Our trail ride to the weekly cookout at Pine Butte Guest Ranch was great – wonderful scenery, perfect weather and diverse terrain. We rode uphill, downhill, through trees and also across fairly flat land, finally arriving in a meadow where we could tie our horses to hitching posts and dismount.
Some guests had taken the van to the meadow and they were patiently waiting. Pine Butte staff had the fire going and everything set up for supper. Traditionally, the ranch manager cooks at this and things were ready for Jim to go to work. We continued shooting photos and visiting with guests.
I’ve been in this same location when an unexpected rain storm moved through so I periodically glanced west to check the clouds. Our luck held though and we had a warm summer evening. Jim did comment that it was a little warm for posing close to a fire but we wanted the photo!
All-day activities had occupied most of the guests today so after supper the mood was relaxed and mellow. Even though our return route to the ranch was going to be shorter, we still had some riding to do to get back. And, we were leaving the ranch after we returned from the ride and driving back to Choteau.
Our brief visit to Pine Butte Guest Ranch left us with a keen understanding that the ranch and The Nature Conservancy are committed to conservation and education. Pine Butte truly has a dedicated effort to tread lightly on the land we call Montana.
Memories of our visit to the ranch will stay with us forever.