. Any water that sloshed out would freeze, making the footing on the sleigh treacherous. # To keep the road to Moose passable, Dad would hook a heavy logging chain between the back runners and drive the miles to pack the snow. It was a constant struggle for Dad and the team pulling the sleigh to keep the road open. He would lose that struggle with the weather between Thanksgiving and Christmas. From then until April or May we would have to ski or snowshoe into Moose, shovel the car out of the snow drifts and drive to Jackson for supplies. We had to be back in time to feed and milk. # We would shovel snow from the cabin roofs so the excess weight would not collapse them. There was always wood to chop as wood fires provided our only heat. Evening chore time, Dad would walk ahead of me with the lantern, the days were so short. Swinging with his gait, it threw long shadows which raced across the snow one way, to stop abruptly and race back again. The shadows made Dad a giant. We would herd the cows and team into the barn; throw hay to the outside stock, and throw hay down from the loft into the cow stanchions and horse mangers. It would be milking time again with the cats waiting in anticipation. The flickering of the lantern light would make night milking time feel intimate; the deep shadows contrasted with the soft highlights on the animals’ bodies and on smooth worn logs. I would love to listen to the soft snuffling sounds the horses made as they pushed their hay around in the manger, the sloppy crunching of the cows as they ate their hay. I even liked the familiar acrid smell of the stock mixed with the fresh milk splattering into the bucket; the warm feel of the cow as I laid my head against her flank as I milked. When milking was done, we would check the chickens, bringing them fresh warm water, throw them some wheat and collect the eggs. I liked to chew on the wheat currnels; spitting out the husks, the meat would turn to a tasteless gum. When we headed home, the chores done for the night, I would carry the lantern while Dad carried the milk and eggs. # The day would wind down as we ate dinner. Dad would light his pipe. We read in the circle of lantern light, the aromatic tobacco smoke wafted by. A day devoted to staying alive on an isolated Wyoming ranch in winter would draw to a close. ----Ollie and Twila Van Winkle lived in the farthest cabin, called the Messler Cabin in latter years. It was smaller than where we stayed and I remember it always very warm. Unlike the “dude” cabins which were for summer use, it was insulated with a drop-down ceiling. Ollie helped Dad shovel roofs, feed animals and cut wood. Pine was our source of heat and much was used. (Years latter the Messler Cabin was burned by skiers. Part of closing the cabins for winter included covering the chimneys with coffee cans to keep the wet out. They must have left when they were choked by smoke.) I loved to follow Dad or Ollie. Ollie said I had “Bees in my bonnet” and “ants in my pants.” I now translate these to mean I was full of questions and activity.
Cindy on October 15, 2012
HUNTNG CAMP with FRANK GALEY, Cynthia Galey Peck For many years Dad had a hunting camp up Pilgrim Creek north of Jackson Hole toward Yellowstone National Park. He could drive to his base camp where there was a big tent for storage and corrals for the stock. From the base camp he would pack everything into the main camp several miles up Pilgrim Creek. At the main camp there was a large canvas wall cook tent, several small wall tents for the hunters and guides, corrals for the stock and poles tied high up between trees for hanging meat out of predators way. The cook tent was dominated by a central long table and benches. It had a big wood stove with an oven, and wooden pack boxes stacked on their sides for food and dish shelves. One corner had a folding cot for the cook. I loved to visit hunting camp. I was eight and nine years old when I spent time at camp. Dad had some bear hunters coming for a week. It was common practice to leave a carcass or guts to bring the bear in. It preparation he had bought an old sickly mare who wasn’t expected to live through the winter. With her came a foal. He was named Bearbait since that was to be his fate as well as the mare’s. Dad did take the mare out and shot her to put her out of her misery and bait the bear. The first hunters got their bear, but when another group came in everyone had fallen in love with the cute rolly polly Bearbait and his fate was changed; he became the mascot of the camp and a nuisance. He feared no one and nothing. He would wander into the cook tent as readily as the corral to eat. I think he learned from watching Coon get handouts of cookies or pie from the cook or took further liberties. Coon was a big strong friendly horse that took very good care of his load, so he was used for large hunters or packing out the game. Bearbait had a long and useful life at White Grass as a favorite riding horse and excellent pack-horse. Sometimes Dad would take me to pack out an elk that a hunter had shot the previous day. One time we rode all day trying to find the kill up the side of Wildcat Peak. It was cold and the sun was getting low in the west. Dad finally found the kill half way up an impossibly steep slope. We tied our riding horses near the bottom where there were some dwarfed pine trees and led the pack horse next to the kill on the down hill side. I held the horse while Dad lifted the quarter on the off side. I lead the horse around trying to get his other side towards Dad. The slope was so steep I could hardly stand so I had to take the pack horse to a flatter spot to turn him around. He was off balance because of the one loaded quarter, but I managed to get into the position Dad wanted. Dad loaded another quarter and I took the first pack horse to the bottom and came back to the kill with the second pack horse to repeat the procedure. The antlers were put on top of the second pack points hanging down on each side of the elk’s front quarters. It was dark before we got back on a trail, no less back to camp. We unpacked and unsaddled and fed the stock, then hung the elk before we went into the cook tent. The cook tent was always warm from the wood cook stove. The cook gave up some warm food and hot coffee to warm our innards. I hated coffee, but with lots of sugar and canned cream it was good to have a hot drink. I slept on the ground in the cook tent with Dad and the cook. Another time Dad and I were bringing an elk off a mountain. It got dark. Dad whistled as he rode along. There was no moon, only his whistle and sometimes I could see a whit tarp on top of a pack horse. I would get slapped by branches I didn’t see. Suddenly the whistle and the packs disappeared. Soon my horse and I were airborne. With a splash and jerk we landed with the horses feet under him and Dad rode on pack horses in tow. As I looked back I dimly saw the small cliff off of which we had jumped.
Cindy on October 15, 2012
FOLLOWING A BUGLE, Cynthia Galey Peck “Let’s saddle up; see if we can find the elk and watch them bugle,” Dad said. One fall evening, the dudes having gone east to winter, the family, Dad, Mom, the dogs and I was sitting on the east facing porch overlooking the ranch pond, Blacktail Butte and Sheep Mountain (commonly called the Sleeping Indian), when we heard elk bugling in the timber. “I’ll go,” I said as I headed toward the door. “I’ll keep the dogs here and start dinner,” said Mom. A bull elk bugles to attract cow elk and warn other bulls to stay away from his harem. He will protect his harem from any competing bulls. Sometimes I have heard the clash of their antlers in a fight. A guide saw two elk carcasses, the antlers locked together from such a fight, however that is really unusual. We rode quietly through the old, thick lodge pole forest, the low hanging sun filtering between the trees causing bright streaks on the huckleberry bushes and flashing in our eyes. We dipped into Swamp Creek where the colder moist air penetrated my clothes causing me to shiver until we climber up the other side. Following the sound of the bugling, we traversed a small ridge paralleling the creek to the marsh. As we sat silently on our quietly grazing horses a six point bull elk came into the opening before us. He sniffed the air and grunted as he searched for a scent of cows in heat. Then he threw back his head, his antlers straddling his back and let out an ear piercing bugle. Three grunts punctuated his bugle causing his stomach to contract with each sharp exhalation, challenging any possible bulls in the area. The beauty and wildness of the scene gave me goose bumps. As we wandered through the park, he stopped to bugle. Occasionally, he would attack a sapling, scraping the velvet from his antlers and stripping the bark off the tree. The marsh was a large irregular shaped low area surrounded by lodge pole pine on the slightly higher ground. It had many seeps in which thick clumps of willow thrived, between the open grassy parks. The seeps created narrow deep channels in which the water ran. Grass grew over these channels making them difficult to see. Years of heavy snow fall made the marsh so wet and boggy that a horse couldn’t cross it. In dry years there was a well-defined game trail traversing it. Dad and I followed the trail in hope of seeing more game. As we came by a clump of willows we saw a small herd of grazing cow elk with a large bull standing guard. As soon as he detected our presence, he circled his harem chasing them through the willows and into the protective timber. The bull followed them as a rear guard.
Cindy on October 15, 2012
LEARNING ABOUT DEATH Cynthia Galey Peck I spent lots of time watching the wild barn cats. I decided to tame one of the kittens. I wanted a pet that would sit with me when the horses were out grazing. I lay in ambush by a hole in the barn floor until an unsuspecting kitten popped up. I caught a skinny, frightened, fuzzy gray one. I held it quietly until it calmed down. I didn’t want it to go under the barn again since it might never give me another chance to catch it again. I knew better than to put anything around its neck, so I carefully tied a string around its middle. I could use it as a leash. The kitten wasn’t very cooperative and managed to run back down the hole in the split log floor. I tried to pull it back by the string, but couldn’t. I was in a terrible quandary. If I forced it up the hole, I would hurt it, but if I let go of the string, it might get hung up, or it might chew the string off. I finally let go. That afternoon I heard the dogs yipping, barking and jumping behind the ranch kitchen by the buck fence. Something was bouncing from the ground back up onto the fence. I ran over to see the kitten with its string caught in the fence and the dogs nipping it with each bounce. Somehow I scarred the dogs off, grabbed the kitten and tried to get the string off her, but it was too tight around her middle. I got it loose from the fence and ran to Dad who might have a knife. The kitten didn’t survive that long. It died a quivering bloody mass gasping for breath in my arms. I had killed the kitten from my selfishness because I just wanted it for a pet. It was perfectly happy, healthy and useful as a wild barn cat. I cried until I was sick to my stomach and then cried some more. I swore I would respect others lives and freedoms as long as I lived, be they humans or animals.
Cindy on October 15, 2012
MY EARLY DAYS WITH HORSES By Cynthia Galey Peck Most people grow up in the family home, but with my love of animals, I grew up in the barn. My life on the ranch revolved around the large log barn that my grandfather built in 1913. White Grass was a dude ranch where people came and went in quick succession, but the animals were always there. The barn was surrounded on two sides by corrals. It was filled with my playmates; horses, dogs, and sometimes cows and calves and wild barn cats. One of my earliest memories of the barn was when Dad carried me, as a toddler to meet Molly and Queeny, our sorrel work horses in their night time stall. Molly’s head was longer than I was tall. Her shiny brown eyes with their long lashes fascinated. In my exploration, I put my finger in her eye. Needless to say she wasn’t happy. She threw her head up and scared me. I remained afraid of horses for two years. The barn had big double doors on each end so we could drive a team and wagon or truck through the alley. On the north side of the alley were large stalls for teams of horses, a nook to hang harnesses and saddles and the tack room. The tack room was used to repair saddles, harness and bridles on the heavy oily wood work table. The leather working tools lined the wall behind the table and a roll of leather sat on a shelf. The tack room also had an icebox where we kept horse medicine, sulfanilamide, syringes, alcohol and Corona bag balm. The south side of the alley was an area to hang saddles. Next to the saddles were four cow stanchions and a feed room. We put the grain in a big old chest freezer to keep the mice out. Bolted on the back wall was the ladder to the hayloft. The barn was filled with activity; wranglers saddling or shoeing horses and repairing tack or making lead ropes and dogs hanging around looking for attention to chase a cat. I lost my fear of horses by watching the big gentle creatures day after day. They moved fast when frightened and could step on you, but unintentionally. They didn’t hold a grudge, just became cautious. Their individual characteristics and personalities fascinated me. Over the years Dad gave me several horses to ride. He first chose a gentle mare, Eva. Her coat shined like pure gold in the morning sunlight contrasting with her flaxen mane and tail. She was my new “baby sitter since the previous one became too old to keep up with me and quit. Eva would come back to the barn for food before sundown thus bring me back with her, or if she came back without me, Dad would start searching. Dad thought if I didn’t have a saddle, I wouldn’t get too wild and maybe stay out of trouble also if I fell, I wouldn’t get dragged by a foot caught in the stirrup. I must have been four years old and she was my best friend. I would go to the barn and see her before breakfast as she would be brought in from up the mountain by the wranglers. I would be with her until she was driven up the mountain in the evening to graze. Everywhere I went, I would go with Eva; on picnics to Phelps or Taggert Lake or exploring the mountain game trails or lazing around the ranch. I would take naps on her, draped over her back with my legs and arms hanging down each side and my face nestled in her mane as she would wander and graze. I loved the feel of her solid warm body and her hay-grass-horse smell. I don’t know why I never fell off while sleeping on her. I would have brought her into the house if Mom hadn’t have thrown a fit. As it was, I tried to stay in the barn to sleep, but that wasn’t acceptable either, so all my waking hours were spent with her. I would brush her, take her swimming in the pond below the house and go out with every dude ride that I could. Dad even took me, with a group of dudes, on a pack trip into the Tetons through Death Canyon where we camped at one night, over Static Peak where I took a nap while Eva was walking quietly along with the other horses. We descended into Alaska Basin, an alpine meadow with snowfields melting into many small streams bordered with stunted trees, spring wildflowers and moss covering the rocks. We set up camp, hobbled the horses and let them graze. Next morning we climbed over Hurricane Pass aptly named because the wind blew hard and steady. From the pass we dropped into Cascade Canyon following the noise of bounding water in the creek, fed by the Schoolroom glacier. The third night out we camped at Surprise and Amphitheater lakes. The last day was a long one down the rest of Cascade Canyon past Jenny Lake and back by Taggert and Bradley Lakes. My Fran Fox and a friend of his were along and we had a great time exploring near the campsites. I loved the days of camping out, riding Eva and exploring the mountains. It was my first pack trip and I thought I was in heaven.
Letter from Sharon Crary Grifin on October 15, 2012
This is a letter to Mum and Dad--------------------------- Dear Mum and Dad, Well here I am after a pleasant airplane ride. Everything was fine except the small plane was a little rough, thought I was going to lose my breakfast a few times. By chance I met a friend from U.C. Berkeley at the Jackson Airport. He gave me a ride into the booming town of Moose - one post office and a small trading post. I called the ranch so Mrs. Galey came in her pick-up to meet me. Evidently there was a slight mix-up - she wrote me but probably to Berkeley. The country is so beautiful - the Dude Ranch just matches my visions of a rustic ranch in the last of the Golden West! White Grass Ranch is nestled in a very beautiful property directly beneath the Teton Mountains. The people are all very kind and attractive. There are five girls, three of us are sophomores. one girl is from England with a very pronounced accent and the other is a graduate of Vassar, 1938. She and I are the "cabin girls". We all sleep in one big log cabin that is cozy and crowded. There are about eight young boys. Most of all the crew is from the East and several of the boys are at Princeton. They all wear black cowboy hats to play the role of the real cowboy! Also there are several married couples here that help in various ways. The Galeys are a most delightful and attractive couple. Mrs Galey is German and I've the feeling that she will be very stern and quite strict( there's going to be no fooling around)! Last but not least, there are many many mosquitoes. Today I worked hard all morning. There are about 13 log cabins, mostly 3 bedroom cabins, which have to be opened up, washed out, swept out, oiled,windows washed and put in order. It's one hell of a job. We have to move everything out and put it in again. All the walls, ceilings, beams, floors, beds & etc. have to be oiled down. And it follows that we will have to make all the beds later and change them over and over again through the summer! I'm taking it easy this afternoon because they said I should get acclimated in this high altitude that is about 6,500 feet above sea level. I'm really not very tired but I'll take a rest break! Hope you are fine and that you will plan to come to stay here for at least a week. Lots of Love, your cowgirl daughter, Sharon. P.S - this has been inserted into the stories on July 23rd 2010, not sure if the heading picked up all information of LETTER FROM SHARON CRARY GRIFIN A WHITE GRASS RANCH CABIN GIRL IN 1956.
Will Lloyd on October 15, 2012
The next best thing to Heaven, or a Mississippi boy goes west. The ending of summer 1982 was a hard time for me. I want to talk about it's beginning first. I had come to Jackson Hole to ride broncs that summer. Wanting to find a job to offset my rodeo income or the income out go, I ended up at White Grass. I had asked one of the Jackson gunfighters where I might find a job. Promptly he told me about White Grass. "Look" he said, "it's a rowdy bunch up there. Most cowboys don't want to work up there. Bosses are hell, living conditions poor, all a bunch of drunks.. Most other ranches have all their hands by now and if you want to work for peanuts try White Grass. I did and enjoyed the best summer of my now 53 year old life. I guess coming from a true cowboy family, nothing seemed bad about the place. I grew up with my dad drinking beer and now I had Curley drinking Matingly More. All else was just like at home, except the freezing temps in June and fencing. Curley had been shy about hiring me. Said, "You can't work here and Rodeo. You will end up getting hurt just when I need. you." After begging and pleading my case, Rick spoke up and reminded Curley that the Ranch needed couple more wranglers. "Ok" , giving in, "your hired, lets have a drink" said Curley. My kind of boss from the get go. My first assignment was fixing fence. I was ok with that, I had fixed my share of fence, and thought I knew all the tricks. How mistaken I was. I was a flat lander where fences are straight mile long runs with 5 strands of wire and a cresote post every 10 feet. Never occured to me that the only place around White Grass that one could find a straight mile was to look directly straight up over your head. Anyway, I inquired as to where the work truck was and where were the fencing supplies. Howls of laughter was my response. Come to find out that my truck was a choice of either of 2 jackasses, Nip or Tuck. That day I met Nip, and it was mine and his last fencing exploration. You will not believe the exploring I did. I Iooked for the fence strecher that feel out of the paniers when he shied from the chizzler. I explored the brush for the fencing pliers that fell out when Nip jumped in the brush pile to get away from the branch that had hold of his tail. I chased the roll of wire down the side of the Tetons that fell out when Nip slipped in some shale on a switchback in the trail. I explored for Nip his self after "Cowboy", my horse promptly unassed me from the saddle when that dang moose appeared out of nowhere. All of this was within the first 2 hours, and we had not even gotten to where I was supposed to start repairing the fence. I had better mention that I was supposed to be repairing the fence of the pasture behind Mr. Frank's house. I never addressed Frank as Mr. Frank but once, yet thats another story though. Hey it a southern thing. Anyway, I finally found where the fence was down, and down, and down. A strand of wire here a strand there. Fence nailed, no rephrase that, a jumbled mess as I had ever seen. it was no fence. It was wire streched from a deadfall to a tree. A branch nailed to a tree on one end and sandwiched between 2 boulders. With a wire dallied around a chizzled out section of the boulder leading farther up the Tetons. { A chizzler is a small rodent that burrows in the ground, chizzled here was a groove around a point of the boulder. I have to believe that it would have taken someone a couple of hours to get this groove to hold the wire, In the mountains time and patience are irrevelant.} I had been directed by Curley to fence out, not in. Which led to more laughter. In Mississippi we fence our animals in. We don't have to fence the elk and moose and bear out. Have you ever tried to fence out an elk or moose or bear with barbed wire. I should have been the "laugher" not the "laughee" on this one. Hell I'm a greenhorn from Mississippi, what do I know. On this day of fencing I probably fixed, mended, repaired, propped up nailed limbs to trees,dallied to rocks pulled wire from boulders to buried deadmen, to a pocket knife that I drove in a rock crevis just something to hold the wire. I figured I was going back the next day I will reclaim my knife then. Never did go back. Yet, the next day brought another story though. What ever made me think I could even find that section of mayhem was beyond me. But I found something else that day, no not Nip, I found ruggedness, strength, nature in it's wildness, a world that few are ever allowed to witness. The smell of the Douglass fir, the vista view from my location, allowing me to see Dead Indian Mountain, the Snake River below, I found my straight line of site of 10s of miles with no fences to fence me in. I had found my summer home. A cowboy's dream job. I was set. Now that I have found this web site I have an audience for a summers worth of memories to share.
Fran Fox on October 15, 2012
MOOSE MEAT: There is a lone lodge pole pine about 150 yards from the Moose/Wilson Road on the left side facing the ranch. The tree has grown in the 43 years since my son, Francis, scrambled up as I pushed from behind. The snow was waist deep in mid-February, and it was long after dark. I had just picked up Francis in Moose where the Jackson school bus had dropped him off and his books and papers were scattered all over the snow. It all started a few days before when a particularly cranky moose kept showing up on the sled trail between the plowed road and the ranch. She had charged my dog Charlie and me once near the barn where we had a turnaround for the sleds. We had to jump out of the trail into the deep snow and she followed Charlie, using her feet like a pile driver. The snow was soft and Charlie was OK. We got to know her pretty well because she would telegraph her charge. First, her head would drop and sway from side to side. Then she would squat her hindquarters and urinate. Then she would charge with hair standing high on her neck and shoulders. It was very intimidating. We had two snowmobiles: an old Polaris and a newer Yamaha. These were the old pull start machines and they rarely both ran at the same time. I needed to get Francis to and from Moose every day, and Frank would pull a tobaggan with a machine once or twice a week to deliver groceries. On the evening in question, after leaving the car, Francis jumped on the back of the Yamaha cradling his books as he had done all winter. This time, however, less than a minute into the trip our way was blocked by the angry moose, her head swaying side to side. I had just enough time to push Francis backward off the machine but luckily not enough time to turn the machine off. The glare of the headlight kept her from seeing us as we wallowed through the deep snow trying to reach that lodge pole pine. She hit the machine with a fury, breaking the windshield and leaving snot and hair all over the front. Again, the sound of her pile-driving front feet was like a heavy machine gun and just as fast. Getting Francis to the tree and hoisting him up seemed to take forever even though it was about 30 feet away. Once Francis was safe and the moose was gone, I went back to the machine, turned it off and stood quietly, listening and smelling. Moose have a strong spruce smell at that time of year as they eat a lot of spruce tips. I did not want to run into her again, so I told Francis that I was going to Ted Hartgrave's to get a gun. I asked Francis if he was OK. I will never forget his reply: he asked me if the moose could reach him and whether the bears were still hibernating. When I answered to his satisfaction, he consented to my departure with the assurance that he would be fine. When I told Ted the short version of our moose encounter, he called the Park Service who told me to wait for someone from the Park. I said that I would not leave my son up a tree and that I would kill the moose if need be. Nobody from the Park ever showed. Writing this now, I remember that Joe Baker was at the White Grass at the time and he showed up on the other snomobile just after Francis and I gathered his school books and papers littering the snow and started back to the ranch. My wife, Lori, must have sent Baker since we were so late. Not long after the incident, a moose (probably the same one) was keeping two REA employees from checking the electrical power transformer on the ranch. Frank had taken one snowmobile and the tobaggan down to the vehicles to get groceries in town. Frank was late getting back and, after having played tag with the moose and the REA all day, I knew that the moose was between the Moose/Wilson Road and the ranch. We were getting pretty "nerved up" about this moose. Frank and I both had powerful handguns. Frank had a Ruger Black Hawk 357 mag and I had an old S & W 45 cal revolver with a reducer clip and 45 auto ammo. I started down the road to look for Frank on foot in a blizzard since the REA had one sled and Frank had the other. I took Charlie with me. Right where the main ranch gate used to be, we came across the familiar moose. Charlie took off after her as I looked for a tree to climb. I got about 10 feet off the ground and looked down to see the moose stopped directly under me. I shot her behind the ear thinking to knock her down and then finish her off later. But it was an incredibly lucky, instinctive shot, and she fell stone dead, never moving a muscle. At that point I was certain that I would find Frank stomped by the moose in some drift. I started walking again and, through the blowing snow, saw a second moose coming towards me. Turns out it wasn't a moose at all, but Frank all bundled up, crouched, and loaded for bear. The moose had run him off the track, dumping him and his groceries in the snow. He had snapped a passing shot at the same moose that I had killed and was now lying in the middle of the track. The moose ended up quartered and under my cabin, and we ate on piney moose meat for part of the winter. I have hated moose meat ever since.
Judy Allyn Schmitt on October 15, 2012
1955 was my first year at the WG. I have so many memories that I would like to share my Ballad Of White Grass: She got off the train filled with excitement, electricity in the air. She saw a dark pensive cowboy dressed black waiting waiting there. He was hunched against the wall looking left, then right. Was he looking for her, she thought? He was, for it felt so right. He walked over slowly, offered his hand and said softly, "Howdy, Ma'am". He tipped his black hat. She was speechless, her legs weak as sand. Said his name was Ben, smiled, but she still couldn't speak. She felt wooden, star struck, a foolish young girl from the East. Here she was in Wyoming, land of her fantasies and dreams. Where her heros rode white horses and fouled up rustlers' schemes! A place where clouds drifted thru endless blue skies and mountains reigned supreme. Where Elk, Mule Deer and Buffalo grazed the plains and drank from crystal clear streams. They traveled north and by nightfall he drove up a long graveled roadway. Deposited her in her cabin and before leaving said, "I hope you enjoy your stay.". Too excited to go to sleep, too dark to see outside, she listened to the magical night. Was that an owl she heard? Coyotes singing their song? Where they, too, waiting for the daylight? That summer, like for so many, started a Wyoming love affair that she knew was waiting just for her. The Tetons, the Galeys, the dudes and dudines, Ellen the cook and Rachel Trahern. The Huebners, Dick and Pat Quast, the Thomas family, Elise and George Clover, Alice and Evans Dunn. The pack trips, picnics and riding that all made up for great summer fun. Who could forget the Clearys, Dorothy's beautiful paintings and pen and inks. And Cappy Pennock who drank the bleach in a gin glass sitting on the bathroom sink? The Bar-B-Q's in the North pasture, cocktail parties at the Galey's house, friendly and warm. Frank's fishing and pack trips where he spun Western tales and boyish charm. Then there was Curt Winsor with his guitar singing many a cowboy song. While we all would sit around that starlit campfire and try to sing along. The antics of the Matthews boys, the Fox boys, Tink Elliot and Fran Strawbridge, too. George Clover must have felt he ran a school for wranglers when the day was through! The cabin girls, the waitresses, they ran from Rachel's and Inge's sight! The trips to town and Dornan's Bar that lasted well into the night. We were lucky to have Suki Matthews, the Gorden Crouters, and the Balderstons to the northwest. Cynthia's Shane, Parni, Captain, Strawberry, Spade, crafty black Coon, they were the best. Then there was Rachel's toad sandwich given to Bob Lewis with love. Bananas in George's boots, pigs in the girls' cabin, bats in the bathroom....heavens above! What fun we had and stories and memories we will always share. Our milk runneth over, thanks to the Choreboy's special care! The young Eastern girl who arrived in Rock Springs, you know was me. We all have our memories, our love for this ranch, our desire for the West to remain free. So raise a toast to all who are here and those who are not, for never more shall we walk through that enchanted door. But in our hearts wildflowers will bloom, coyotes will sing and we will hear Elk bugle in this place for evermore. Thanks for the memories everyone!
Annie on October 15, 2012
1946 was my first year on the White Grass. My parents, sister and I had driven for 6 days from Florida to get there. We all took to it like fish to water and spent over a decade of summers there from June to the middle of September. Ollie Vanwinkle was the winter caretaker and his wife, Twilla worked as a cabin girl in the summers while Ollie worked the big team, Molly and Queenie for haying after tending to the irrigating of the "White Grass" fields in front of the ranch's cabins. It was those early years that I loved best. We kids could ride our horses bareback when ever we wanted. Cows were milked mostly twice a day and the milk was separated in a contraption with a zillion pieces which I eventually learned to put together after they had been washed after use. The milk was put in a larger milk can and place in the cold water of a ditch that ran through a small wooden building known as the milk house.I remember one day finding a drowned mouse in the milk which I has to pick up by the tail before lugging the milk into the kitchen. There were lots of chores in those day since the ranch tiried to produce some of its own food. I was a chore girl one year before I became the first female wrangler when the ranch couldn't seem to keep the chore boy for more than a week or two at a time. There was hitching up the small team, Snip and Bess, to a wagon to haul wood and "pep" a mixture of saw dust and kerosene which had to be delivered to every dude cabin after you had skidded the logs with a single horse down to the rusty, old saw to be cut into fire wood. Lighting the furnace for the bath house was another chore that had to be done every morning. One morning there was no pep to start the fire, but I found some gasoline and was ultimately blown out of the furnace room along with about a dozen bats. I have to go now and at age 75 try to ride one of my daughter's horses which has only bucked me off once so far. I'll continue the chores later.
Bernie on October 15, 2012
Pack trips were a wrangler's chance to get away from the daily grind of trips to the Phelps Overlook or Taggart Lake. I remember Frank asking me to take a pair of dudes for a three-day to Marion Lake and Alaska Basin. But not just any dudes. This was a Nobel Prize-winning chemist and his wife, or perhaps "wife"; rumor had it that the much younger, vivacious woman at his side was the happy result of all the prize money. Or not: a picture of the two of them, dressed to the nines, would appear in Life Magazine shortly thereafter as they waited in a line of intellectual celebrities to greet President and Jacqueline Kennedy at a formal White House dinner. In any event, it was a beautiful trip. Perfect weather in a perfect landscape. Just the three of us plus a pack horse. I was riding Socks, a youngster whom I had been doing a mediocre job of training that summer (around 1961?). My guests were at the ranch for only a few days, which for them may have added to the special delight of getting into the back country. The morning of the second day we began the crossing from Marion Lake to Alaska Basin. As we approached the head of Death Canyon (Hurricane Pass?--my memory is slipping), I called their attention to the possibility of sighting mountain goats far across the tableland to the east above Indian Lake. We paused to look. I'm not aware that age enhances vision, but after staring intently for a moment, Nobel calmly dismounted, dropped the reins of his horse and set out determinedly on foot across the rock-strewn surface to the east. His horse, realizing its sudden and unearned good fortune, looked the other way, west down Fox Creek Canyon (?) toward Idaho and the lush hayfields from where he was rented by White Grass for the summer. With equal determination he set off for home. Remember, I was on Socks, not exactly a noble steed, and surely a product of my own inexperience training horses. And I was holding the lead to a loaded pack horse lagging behind me. In his eagerness to stalk a mountain goat--real or imagined--Nobel was oblivious to the crisis he was precipitating. I spurred Socks toward Idaho and managed to catch up to his emancipated mount just before it would have dropped into Fox Creek Canyon. That afternoon, after we made camp by one of the small lakes in Alaska Basin, Nobel's consort quietly approached me and suggested I go for a long walk somewhere well out of sight. I was never sure if this was to provide privacy for a skinny dip in the lake or some yet more romantic involvement. In any event I complied with her request and spent an hour or two studying the topography of other parts of the basin. Back at the ranch, as they were leaving, Nobel's partner gave me a lovely hand-written note of thanks for our pack trip together. Whether in response to the challenges of wrangling a classic absent-minded professor, or my own youthful baggage and exaggerated need to control things, she closed urging me gently to relax. It has taken years for her advice to take hold, but I still think of it as a turning point in my life.
Johnny on October 15, 2012
GREEN DUDES The Holmberg Family left Summit NJ at dawn on an early June morning in 1954. It took seven days to travel along route 30, through cities and small towns identified by tall grain silos, to reach Togwotie Pass. It was early morning as we topped the pass and found the magnificent Tetons staring at us, beyond fields of snow drifts. That afternoon we arrived at the White Grass Ranch. Not knowing what to do, Mom asked a grubby older fella building fence, how to find the “office”. A very polite but smelly, John Cook (aka Cookie) hopped in the car and found Frank Galey for us. Mom hauled me, John (13) and my two sisters, Karin (15) and Linda (6) out west to spend the summer in the Nolde Cabin, part of the soon to be loved White Grass Dude Ranch. It had water (no outhouse) and no power. Using kerosene lamps and a fireplace, we city folk became pioneers. That night we joined other ranch guests at the weekly BBQ, where we met new friends, Mopsy Ingersoll and her sons, Fran (13) and Tony (15), Ginny and Ted Thomas and their daughter, Beth(6), and many others. That night, Fran and Tony took Karin and me on a snipe hunt. Karin and I sat back to back in the hay field, waiting for the non-existent birds to run into our gunny sacks, having been driven there by those who knew better. After an hour of increasing fear of bears, moose and what-all, we gave up and found our way back to the Main Cabin. Fran, Tony and others were laughing and joking about the new kids left in the woods. So, welcome guys! A couple of days later, Curt Winsor arrived with his 2 sons, Joe (13) and Curtie (15). They had been there many times before and graciously helped Karin and me adapt to the environment. Curt Sr., and Mom eyed each other over, as both were to be soon devoid of current spouses. That friendship became a new family a couple of years later. Curt Sr., Unc to us kids, was a fanatic fly fisherman. Joe and Curtie were not far behind. The three of them took us under wing to introduce us to trout and how they chase flies. My first fish caught late that summer on a fly was a small white fish snagged by a tangled mess of line I had splashed into the famous Fish Creek. Meanwhile Joe and Curt Jr. were catching 2 and 3 pound cutthroat. Each year Joe and Curt competed for the now well known monsters, Jasper and Casper, hiding under the same dams year after year. Nearly pets. Tribulations not over yet, I experienced more embarrassment on my first horseback excursion. Fran, Frank’s daughter, Cindy and others including me were going by horseback to Phelps Lake. Injun, my horse was HUGE, and single minded. I was last in line, and he decided to walk slower and slower until he finally just stopped to eat, while the others continued on to the lake. I thought “Maybe he’s smarter than me and smells a bear”, so I climbed off and gently took his reins and asked him what the matter was. He continued to eat, so finally not totally convinced of no bears, I led him on foot down the rest of the switchbacks to the lake. I got there just as everyone else decided to go home. Injun did not hesitate this time. Linda’s first horse back trip wasn’t much better. Mopsy, Ginny and other Moms, were going to go to Phelps Lake. Linny was asked to come along, but she refused to climb on board. Mom coaxed her until finally giving up, said Linda was welcome to walk behind all the others, but they were going to leave NOW. Linda decided to walk….until she finally decided get on board at the overlook, riding double with Mopsy on Coon (a very large and gentle horse who loved kids). Coon later became her favorite and special mount, helping her and Beth collect snakes at Phelps Lake, as they brought them back in their hats atop their heads to be held captive in the cabin tub -- much to the surprise of anyone entering the bathroom. Early one morning, as the wranglers were coming to breakfast, they were met with a very angry cook, with a broom in hand. When she had arrived before dawn, she found the kitchen door smashed open and a bear dutifully trashing her domain. She grabbed the broom and chased him into the help’s annex, where he shattered his way through the window over the garbage cans, knocking them all over. It is very doubtful that he ever returned. In the years to follow, we returned every year until college, and as the three of us grew older, we fished, rode, and worked as chore boy then wrangler, house keeper and kid-wrangler. We are now avid fly fishers, horseback riders and lovers of the Wild West. Karin retired to Jackson, Linny is still wrangling kids and horses, teaching Montessori style and caring for dogs and horses in Sewickley, PA and I have retired to Gloucester, MA to flyfish for stripers and blues. By John Holmberg 4/8/2010
Fran Strawbridge on October 15, 2012
Hope this story does not appear twice Summertime - A Dude Wrangler at the White Grass It was the summer of 1956 - my third year as a dude wrangler on the White Grass and I was headed into my freshman year at Princeton that Fall – Frank Galey had gone to Princeton quite a few years before I did. ¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬---------------------------------- It was mid-summer and Frank asked me if I wanted to help take a family on a pack trip up to Pacific Creek. The family was from Argentina – a man, his wife and two children. I hadn’t been on a pack trip since our family had been guests at the White Grass in 1952 and John Lewis had taken us on an overnight up into Death Canyon, and, since that one experience, I had wanted to play a “wrangler role” on a pack trip, so, I quickly said “yes” to Frank. -------------------------------------- Don Kipp was to be the lead wrangler and I would help set up the tents, do some cooking, wash the pots - and all the other menial things a “dude wrangler” was supposed to do to help out and keep the dudes happy and coming back to White Grass. Don (who was part Indian) had arrived at White Grass in early July from Billings, Montana with his “wife”, Pat, a cute blonde, who was really not Don’s wife. Don and Pat had had a few vehement arguments while they were working on the ranch and, on one occasion, Don pushed Pat out of their old red pick-up truck while he was driving. ------------------------- Don gave me a quick lesson in “packing” a horse, since as a “dude” wrangler my main job was to take the guests out on day trips and picnics to Phelps Lake, Death Canyon, Taggart and Bradley or over to the Bar BC and once in while, up to Amphitheater and Surprise Lakes. ---------------------------------- Frank and George Clover, White Grass’s head wrangler for most of the 1950’s, trucked us, the horses and all the equipment up to the Pacific Creek trailhead, near Moran Junction. Frank and George packed the horses, turned them over to Don and me and, on a beautiful Wyoming, early August morning, we started out on the pack trip – Don Kipp in the lead with me, bringing up the rear, leading the pack horses. ------------------------------------------------------ As we rode, I noticed that the wife of the man from Argentina quickly maneuvered her horse into second place in the group, right behind Don Kipp. They were carrying on a nice and prolonged conversation, which I really couldn’t hear – but it was obvious they were getting along. We stopped for a picnic lunch beside a pleasant stream and the wife had many questions, mostly directed at Don. ------------------------ The afternoon’s ride continued the same way – through that magnificent Jackson Hole, Yellowstone, Pacific Creek landscape. We spotted a number of deer, two moose and an elk, which thrilled the family from Argentina and finally made camp for the night beside Pacific Creek. At dinner, the man’s wife sat next to Don and it was obvious to me that they were getting along very well – maybe, too well. The Argentinian offered us drinks and Don had his flask, which supplemented the drinks we were enjoying as we sat around the campfire. ----------------------------------------- Finally, it was time to bed down and the wife announced that she didn’t want to sleep in an old tent so she would be going down to the river to sleep under the stars. -------------------------- Don and I sat around, finishing off his flask and Don began talking about how “nice” the wife was and did I notice that she went down by the stream to sleep by herself? Then, all of a sudden, he proclaimed, “I’m gonna ‘git’ that woman” – and he was off. ------------------------------------- I don’t know how much later - I woke up to Don shaking me and saying “I’ve gotta git out of here” – and he was gone again – for good. ------------------------------------------- By this time (it was around midnight), the husband was on a rampage, rushing around the dying campfire, waving an axe, screaming, “Where is that ... ... cowboy? Where did he go? I’m going to kill him. I have a “black belt” – and I want “at” him – alone – one-on-one”. ------------------------------- -2- I tried to calm him down – unsuccessfully. He continued to wave his axe, shouting into the woods for Don to come out and face him. Then he insisted he wanted to get away from the damn campsite and get back to the ranch. The kids were crying. The wife wasn’t saying much at all – although she did try to calm her husband down, too. ---------------------------------------------- I packed the horses as best an untested, inexperienced “dude” packer could do and we started on our six hour ride back down the trail. -------------------------------------------- It was after midnight and I had no idea where the trail went or which branch we should take when we came to a split. Luckily for me, we had two things going for us. One – it was a beautiful night, with a full moon, making the trail and the woods almost as light as day and: Two – the horses knew the way home and they knew we were headed for home. ------------------------------------- The packs came loose a couple of times, due to the novice packer, so after a few stops to adjust the packs, and hoping the horses knew where they were going, (because I didn’t), we made it back to the trailhead, where there must have been a pay phone and I called Frank Galey and explained the “situation”. --------------------------------------------- Not much more than an hour later, Frank and George were there with a truck and we were back at the White Grass later that morning. -------------------------------- The aftermath The Argentinian wanted to press charges against Don and he told the sheriff, Art Jones, that once they found Don, he wanted some time with Don alone, emphasizing his “black belt” background. The family left for Argentina ahead of schedule. ---------------------------- A few days later, Don did come back to the ranch and picked up Pat. The last I heard, he was back in Billings. -------------------------------------- When Don got back to the ranch, he told a fellow dude wrangler that he had followed us all the way back down the trail that night (keeping well out of sight) – but, we were never out of his sight. I have no idea whether that was true. -------------------------------------------- That was the most memorable out of six summers of countless unforgettable, fun-filled and thoroughly enjoyable experiences on the White Grass for this “dude wrangler”. ------------------------ Fran Strawbridge – The White Grass: 1952 – 1953 as a dude. 1954 – 1957 as a dude wrangler. Summertime - A Dude Wrangler at the White Grass It was the summer of 1956 - my third year as a dude wrangler on the White Grass and I was headed into my freshman year at Princeton that Fall – Frank Galey had gone to Princeton quite a few years before I did. ¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬---------------------------------- It was mid-summer and Frank asked me if I wanted to help take a family on a pack trip up to Pacific Creek. The family was from Argentina – a man, his wife and two children. I hadn’t been on a pack trip since our family had been guests at the White Grass in 1952 and John Lewis had taken us on an overnight up into Death Canyon, and, since that one experience, I had wanted to play a “wrangler role” on a pack trip, so, I quickly said “yes” to Frank. -------------------------------------- Don Kipp was to be the lead wrangler and I would help set up the tents, do some cooking, wash the pots - and all the other menial things a “dude wrangler” was supposed to do to help out and keep the dudes happy and coming back to White Grass. Don (who was part Indian) had arrived at White Grass in early July from Billings, Montana with his “wife”, Pat, a cute blonde, who was really not Don’s wife. Don and Pat had had a few vehement arguments while they were working on the ranch and, on one occasion, Don pushed Pat out of their old red pick-up truck while he was driving. ------------------------- Don gave me a quick lesson in “packing” a horse, since as a “dude” wrangler my main job was to take the guests out on day trips and picnics to Phelps Lake, Death Canyon, Taggart and Bradley or over to the Bar BC and once in while, up to Amphitheater and Surprise Lakes. ---------------------------------- Frank and George Clover, White Grass’s head wrangler for most of the 1950’s, trucked us, the horses and all the equipment up to the Pacific Creek trailhead, near Moran Junction. Frank and George packed the horses, turned them over to Don and me and, on a beautiful Wyoming, early August morning, we started out on the pack trip – Don Kipp in the lead with me, bringing up the rear, leading the pack horses. ------------------------------------------------------ As we rode, I noticed that the wife of the man from Argentina quickly maneuvered her horse into second place in the group, right behind Don Kipp. They were carrying on a nice and prolonged conversation, which I really couldn’t hear – but it was obvious they were getting along. We stopped for a picnic lunch beside a pleasant stream and the wife had many questions, mostly directed at Don. ------------------------ The afternoon’s ride continued the same way – through that magnificent Jackson Hole, Yellowstone, Pacific Creek landscape. We spotted a number of deer, two moose and an elk, which thrilled the family from Argentina and finally made camp for the night beside Pacific Creek. At dinner, the man’s wife sat next to Don and it was obvious to me that they were getting along very well – maybe, too well. The Argentinian offered us drinks and Don had his flask, which supplemented the drinks we were enjoying as we sat around the campfire. ----------------------------------------- Finally, it was time to bed down and the wife announced that she didn’t want to sleep in an old tent so she would be going down to the river to sleep under the stars. -------------------------- Don and I sat around, finishing off his flask and Don began talking about how “nice” the wife was and did I notice that she went down by the stream to sleep by herself? Then, all of a sudden, he proclaimed, “I’m gonna ‘git’ that woman” – and he was off. ------------------------------------- I don’t know how much later - I woke up to Don shaking me and saying “I’ve gotta git out of here” – and he was gone again – for good. ------------------------------------------- By this time (it was around midnight), the husband was on a rampage, rushing around the dying campfire, waving an axe, screaming, “Where is that ... ... cowboy? Where did he go? I’m going to kill him. I have a “black belt” – and I want “at” him – alone – one-on-one”. ------------------------------- -2- I tried to calm him down – unsuccessfully. He continued to wave his axe, shouting into the woods for Don to come out and face him. Then he insisted he wanted to get away from the damn campsite and get back to the ranch. The kids were crying. The wife wasn’t saying much at all – although she did try to calm her husband down, too. ---------------------------------------------- I packed the horses as best an untested, inexperienced “dude” packer could do and we started on our six hour ride back down the trail. -------------------------------------------- It was after midnight and I had no idea where the trail went or which branch we should take when we came to a split. Luckily for me, we had two things going for us. One – it was a beautiful night, with a full moon, making the trail and the woods almost as light as day and: Two – the horses knew the way home and they knew we were headed for home. ------------------------------------- The packs came loose a couple of times, due to the novice packer, so after a few stops to adjust the packs, and hoping the horses knew where they were going, (because I didn’t), we made it back to the trailhead, where there must have been a pay phone and I called Frank Galey and explained the “situation”. --------------------------------------------- Not much more than an hour later, Frank and George were there with a truck and we were back at the White Grass later that morning. -------------------------------- The aftermath The Argentinian wanted to press charges against Don and he told the sheriff, Art Jones, that once they found Don, he wanted some time with Don alone, emphasizing his “black belt” background. The family left for Argentina ahead of schedule. ---------------------------- A few days later, Don did come back to the ranch and picked up Pat. The last I heard, he was back in Billings. -------------------------------------- When Don got back to the ranch, he told a fellow dude wrangler that he had followed us all the way back down the trail that night (keeping well out of sight) – but, we were never out of his sight. I have no idea whether that was true. -------------------------------------------- That was the most memorable out of six summers of countless unforgettable, fun-filled and thoroughly enjoyable experiences on the White Grass for this “dude wrangler”. ------------------------ Fran Strawbridge – The White Grass: 1952 – 1953 as a dude. 1954 – 1957 as a dude wrangler. Summertime - A Dude Wrangler at the White Grass It was the summer of 1956 - my third year as a dude wrangler on the White Grass and I was headed into my freshman year at Princeton that Fall – Frank Galey had gone to Princeton quite a few years before I did. ¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬---------------------------------- It was mid-summer and Frank asked me if I wanted to help take a family on a pack trip up to Pacific Creek. The family was from Argentina – a man, his wife and two children. I hadn’t been on a pack trip since our family had been guests at the White Grass in 1952 and John Lewis had taken us on an overnight up into Death Canyon, and, since that one experience, I had wanted to play a “wrangler role” on a pack trip, so, I quickly said “yes” to Frank. -------------------------------------- Don Kipp was to be the lead wrangler and I would help set up the tents, do some cooking, wash the pots - and all the other menial things a “dude wrangler” was supposed to do to help out and keep the dudes happy and coming back to White Grass. Don (who was part Indian) had arrived at White Grass in early July from Billings, Montana with his “wife”, Pat, a cute blonde, who was really not Don’s wife. Don and Pat had had a few vehement arguments while they were working on the ranch and, on one occasion, Don pushed Pat out of their old red pick-up truck while he was driving. ------------------------- Don gave me a quick lesson in “packing” a horse, since as a “dude” wrangler my main job was to take the guests out on day trips and picnics to Phelps Lake, Death Canyon, Taggart and Bradley or over to the Bar BC and once in while, up to Amphitheater and Surprise Lakes. ---------------------------------- Frank and George Clover, White Grass’s head wrangler for most of the 1950’s, trucked us, the horses and all the equipment up to the Pacific Creek trailhead, near Moran Junction. Frank and George packed the horses, turned them over to Don and me and, on a beautiful Wyoming, early August morning, we started out on the pack trip – Don Kipp in the lead with me, bringing up the rear, leading the pack horses. ------------------------------------------------------ As we rode, I noticed that the wife of the man from Argentina quickly maneuvered her horse into second place in the group, right behind Don Kipp. They were carrying on a nice and prolonged conversation, which I really couldn’t hear – but it was obvious they were getting along. We stopped for a picnic lunch beside a pleasant stream and the wife had many questions, mostly directed at Don. ------------------------ The afternoon’s ride continued the same way – through that magnificent Jackson Hole, Yellowstone, Pacific Creek landscape. We spotted a number of deer, two moose and an elk, which thrilled the family from Argentina and finally made camp for the night beside Pacific Creek. At dinner, the man’s wife sat next to Don and it was obvious to me that they were getting along very well – maybe, too well. The Argentinian offered us drinks and Don had his flask, which supplemented the drinks we were enjoying as we sat around the campfire. ----------------------------------------- Finally, it was time to bed down and the wife announced that she didn’t want to sleep in an old tent so she would be going down to the river to sleep under the stars. -------------------------- Don and I sat around, finishing off his flask and Don began talking about how “nice” the wife was and did I notice that she went down by the stream to sleep by herself? Then, all of a sudden, he proclaimed, “I’m gonna ‘git’ that woman” – and he was off. ------------------------------------- I don’t know how much later - I woke up to Don shaking me and saying “I’ve gotta git out of here” – and he was gone again – for good. ------------------------------------------- By this time (it was around midnight), the husband was on a rampage, rushing around the dying campfire, waving an axe, screaming, “Where is that ... ... cowboy? Where did he go? I’m going to kill him. I have a “black belt” – and I want “at” him – alone – one-on-one”. ------------------------------- -2- I tried to calm him down – unsuccessfully. He continued to wave his axe, shouting into the woods for Don to come out and face him. Then he insisted he wanted to get away from the damn campsite and get back to the ranch. The kids were crying. The wife wasn’t saying much at all – although she did try to calm her husband down, too. ---------------------------------------------- I packed the horses as best an untested, inexperienced “dude” packer could do and we started on our six hour ride back down the trail. -------------------------------------------- It was after midnight and I had no idea where the trail went or which branch we should take when we came to a split. Luckily for me, we had two things going for us. One – it was a beautiful night, with a full moon, making the trail and the woods almost as light as day and: Two – the horses knew the way home and they knew we were headed for home. ------------------------------------- The packs came loose a couple of times, due to the novice packer, so after a few stops to adjust the packs, and hoping the horses knew where they were going, (because I didn’t), we made it back to the trailhead, where there must have been a pay phone and I called Frank Galey and explained the “situation”. --------------------------------------------- Not much more than an hour later, Frank and George were there with a truck and we were back at the White Grass later that morning. -------------------------------- The aftermath The Argentinian wanted to press charges against Don and he told the sheriff, Art Jones, that once they found Don, he wanted some time with Don alone, emphasizing his “black belt” background. The family left for Argentina ahead of schedule. ---------------------------- A few days later, Don did come back to the ranch and picked up Pat. The last I heard, he was back in Billings. -------------------------------------- When Don got back to the ranch, he told a fellow dude wrangler that he had followed us all the way back down the trail that night (keeping well out of sight) – but, we were never out of his sight. I have no idea whether that was true. -------------------------------------------- That was the most memorable out of six summers of countless unforgettable, fun-filled and thoroughly enjoyable experiences on the White Grass for this “dude wrangler”. ------------------------ Fran Strawbridge – The White Grass: 1952 – 1953 as a dude. 1954 – 1957 as a dude wrangler.
Tommy on October 15, 2012
It was a dark and stormy night.....wait, I'm getting ahead of myself. It was the day that the night would have the full moon at the Whitegrass. Frank had planned the full moon dinner on the slope below Buck mountain. I was wrangling then with Jon ferry and visiting wrangler Joe Baker. Liz Thayer and Patsy Tomkin were what we called " cabin girls"...not native to Wyoming but interesting creatures. The meal was planned, pack horses were grabbed and dudes were taken up to the dinner site. It was beautiful and the food was okay. We left the mountain under a stormy sky and when we maded it back to the barn, it was already raining heavily. The dudes were hopping off their horses and running for cover. I noticed one horse trotting off with his saddle still on...heading for the lower eastern pasture. I grabbed the next horse and swung into the saddle ( yeah,really) and off I went after him. I would see the saddle shine when the lightning flashed in the sky and worked my way to him between bolts and caught him and lead him back to the barn. Then I believe it was a crew party. Tom Barrett Wrangler Whitegrass Ranch 1969
Deb on October 15, 2012
I mentioned that we began visiting White Grass in 1959. We usually stayed for a month and we did not go EVERY year but every summer that we were able. My dad diesd in 1976. The following year I met Farouk, a Kuwaiti who had attended UC Berkeley. We married in 1978 and sspent some time in Kuwait. I was amazed to discover that the video footage used on Kuwaiti TV during the call to prayer (television broadcasting was interrupted 5 times a day) and during "Allah Akbar" chanting by the muezzin, footage of beautiful natural places was shown as "heaven" . Imagine my shock at being on the Persian Gulf half way around the world and seeing the Tetons! I called my mother and said "we have to go back to White Grass!!!" And we did. My marriage to Farouk was short-lived. At the point when I realized that it was truly ending I was relieved to join my mom at White Grass for 3 weeks. It was that trip on which I met my now husband, Manuel, at the ranch. He had been invited to the ranch for dinner by mutual friends. The rest (as they say) is history.
Deb on October 15, 2012
Sometimes the kid wrangler would have us little ones play a game on horseback on the morning or afternoon ride. The game I recall the best was that the wrangler would start off placing a twig on a tree, balancing it on the needles, for instance. The next person in the line had to retrieve it without dropping it and place in in turn somewhere else. It could be placed high or low. The next person had to observe closely so that they knew where to reach to get it.
Deb on October 15, 2012
THE WHITE GRASS BARN Deborah Wilson Lopez I recall the day I proudly wore the horseshoe nail curved round to fit my finger. You made it as I watched in the hallowed tack room where the dudes were not allowed. How many times I climbed the ramp and found inside a darkened warmth unsensed since long before when I was in my mother’s womb a sacred place; familiar yet precious. Sound of stamping hooves Steam rising off hard run horses Scent of fresh hot dung and Sweet hay-making in the upstairs loft. I wanted so to buy this barn and move it from its dying home to some other site to have and hold as if those memories could be caught and made real once again I recall passing by the barn at night the big doors shut as if tucked in by loving hands; I wondered at the cold of crisp Wyoming nights, unlike the tropic clime from which I’d come so far to feel a part of this barn’s brief history.
Deb on October 15, 2012
My family came from Coconut Grove, Florida. My first ride with the "kid wrangler" was usually to the Phelps Lake overlook. On the full moon of (i think) each month the ranch had permission for a cook out down on the Phelps Lake beach and we would ride back to the ranch in the dark. It was magical for all including we kids!
Bernie on October 15, 2012
Reading Nancy's recollection of March 24th, I was reminded of the time I brought my wife Lucie out west for her first time. We drove in over Togwotee Pass as did Nancy, albeit in broad sunshine. Suddenly there was the whole range spread out across the horizon, still heavy with snow. We parked at the same pullout. A Maine girl who had never been off the East Coast, this was her first look at real mountains, and she was so overcome it brought tears to her eyes. Alas, White Grass was long gone, and the restoration project not yet conceived, but we wandered around the place--elsewhere this would be called trespassing--and I gathered up a few charred nails as mementos from where BQ had been. The marmots had complete control of the main cabin. How rapidly things change, and then change again. The last time I stopped by the ranch, two summers ago, a bulldozer and backhoe were at work laying pipe. I laughed, remembering the galvanized 1" pipe that used to snake its way through the grass to the cabins.
Nancy on October 15, 2012
Our first summer at White Grass was in 1973; our last was the summer that Frank Galey died in 1985. Our initial approach was inauspcious. Driving in a heavy rain storm over Togwotee Pass, we got our first glimpse of the magnificent Tetons. We were a family of five - our eldest girl was 12, our younger girl was 10, our son was 2 1/2. Stopping at a viewpoint, my husband and I leapt from the car into the downpour imploring the kids to come see. They continued reading comics, our son dozed. They were totally unimpressed. When we finally approached the W.G. entrance with the H quarter circle B brand over the gate, the rough road had become a virtual river. Further on, we found the office, but no one was there. Which cabin was ours? A slickered cowboy came out of the barn and "reckoned" our cabin was #4. It was an early indication that things were "relaxed" at W.G. Though our cabin has now been dismantled, we remember it fondly and requested it every year. Very homey, very rustic with pot-bellied stove and huge fireplace (with a fabulous fire screen), it had 3 bedrooms, two baths and a back entrance (which our kids snuck out of frequently when it was bedtime). The electrical wiring hung outside, loosely swaying in the breeze; the hot water often failed; the bedsprings squeaked, but none of us cared when we could look out the back window and see an old bull moose with one antler browsing. He was a daily visitor, along with bears, coyotes, marmots, bats and other wildlife. This was the beginning of an annual odyssey to W.G. -- always unforgettable stays which were filled with fun, adventure and camaraderie....more to come...
Karin Gottlieb on October 15, 2012
My sister, Betsy, and I came to White Grass from college in the summer of 1963 to wait tables AND wash dishes. I was there many times in one function or another after that, but this is the summer that stands out in my mind as the most fun. The Main Cabin was unrenovated at that time and was just a wonderful old log cabin. The dining room was in the end of the cabin facing the barn, the big fireplace room was a cozy living room; a small library was next (with a ping-pong table jammed in) and a little game room with its own fireplace was the last room on the north end. The girls – Betsy and me, Clair Kettler (Evenson), Janet Diss and Carol White (Herbel) had a little two-room cabin with no bathroom. We hiked up the road to the boiler-room/laundry building to shower and use the toilet. Some of us liked to stay up later than others, and it occurred to us that we would like a sitting room. So we designated one as the sitting room (with the stove) and crammed five beds into the other little room. Fortunately, some of them stacked, so we had two sets of bunks and one single. It worked out pretty well. We could gather around the stove, a little sheet metal one with a butterfly air intake in the front. The bedroom was always freezing, and as the summer progressed that was harder to deal with. Get nice and warm and run to bed. One evening Betsy cuddled quite close to the stove. “Aaaah,” she said, “this is wonderful” and about then her (borrowed) sweater started smoldering and emblazoned a butterfly-shaped pattern on the back. Janet Diss brought her Springer spaniel, Jumper. Jumper went out early in the morning to romp with coyotes. Nobody quite understood this, but it seemed to work. The coyotes at the time seemed quite congenial. I watched Gene Rausch head for the north pasture on foot one morning with what appeared to be a dog heeling along. Gene didn't have a dog. This was a curious coyote and it lagged back just enough that it didn't get his attention. Janet and Claire were the cabin girls and if we all wanted to go riding and they had one more thing to do, Betsy and I would sometimes give them a hand. It was a point of contention that the cabin girls were expected to change the beds in BQ (Bachelor Quarters). So all four of us descended on an unoccupied BQ one afternoon to do this job in a wonderfully imaginatively way. The beds were Army cots with folding legs. We folded the legs just slightly so the bed stayed up – just. We short-sheeted the beds and tucked in some pine cones. And then, ingeniously, we took a spool of black thread and created a massive web, from floor to ceiling. Thus, when a fellow came in, he had to fight his way through the thread. Sinking gratefully on his bed, he would collapse to the floor. Picking all that up and climbing in bed, he would be short-sheeted. We girls were beside ourselves with anticipation. Next morning, the boys drove us to distraction by failing to mention a thing. Breakfast went as usual. That night, although it was early in the season, the girls in the cabin could hear elk bugling . Shortly thereafter, there was bumping at the window. When the curtains were opened, the girls saw an “elk” bumping his head against the cabin. But it was clearly stuffed and if this was the best the boys could do, the girls still felt they reigned supreme. (In other summers they waxed more imaginative and put all our furniture on the roof while we were at dinner, wrangled pigs, etc.) The cook was Ellen, a gruff ginger-haired older woman who churned out wonderful meals, but – to Frank and Inge's dismay – would not touch a roast of lamb because she maintained it still had tinges of wool. And despite her bad feet and obvious fatigue, she would sometimes come into the tiny wash room where Betsy and I were hand-washing dishes and say, “I'll give ya five minutes of my time.” And in those five minutes, she doubled our output. Gene, man of all odd jobs, swabbed down the kitchen with a mop after lunch. As I belatedly continued washing dishes on my side of the wall, I would shout the plot lines of most of Shakespeare's plays to him as entertainment. Cabin boy Chris Pennock drove the kitchen trash to what was then an open dump and often reported sighting bears. Several of us rode down with him one morning (in the famous red pick-up, which Frank later made into a septic tank) to take a look, but nobody was there. As we returned, we could see a crowd around the kitchen – and that's where the bear was. We gave the small beast plenty of room to explore, but hung around to stare. He did pretty much as he wished until he headed for the open door of the girls' cabin at which point one of us yelled, “Oh, no, you don't!” and ran at him. He departed quickly. There were wonderful evening singalongs, with Dave Wendt on guitar. I remember Curt Windsor leading a rousing chorus of “Blood on the Saddle”. One evening, an attempt was made to surf the irrigation ditches on an ironing board. The ranch celebrated its 50th anniversary that summer with a huge cookout, to which the Galeys invited most of the residents of Jackson Hole. It was enormous. We made tossed salads in new garbage cans bought for the occasion, put on a lid and had the boys shake it. Inge's German niece slaved over a cake, carefully translating, changing liters and kilos to cups and quarts and tablespoons, measuring and weighing everything out with care, but failing to take into account the altitude. I like a heavy cake, but she was quite disappointed. What a night. Bazillions of people down by the (now drained) Lake Ingeborg. Entire beasts on spits. Fireworks. Captain running away with Carol on his back, riding it out (he was, years later, her wedding present from Frank). The Milky Way brilliant. A Mr. Green visited the ranch from Arizona, bringing wonderful Navajo rugs direct from the weavers. The staff gave Betsy and me saddle blankets for our August birthdays. Mr. Green is probably the source of a great many of the wonderful weavings all around the ranch. At the end of the summer, Betsy, Claire and I bought a '55 Ford from Ray Weeks and drove ourselves East,, visiting Janet in Denver at Colorado Women's College, the Grand Canyon, Mark Twain's Hannibal, MO and Abraham Lincoln's Springfield, IL residence. We had made lifetime friends in those brief months at White Grass. 47 years later, I am still in contact with many, many of the people I met that summer. and in subsequent summers. It was a magical time. Unlike others, I spent two winters at the ranch. The first one, 1968, my then-husband and I were alone at the ranch with Dudie and Amber (yellow labs), Madame and Dexter (horses) and a few ducks. The road wasn't plowed any closer than the Moose-Wilson road and we used a snowmobile to get in and out. The snow got so deep we lost visibility out of all windows on the eave sides of the roof. We drove over the kitchen roof on a snowmobile just because it was possible. We shoveled all the roofs save for the barn, which shed snow well. The ducks hiked down to Lake Ingeborg all by themselves in the spring, overjoyed to see water. There was square dancing at the park rec building every week and a chess club with park employees. AND I messed up the season's reservations by confusing "to the 31st" with "through the 31st". It took Nona a week to sort it out.
Nikki & Family on October 15, 2012
I visited White Grass Ranch back in the mid-seventies with my husband, my brother & his wife and my mother & father. We had visited Jackson Hole often since I was child and it was always a favorite place for us to return to. My father had recently become wheelchair bound and we decided a trip to a favorite place was in order. We spent a wonderful time there and were treated very well by the owners. Afterwards, for several years, we received postcards from the owners updating us on how the ranch was going. Some fond memories were waking up one morning and looking out our window toward the meadow and seeing a large moose munching on the vegetation. It was an awesome sight. A favorite time of mine was watching after the wranglers had gone up into the mountains in the morning to gather the horses, and they came down and ran into the large meadow. What an absolutely fantastic sight! The cabin we stayed in had a central living room with a fireplace, with two small bedrooms, I believe. It was wonderful! We loved our stay and will never forget it. My only regret is that we never got back again. We continued to visit Jackson over the years,but stayed in town as it was more convenient for my father. As a 58 year old adult, I still return to Jackson whenever I can. I love the Tetons and it will always hold a special place in my heart.
Betsy Gottlieb on October 15, 2012
I came to White Grass from Vermont, thanks to my sister Karin. She sent me money for the bus, and I set out sometime in June 1964 for three days and two nights, nonstop. I had never been west of New York, so it was quite a trip. I remember waking up on the last morning on the bus and seeing white capped mountains in the distance. I couldn't believe my eyes. I was met at the bus station in Jackson by my sister and Garey (Epple) Neal and rushed off to buy a pair of cowboy boots. I arrived at the ranch at night and the next morning was totally blown away by the sight of the mountains right in the back yard! Karin and I were waitresses, which was hard because the cook was often grumpy, but great because we had the afternoons to ride off into the woods. I can't remember any happier times than those days of riding and working and being with the other "help". The girls lived in a cabin with big enough cracks between the logs so I could look outside from my bunk to see what kind of day it was. The guys lived in the "bachelor quarters" (BQ) and there was a constant stream of pranks between them (see the reference to the pig, short-sheeting, etc.). I remember one memorable party at the BQ when people were "surfing" in the irrigation ditch on ironing boards. I ended up with the trophy (I don't remember who actually won it), which was a piece of wood with a beer can nailed to it. Sometimes we would sneak into the kitchen at night for a midnight snack, which was frowned upon. One night Monty Bassett and I were scrounging cereal and I was having some qualms about being caught. Monty said," No one will know." Frank's voice came over the intercom, saying "SOMEONE will know", and scaring us out of our wits. We had wonderful parties by the pond, Frank having a piano brought in on the back of a pickup, and Dave Wendt singing cowboy songs for the dudes. I came back two more summers, and White Grass never lost its magical appeal. I became a Westerner after that, teaching in Encampment WY and now living in Denver.
Liz Thayer Verney on October 15, 2012
My mother "Lizzie" ( Elizabeth Mifflin Thayer) and her younger sister "Fricky" (Frances Dercum Mifflin) from the Main Line outside Philadelphia drove out west with Rachel Terhune in the early 1950s. As I understand it , Fricky had just been divorced. My mother ,married with two small children ,bought my father a lawnmower (to assuage her guilt) and set off for White Grass Ranch. Rachel needs to fill in the gaps in this adventure but I remember hearing that my mother wore a cowboy hat and always her "Cherries in the Snow " lipstick. Mum said she wanted to be sure her sister was "safe" but reading between the lines I know that this was the adventure of a sheltered young woman's lifetime. They were Philadelphia debutantes who had at best been to the shore, the Adirondacks and a grand tour of Europe. Fricky and Rachel stayed to work. My mother stayed for several weeks and returned home to her husband and kids in Bryn Mawr , PA. but she was forever enamoured of the west and White Grass Ranch.Fricky married Frank Galey's cousin "Chick" (Charles Galey) and moved to Sheridan, WY where she raised two children "Miff" (Elizabeth Mifflin Galey) and Frank Galey . The sisters always giggled and twinkled when they talked about White Grass. I remember hearing about "Cookie" (John Cook) and Frank Galey-two charming devils. It was contagious. When my roommate "Patsy" (Patricia Hobbs Tompkins) and I were about to graduate from college we wrote Frank to inquire about being cabin girls. The thought of going to Boston to be secretaries was dreadful at best. Waiting to hear was torture. He didn't respond until right before the ranch needed to be opened. We didn't even have time to drive out in Patsy's new VW but we were thrilled and threw some clothes in a bag and flew out. We imagined a summer of life among some wild toothless cowboys but as we landed in Jackson and looked out the window I knew why my mother wanted her lipstick ! We were being met by a group of the most attractive college "cowboys" from Harvard , Princeton and Yale. I think Frank delighted in putting a group of attractive young men and women together and watching the sparks fly ! Frank fed us greasy Bear Stew while we opened the ranch but I don't remember complaining.It was the beginning of a life long love affair with Wyoming and especially White Grass Ranch.
Rachel Trahern on October 15, 2012
Chick ( Charles Lord) Galey died in Sheridan Wyoming, two days ago - February 3rd 2010. Chick was a cousin of Frank Galey,he came to the White Grass in the late 40's from his home in the East. Later he was to run cattle in Lame Deer Montana, close to the Crow Agency. He married Frickie Mifflin,who had been part of White Grass in the early 50's.they lived near Sheridan most of their married life -one of their children is the present Frank Galey (a professor at the University of Wyoming) . For those of you who remember Liz Verney, also a White Grasser, she is a niece of Frickie Galey.This is just another story of the ongoing association so many have and continue to have with the ranch -------------- therefore your stories are hopefully to be seen on these pages very soon..
Fred on October 15, 2012
Pigs in the girls cabin was simply pay back for short sheets in B.Q.Well deserved but you knew that would not be the end.
Rachel Trahern on October 15, 2012
Do believe White Grass was the beginning of adult life for many of us not all memories to be put in print. Anyway, one year out of England and finding White Grass was hard to understand. The WEST, a word that said COWBOYS and INDIANS, where were they ---those stories later. For now just a few headliners, hoping some of you can elaborate on ------ pigs in the girls cabin, dead bats hanging on the end of the light pulls in the bathhouse, frog sandwiches, bears in the cooler, trapping live bears, horses running all around park housing in Moose - Doug McClaren was not pleased, dude ranch rodeo at TV, Leonard, Dolores and ??? who came from Nevis ( West Indies) to help in the summers, Mount Gay Rum brought from Nevis before it was available in the U.S. - Frank burying a car outside cabin #6 to help with sewage drainage!! This is my entry for to-day.More later
John Love on October 15, 2012
It must have been in the mid '50s after Jackson Lake Lodge, where I had been working for the summer, had closed and the Galeys were closing up White Grass for the season but a couple of guests were still staying there enjoying those fantastic fall days . The Galeys had asked a couple of us batchelors over for a Saturday evening of poker and 'refreshments'! I can't say I recall too much but I do remember being wakened the next morning in one of the cabins and told that I had better get down to the Main Cabin as the cook has quit and left and The Galeys were convinced that I could take over the kitchen ! My culinary experience was NOT! But with an 'all hands to the pumps attitude' I agreed to produce Sunday lunch - found the chicken,chopped it up, threw it in a pot with onions & some rather old carrots - it all looked ok but a bit dull. Then Inge told me that there were some frozen peas in the ice house. They seemed a bit soft but added some color to the plate. Plates came back from the Dining room empty so I was pretty pleased with myself until I heard a couple of hours later that Inge's parents, Mr.& Mrs. Freitag,were having a really bad time keeping their Sunday dinner where it was supposed to stay. Apparantly the ice house high temperature had been around 75 degrees for a couple of days and the frozen peas had develped a nasty character. I turned in my toque and cleaver and headed for Northwestern adventures - Jackson Hole had a reputation of unusual characters and I didn't want to be know as 'Love the Poisoner.'! White Grass Ranch shortly after became proud owners of their first freezer! Frank Galey had to be one of the most innovative men Jackson Hole encountered. One afternoon in the '50s I came across him looking down a hole in the floor of the Dining Room. He was wanting to rewire that section of the main cabin but the crawl space was not deep enough so he took his Labrador 'Dudie' to an area under the steps of the cabin and pushed her towards the crawl space, returned to the Dining room hole and enticed Dudie to crawl toward him calling her name and waving pieces of elk in her direction. She achieved his goal,,got the meat and Frank pulled in the wiring which he had attached with string to Dudie's collar. Mission accomplished!
Bernie Huebner on October 15, 2012
Wrangling by Bernie Huebner, younger son of John and Betty Huebner, who vacationed at WG through the 50s and 60s until they built a small cabin just north of the airport. I was a dude from around 1952 until I began wrangling, around 1960 or 61 More than anything else, wrangling horses was for me the essential ranch experience. Whether this was because no dudes were involved—as they were in the case of trail rides or pack trips or barbecues or all the time for the kitchen help and cabin girls—I don’t know. I suspect it may have had something to do with the fact that you wrangled alone, except for the horse, who really had no say in the matter. There was no social chatter, no need to strike the right pose for the guests, or be deferential and patient. The only one to impress was yourself, and this could be done only with the exercise of your knowledge of the horses and the terrain over which they were so widely spread. Typically two or three of us would go out each morning in different directions. My alarm clock would go off at 4 am, I’d throw on my clothes, which couldn’t have been very clean, and wash my face in the irrigation ditch that crossed the road down to BQ, or Bachelor Quarters. Vanity being at its height at that age (19 or 20), I would also put in my contact lenses with ditch water, suggesting that there is an inverse relationship between vanity and one’s sense of hygiene, that the former easily trumps the latter. The cold water was more effective than a cup of coffee, which wasn’t yet available anyhow. Our wrangling horses had been kept in the corral the evening before after driving the herd up toward the mountains to find good grass during the night. It never occurred to me then that the horses, like the ranch help, rarely got much time off. They were being ridden during the day, or waiting in the corral. Then they spent most of the night traveling up to several miles as they grazed, for by morning they were spread all over Creation. That we each rode alone for the next hour or two undoubtedly enhanced the experience of wrangling. Like a hunter, one became all eyes—looking for movement or the telltale spot of black or brown or white fur—and ears—listening for the distant dint and clink and dong of horse bells. They hung out in small social groups, like cliques, so that one need bell but one horse in each group. Only Coon, a massive black work horse maybe 17 hands high, kept to himself. Coon was the smartest horse on the ranch, without peer, and had learned how to get the day off and thus be spared carrying a small child (since he was so gentle), who would kick his upper flanks with his tiny boots and cry “Go, Coon, go Horsie,” enough to drive him to silent despair. Around 4 am, as we were saddling up and dawn was approaching, Coon would simply find a large tree to stand under—if he didn’t move, we were unlikely to see him—and then pull his giant head in against the bell on his neck and hold perfectly still, so we couldn’t hear him. Coon escaped work more than once this way, to the disappointment of more than one child. But as if to establish his problem-solving credentials beyond question, Coon had learned to open wooden gates with his muzzle. And upon occasion he would make his way across the cattle guard leading in behind the main cabin. To do this, he had to place his hooves very carefully upon the logs, one at a time, swinging his head first to one side and then the other to see to do so. But the mark, not just of the power of his mind, but of its truly intellectual cast, was how, upon crossing the guard, he would pause only long enough to see if anyone had observed him, and then cross back over again toward the corral. As with hunting—for surely we were hunting horses—most of the time was spent trotting silently through the woods and across the open places where avalanches kept the trees in check. You would stop every several minutes to listen and watch, and each time be made aware of the richness of the environment around you. First light was always flat, coming through the trees sideways, making each trunk look double, one half bright and the other dark. The air was cool—we ranged as high as 8,000’—and crisp and dry, though even when it rained we had to wrangle or give the horses two days’ lead and risk losing them. While moving there were the sounds of your horse’s hooves, muffled in the dust, sharp on rock. When you stopped and turned this way and that to listen, the saddle creaked and you could hear your horse’s breathing recovering from the effort of making good time over rough country. And again and again, yet so subtly as befits background, there was the visual charm of Nature’s palette. Not the red of paintbrush or yellow of black-eyed Susans, but the whole canvas of tree and rock and snow and sky, that balance of green and grey and black and white and blue that are everywhere in the Tetons, so much so that we mostly fail to see them for what they are, this complement of muted colors without which the flowers could as well be in a vase. To think that we got to work there every day from sunup to sundown. But more than the delight of nature in wrangling, there was the psychological or—perhaps paradoxically—human quality to the experience. Paradoxical because much of this depended of course on your mount, this animal which carried you across country you could otherwise barely traverse, and certainly not at such a pace. It was this swift, relentless covering of ground that was so empowering. You had only to cluck your tongue and watch your horse’s ears click back as if propelling him forward faster. You turned simply by laying a rein on one side of his neck. As if you were the horse’s eyes and ears, his brain finally, telling his body where to go, you moved as one, and this one-with-the-horse feeling brought you closer to the natural world while you still worked in the human one. And then as you found first one group and then another—black and white sway-backed Tilly and her colt, or Peanuts and Blaze and Paint and some of the boys of the ‘hood—and drove them together back toward the ranch, their bells clanging and the dust rising behind them, breaking off small sticks from passing trees to throw at the slackers, yipping and whistling at them, getting hit by the occasional pebble thrown up by their hooves as they broke into a lope, smiling when they nipped or kicked at each other like schoolkids in the lunch line, you found yourself riding not only a horse, but a mounting sense of achievement, that you had first found and then harnessed all this equine energy and could focus it finally on the gate of the corral. Being 19 or 20, you hoped—a little like Coon—that some dude was there by the fence to take it all in, your grand entrance like The Virginian, tall, dark and handsome, but more than that, faintly mysterious, arriving out of the dust and noise of a herd of nearly wild animals. Of course the truth, the reality of your performance, was often in some conflict with this imagined cinematic triumph. There was the time one of us arrived at the corral with such a grand collection of horseflesh that only then did we discover a yearling moose among them, looking for all the world as confused as his cousins who make the papers back east after getting confused trying to cross through a New England village. And there was the morning—perhaps a Sunday after a late night in Jackson—when I was nearly asleep on my horse wrangling up from the JY Ranch toward the Phelps Overlook. We were trotting right along, the horse no more awake than I, when we came around a sharp turn in the woods and nearly stepped on a bear sleeping in the trail. Both horse and bear levitated, turned 180 degrees in the air and came down running the other way. I was mere baggage. So much for hunting acumen. And unseen by the dudes were the contortions one had to make sometimes when riding too fast on game trails, where the trees grew much closer to the trail and your horse, urged to make good time, leaned into the turns and would thus amputate your leg if you didn’t pull it up like a jockey. There is nothing quite like knowing a full two seconds in advance that your knee is not going to clear a tree, the only question being whether it will remain attached to you. Or you could simply come back empty-handed, as I did once. Another wrangler went out and came back with the horses I hadn’t found. They were hiding in The Pockets, which in turn were hiding from me high up above the Big Slide behind the ranch; I’d never been sure where they were, and like a Marlboro Man, been too embarrassed to ask. Perhaps the greatest wrangling failure I recall was when I was still a dude kid on a pack trip to Marion Lake. Between pack and saddle horses, we had around sixteen. We turned them out in hobbles to graze in the pasture next to the lake, keeping only one staked overnight. The next morning all but the one were gone, all the way back to the ranch in hobbles, it turned out. They’d had to forgo eating to hop such a great distance. Freddie Matthews, I think, was wrangling for the trip and had to fetch the whole string back tied head to tail. His return taught me several new curses. We lost a whole day, but spent it well looking for fossils up above Marion. We had to stake the entire string out the next two nights. Since you were mounted, other than falling off or being cleaned off by a low branch, wrangling posed no real danger, as from a nervous moose mother. The only grizzlies were reported to be holed up in trailless Avalanche Canyon. But one summer an osprey took up nesting down near the JY. Word got around that you were safe as long as you could hear it keening up above the spruce trees. It was when it fell silent that it was also falling out of the sky with you as its target. It took off my brother Steve’s hat, leaving two neat talon holes in the crown. It was there again another summer when I was wrangling, and we took to leaving four-foot tree branches handy as clubs where you entered its territory. Someone wanted to dispatch it with a gun, though the ranger at the White Grass Station was too nearby to risk it. And I’m not exactly sure how one would have drawn a bead on an osprey plummeting silently down through a spruce forest, probably from behind. Finally a dude was attacked by another osprey up by the Balderston Ranch to the north. She ended up at the Jackson hospital with several stitches where it hit the back of her head. That still nothing could be done about the osprey problem was probably an indication of how things would go between the ranch and the national park in years to come.
Lou on October 15, 2012
WHOA White Grass was the rustic dude ranch where we stayed each summer nestled under Buck Mountain in The Tetons. It was a place that renewed the spirit as the experiences there put us in touch with nature.At the end of the day the wildlife and wildflower sightings were the topic during dinner. This was perhaps my most memorable wildlife experience . Each cold morning during our stay we dressed in the cabin by our warm fire . We wore our levis and warm layers to peel off as the sun warmed the day . The hardy breakfast was over and all the dudes were ready at the coral next to the barn for their ride. This was a special one for me. It was the third time I had tried to reach Stuart Draw. Once lightning had forced us back to the ranch. The last try the rain had left the path impassable as it was soaked like a bog and the horses stuck in the mushy mud. I was determined this would be the day we made our destination. Lunches packed in our saddlebags and our ponchos tied on the back of the saddle we mounted our horses and set out for the trail toward Phelps Lake. We passed the tall stalks of white cows parsnips, purple monks hoods, and cone flowers interspersed with stretches of pine forests . As we came to the open space above the trees we saw marmots making hay on the rocks. It was there we turned off the trail to climb into the high mountain path. Deep into the trees again we came upon a stream with huge boulders on the other side. Suddenly our horses stopped dead in their tracks, as if paralyzed with fear. I had never know until now if my horse was named Bananas because he looked like one or he went bananas on occasion. Now it was clear it was not that he looked like one. Wondering what had provoked the sudden come to a halt stance, the three of us looked all around. It was huge, actually gargantuan, as the Bear stood up on his hind legs and held his front paws high in the air. It was the most terrifying sight I had ever seen. When the realization came through of the extreme danger we were all in, it hit the horses at the same time. They took off like there was no tomorrow! They were literally running for their life. They forgot during this gallop to stay alive that we were on board. They ran through the trees not remembering we had legs that had to pass between the trees , as well. The horses were lathered in sweat and our palms were so drenched with perspiration that the reigns were slipping through our fingers. Not that we had control any way. What had taken hours to ride toward the draw flew by all the way back to the barn. Back at the ranch they tried to minimize the bear sighting by saying he was a black bear and he was eating a deceased horse and wouldn’t have bothered us. Not long afterward I was at the San Diego zoo and there before my eyes was a sign saying GRIZZLEY BEAR. This was just like the enormous bear we had seen standing before us high on his haunches that I now knew for sure was in fact a giant griz! Whoa! That was the day I realized I really could ride ! Lou Wade
Lou on October 15, 2012
NEED YOUR WHITE GRASS EXPERIENCES You are a part of history of WHITE GRASS that should be preserved ! Dear White Grassers, I am very excited as this past fall I met with Barbara Pahl and Ragan Memmott of the National Trust Historic Preservation in regards to our years at White Grass Ranch since I live in Jackson full time and threw away my luggage once I finally moved here . The National Trust for Historic Preservation and Grand Teton National Park are renovating White Grass to be a teaching model for others so they can come here and learn how to restore other park places as they are weathered by time. Most of us have recently enjoyed the series Ken Burns had on PBS and we have gleaned so much about the life dedication of so many to save the places and make them into National Parks and Monuments. This group that I met with are a continuation of that by saving what is in this park and to be an example to other parks in need of restoration for the future and preserving its history which each of you are a part of. It is amazing what they have done with the dilapidated cabins that were in wrack and ruin. They look fabulous now... remarkable! I went with them in late fall along with the head of the restoration project, Craig Struble who is the Western Center for Historic Preservation Center Director. He has worked previously on similar projects in Yosemite and the Grand Canyon. Both Barbara and Craig were at our last reunion four years ago. We walked the ranch and I showed them where many cabins , including ours, was as well as the pond all those years ago. They filmed my commentary on as many things as I could remember. They especially wanted to know why it was a life changing experience as well as yours. I said that I came to realize that there were three things important about being here and they are the wildlife, the wildflowers , and the every changing light as we relished the sunsets together each afternoon on the deck overlooking the meadow with Sleeping Indian in the background. I told them, that at the ranch, we introduced ourselves by our first name and we did not ask "What do you do" We just shared the experiences and sightings of each day. One of the funny things I recalled, was Frank Galey's response to dudes when they said they had insects in their medicine cabinets he would reply "How many insects do you have as we charge extra for each one." or if asked what could they do about bats in their cabin he would give them a bad-mitten racket. When he heard that there was too much snow on the roof Frank would shoot through the ceiling and the snow would fall off ! It took me 28 years to fulfill my dream and move here . On the day I arrived my husband put an ad in the paper saying "Dreams really do come true. Lou, welcome home to Wyoming." Since White Grass and the whole experience of being in the Teton mountains shaped the rest of my life I offered to the Historic group to write about and share my experiences at White Grass because it is a part of the history of White Grass. I would like to share my stories and ask you other White Grassers to do the same. I will be resurrecting my stories of old and seeing through my email list if others will do the same. I remember all of the participants in the White Grass Reunions bringing their albums and journals back to share with one another at both our reunions. Won't it be fun to get those out and write about what your cabins name was and the times you had over your summers at White Grass. All they have now are cabin numbers if your cabin had a name could you please share it along with your life changing and fun experiences. I have already found the numerous letters I wrote to my mother and father which fortunately they saved and have many stories we experienced back then. As time flies by, it is wonderful to go back in time and remember those happy memories and to share them. I hope that each of you would send some of your memories of our summering at White Grass all those years we enjoyed there. It would be great to have your stories and put them together as a part of the newly renovated ranch where we each have a special place in our heart forever of those memorable times at White Grass. Perhaps my most memorable time was the day I moved here I showed my husband White Grass. As we stood looking out over the vast meadow a huge bull elk bolted across the sage, called white grass which is how the ranch got its name. A tear came to my eye as I remarked that that was the spirit of Frank Galey going across his beloved White Grass meadow. Barbara and I have been working closely with Rachel Trahern to get email updates Rachel joins me in saying We look forward to hearing from all you White Grassers with your stories that make up the history of the place ! Lou and Rachel
Rachel on October 15, 2012
This site is going to be so exciting in the fact we can learn lots more 'things' that went on during the years each of uS spent on the ranch. You do not have to tell ALL. Just want to get a few words on this site --- will think of lots of stories as my thoughts gear up. If you remember anything during the 50's and 60's it is SO IMPORTANT for them to be put into the history books. Hope to hear from lots of you - my email is godivauk@gmail.com ------DON'T FORGET TO write memories .
John on October 15, 2012
I worked at White Grass first as a 'gopher' and then as a wrangler during the summers of 1974-1976. What an incredible place. I am interested in contacting other former employees, am wondering do you have any info that might help? My email is jarchermd@gmail.com

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