We were back at 7 Lazy P Guest Ranch west of Choteau recently to shoot some photos. Earlier this summer we were at the lower ranch, but this time we stayed at the upper ranch, a favorite of mine.
I walked around the ranch and along the West Fork of the Teton. This photo is looking west into the Lewis & Clark National Forest and the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex, the area we would ride into the next day.
Perhaps I was just eager to be there, but I was the first guest to arrive.
I met the couple managing the lodge who had done several pack trips into the Bob Marshall Wilderness with 7 Lazy P. They were good in this setting because they could easily put any fears to rest that first-time pack trippers had. This was a 10-day pack trip on some pretty rugged terrain. We would just ride one day with the group though and then ride back out.
The cabins at 7 Lazy P’s upper ranch are log and have great stone fireplaces in them. The main lodge, where meals are served, is large and epitomizes the western guest ranch feel.
Both ranches are owned by Chuck and Sharon Blixrud. All of the wilderness pack trips done by 7 Lazy P overnight at the upper ranch before riding into The Bob.
The upper 7 Lazy P ranch seems more forested, not as open as the lower ranch, and I liked walking among the huge trees. Outside my cabin a tree stump had been carved into a chair! OK, it wasn’t comfy but it was pretty amazing.
The other guests had started arriving and we were all gathering soon for dinner. It’s always interesting to find out about the guests, where they are from, what they do for a living and what prompted them to come to Montana for a 10 day pack trip.
I was just heading back into my cabin when I saw two of the wranglers walking by.
David and Jayce were going to start packing some of the equipment that the mules would carry. They were eager to get started so we didn’t visit long and I barely got a couple of photos of them.
I think they were as excited as I was about this trip. The only difference is that I would be spending one day riding, they would be riding for ten. And, working hard each day.