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The Farmer’s Field: Blessed to Call Wyoming Home

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

by Ron Rabou

It’s hard to leave the farm, especially in the summer. It seems like there is always work to do, no matter how much progress we’ve made. But, I decided long ago if I let our farm dictate our personal life, we’d never leave.  

Over the years, we’ve made a very conscious effort to take short trips away from the hustle and bustle of our operation to enjoy our boys and our time together as a family in different environments, all while exposing our boys to a world outside of where we live.  

My wife and I agree there is a tremendous benefit to expanding one’s mind well beyond what you think you know.  

For years, we’ve traveled this awesome country and have seen a lot of truly amazing things and have had some incredible experiences along the way. Collectively, our family has visited 36 states plus Washington, D.C.     

We never set out with a specific goal in mind, other than just seeing and experiencing things we wouldn’t otherwise. We just wanted our boys to understand there’s a big world out there full of opportunities to pursue whatever their interests and passions are.  

My wife is from Arizona, and for the past couple years, she’s been telling me even though she’s lived here for 26 years, she’s never seen much of Wyoming outside of Yellowstone National Park and where we live.  

My answer has always been, “We’ll have to go see it sometime.”  

But we all know where this answer leads – nowhere.  

It’s important to understand once upon a time, I traveled all over the state for work and other positions I was serving in. However, my travels typically amounted to nothing more than what my obligations allowed. I had never taken the time to immerse myself in the culture and communities throughout our state.  

For the past two years, I’ve had the honor to emcee the Wyoming Governor’s Hospitality and Tourism Conference. Each year, I have met some amazing people and have learned more about what Wyoming has to offer than what I have in the past 51 years of my life. Or, more accurately, what I have neglected to remember about our great state because “vacation” always meant anywhere BUT Wyoming.   

So, I finally did what every good man would do – I listened to my wife and took her advice. 

We’ve been gradually branching out to experience the awesome opportunities and experiences Wyoming has to offer, and most recently, we traveled to visit my cousin in Kaycee.  I’ll admit the only thing I’ve ever done in Kaycee is go to the gas station and my cousin’s house, but this time was different.  

It just so happens Chris LeDoux Days is a pretty big deal. Watching thousands of people flock to the town to celebrate one of our great legends, along with the cowboy culture and local music scene is downright impressive.  

We then traveled to Buffalo, where we experienced a truly remarkable afternoon of live music from some of Wyoming’s most accomplished musicians, some as young as 13. Buffalo’s quaint downtown and unique, friendly businesses were icing on the cake for a very memorable day.  

Later on, we hopped back on the road and traveled over the Big Horns, past the occasional moose and elk, where the highway wrapped itself around steep red cliffs, accompanied by the roar of the river which cut its way through tree-covered canyons.  

As we entered the community of Ten Sleep, we passed gorgeous fields and farmland, a tidy downtown lined with cars and trucks and the incredible backdrop of the Ten Sleep Brewery.  

We continued through the Painted Desert or the “Wyoming Badlands,” down to the town of Worland, surrounded by farms and sugarbeet fields. As our journey pushed forward, the immense changes in landscape brought us past Hot Springs State Park, the town of Thermopolis and twisted through the stunning Wind River Canyon, alongside the Wind River, on past Boysen Reservoir, Wyoming’s fourth largest.  

That night, we landed in the town of Lander, where we woke to the sounds of the creek flowing outside of our room, engulfed by the surrounding mountains of the Wind River Range. 

After enjoying one the best breakfasts ever at the Middle Fork Restaurant, we traveled toward the top of the range to enjoy a day of fishing, enveloped by some of nature’s most picturesque scenes.  

As we returned home, for the first time in my life, I even noticed newfound beauty between Jeffrey City and Rawlins, a place in the past I only thought to be desolate and barren, lacking any real appeal.  

The lesson I’m learning is this – while the grass always looks greener somewhere else, if we allow ourselves the opportunity to relax and let go, we might find the most incredible experiences and memories can be built right here at home.  

Make the choice now to treat yourself and your family to our state’s endless diversity and beauty. We are all blessed to call Wyoming home.

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