The magic of my boyhood wilderness is fading

I finally had a chance to go back home to Riverton over the weekend. It was good to see my old stomping grounds, but it was harder than ever to leave it when it was time to go back to Cheyenne.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to go back to Riverton to visit the family. Work, the kids’ activities, and a host of other responsibilities have made it difficult to get away for more than a few hours, let alone an overnight stay away from home.

But my wife said she’d stay home and take care of the animals so my boys and I could make a weekend run to my old home town, so the kids and I hit the road on Saturday morning.

I wish we could have taken the bows and bowfishing rigs to do some carp shooting on the Wind River down behind the house, but we didn’t have enough time. Besides, Dad’s recuperating from a double knee replacement, and I’d have hated to have to leave him behind while we had all the fun. Maybe we can do that next year after he’s gotten used to his knew bionic legs.

But we did spend quite a bit of time down on the cliff bank overlooking the river, and we did what exploring we could of what my folks call the “Lower Pasture.” The river bottoms and the Lower Pasture are completely wild, untouched by plow or human development, and they were the venues for most of my childhood adventures. My sister and my friends and I often ventured down there to explore, play Mountain Man or to hunt rabbits during my formative years. There is magic in those untamed acres, mere minutes on foot from the back door of the house. One step into the brush or the river transports you to a land far removed from the troubles of the rest of the world.

It was hard to leave when the time came. Civilization is creeping in on the Lower Pasture and the river, and there’s no telling how much longer they’ll remain untouched. I only hope the magic remains for at least a few more future visits.

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