Back again with the next weekly adventure of Roamer, the Idaho travelling dog. When not out adventuring Roamer kennels at Dog Bark Park in Cottonwood, Idaho. In this episode he is working his way down Graves Creek Road to the Pine Bar Recreation Area on the lower Salmon River not far from Dog Bark Park. Not only was this pretty canyon occupied for millennia by the Nez Perce people, in modern times it has been home to a handful of ranch families. Once fall arrives cattle are brought from high elevation country to lower elevations such as Graves Creek for wintering. Hence cattlemen need a corral structure for loading and unloading their animals. Roamer couldn’t keep his eyes off this beauty of a well-built, re-built, & much used loading chute.
Blackberry brambles are growing into the chute. From speaking with the daughter of cattleman Johnson who built this chute decades ago, when the gate at the end is opened the cattle just push by the brambles as they move through the chute.
She also told me the grazer who owns the cattle across the way also uses the chute, each cattleman making repairs or shoring up the old structure to hold together for one more use. Bent steel rods, wire wrappings, huge bolts and lichen growing on some of the old weathered saw-marked boards are features Roamer and his people found artistically appealing.
On the other side of Graves Creek Road several head of cattle contentedly grazed on early spring vegetation. Close inspection reveals one younger critter is on the wrong side of the fence. No worries, it wasn’t interested in Roamer who by the way kept an eye on them all.
These half-round logs still have their bark indicating a more recent installation. Lichen, metal tie rods, wire, chain and different dimensions, textures & colors of wood all add architectural interest.