Back in 1998 there was no Ranch Tour during Elko’s Cowboy Poetry Gathering, so John would offer to take media and other folks he ran into to visit ranches and see Elko’s scenery.
In 1998 special guests at the Gathering were drovers and historians from Scotland and Ireland. Some of those were the folks above in the photo. (my hair wasn’t gray 18 yr ago. John looked younger, too!)
John and I are pictured with Colin and Joan Morris from North Wales and Mrs. Gwyndaf of Wales. Picture was taken by her husband, Robin Gwyndaf, curator, at that time, of the Museum of Welsh Life, Cardiff, North Wales.
John took them around the small town of Lamoille and the Ruby Mountains–friendly, delightful people excited to be featured guests that year.
Another invited guest that year was Scot folklorist Ed Miller who lives now in Texas. We took him on a drive, too. He wanted to see Nevada’s “big country.”
That evening Miller, John, and I went to Sarah Sweetwater’s “bunkhouse” in Elko for food, drink and music, and Ed was impressed. People singing and playing guitar, and violin, reciting poetry, everyone taking part.
Originator of the Elko Gathering, Sweetwater’s home, the “bunkhouse,” was informal gathering place during the Gathering. As Ed left that night he complemented Sarah highly as we walked out the door, “This is closest I’ve come in America to a real Scottish ceilidh!”
In two weeks we repeat the Cowboy Poetry Gathering here in Elko which now does include a tour of a ranch. This is year number 32 for the Gathering!
Cowboy John is taking us to Robin and Steve Boies Ranch and The Cottonwood Guest Ranch to expose us to Holistically Managed ranches. The Boies and Cottonwood are part of Holistic Management begun by Alan Savory. He presented years ago at the Gathering his philosophy for caring for the land using cattle.
The bus is full, last time I heard, so we’re hoping for good weather and clear roads! We are grateful for those great Coach USA buses!
Happy Trails, Everyone!
Cowboy John Collett