Mother’s Day

I had a wonderful Mother’s Day this past Sunday with my husband and both our children.  We were still camped at Horsetooth Reservoir and the weather couldn’t have been more agreeable.  Our son had flown in from Phoenix for a long weekend.  We had a lot to celebrate…..daughter’s graduation, Mother’s Day, and son’s birthday.

family photo

Not knowing when the next time the four of us will be in the same place together, I made it a top priority to take some family photos.  Shortly after our arrival at Horsetooth Reservoir, I went on a scouting drive in search of the perfect backdrop.  What I discovered was a multitude of potential locations.  The area just west of Fort Collins is lovely and just about any stop would work beautifully for a family portrait.  I decide on one particular overlook…..overlooking Horsetooth Reservoir.  Sunday morning the weather was clear and photo-op time it is.

As I arrange the family, I set the self-timer on the camera, and run to take my place.  Running in flip-flops near rock ledges, makes my husband extremely nervous.  I admit, it did present some challenges.  After an hour of fun and a change of shirts, we return to camp for lunch.

Lunch….for lunch today we will be having Bison burgers.  Yep, we’re having Buffalo.  Bison is extremely lean, thus I mix an egg in the ground Bison prior to patting into burgers.  Even with the aid of the egg, I flip the burgers minimally as I sense they may start to fall apart.  I grill the burgers to a medium – medium rare….perfect. I serve the Bison burgers on freshly baked rolls that I had purchased that morning.   The burgers are delicious and Al hopes Bison becomes a regular addition to our diet.

Bison burgers

When I purchased the ground Buffalo I also purchased some jerky.  The fact that my kids are in their twenties and on their own, does not stop the sibling rivalry.  We laugh as brother and sister jokingly fight over the jerky.  So, we will definitely be purchasing more meat from Black Forest Bison.  They offer five seasoned flavors of jerky.  I sampled all five flavors and purchased one package of the Teriyaki and one of the Pepper.

After lunch, we go for a hike and explore Lory State Park.

Lory State Park

Bison – part two

I am fascinated by buffalo and was super excited to see wild herds at Custer State Park while on a trip there a couple of years ago.  I had the opportunity to observe and photograph these interesting animals.

Tomorrow we will take the RV on a three-hour drive north to Fort Collins.  Our destination….Horsetooth Reservoir.  We have family from out of state joining us to celebrate the Mother’s Day weekend.  We will be hosting and entertaining at our campsite.  As I put together a tentative meal plan, I consult with husband and daughter.  The general consensus is to do something “Coloradoie”.

I’m not a fan of wild game.  The thought of eating Bambi just doesn’t sit well with me.  My daughter recommends Bison.  Hmmm……not sure how I feel about eating these guys.  I remember watching the Cooking Channel featuring a Bison Ranch in Black Forest, Colorado.  Time to Google!

I decide to at least visit the store and see how I feel….  Black Forest Bison.   As I enter the quaint shop, I’m drawn to a magnificent and huge photo hanging behind the counter.  I comment on the lovely photograph.  The gals’ response is, ” Yes, they live a wonderful life”.  The photo is of the Black Forest Bison Ranch herd with a snow-capped Pikes Peak in the background.  They are free ranging and grass-fed.  Does this make me feel better about eating them?

The gal offers me samples of their specially seasoned jerky.  I hesitate but try the samples….delicious.  After a few more samples, little more chatting, and wandering around the store, I leave with a shopping bag filled with Bison.  Yes, I will be serving Bison for Mother’s Day.  I’ll let ya know what everyone thinks……..

Bison – part one

A couple of years ago, my daughter and I went on a road trip to the Black Hills in South Dakota.  My main goal and objective was to see the herd of free ranging buffalo.  I guess the proper term is Bison (Latin) but the name Buffalo (Europeans title) is more commonly used.  According to all the info I read published by Custer State Park either term appears to be acceptable.

Custer State Park is home to almost 1500 head of Buffalo.  Each September the Park has a Buffalo Roundup, available for visitors to view.  Park staff and volunteers will have up to 60 horseback riders and 20 trucks aiding in the round-up.  This yearly round-up is important in the control and health of the herd.  Round-up; note to self for a future visit.

I was not disappointed in our quest to find a herd.  It did take some exploration though.  We found a herd while driving Wildlife Loop Road.  However, our first wildlife encounter were Burros.  There is a herd of Burros that wander the park, and although considered wild, they are accustomed to people.  Caution and common sense are prudent when approaching these animals.

daughter finds this little guy “way too cute”

The Wildlife Loop Road is an eighteen mile paved scenic drive with numerous gravel roads off shooting in different directions.   We did venture down a couple of these gravel roads in search of buffalo.  The first herd we encountered were pretty far off in the distance.  So, back to the paved road and thirty minutes later, we met a herd on the side of the road…..awesome.We spend a good half hour observing these large animals.  My daughter gets concerned as this calf starts to approach me.  Where there’s a baby, there’s a mama.  A quick photo-op and I return to the vehicle.  These guys are huge.  The bulls can weigh as much as a ton while the cows come in at 900-1200 pounds.  New born calves are about 50 pounds…ouch!

Tomorrow we’ll be in search of Pronghorns…..