Saturday, February 26, 2022

Fr. Braidy

Fr. Zane Pekron has been cracking a whip since he was 12 years old. He's gotten pretty handy at it over the years. Come seminary, in an effort to keep himself grounded, he thought he'd try his hand at braiding one. Since then, Zane has become quite the braider, making anything from stock whips, to belts, to alb cinctures.

Zane said his grandpa taught him some simple braids when he was young. Which made taking the next step to more complex systems rather natural. 

His high school algebra finally came in handy. When making a whip or belt to a certain length you need to figure out ahead of time how long to cut the cords.

Paracord is his preferred braiding material. Most of his projects he guts the rope so it'll lay flat. Some, like the overlay of a whip, he leaves fully round.

Flat braids are probably simpler than most. But once you add 14 strands like this one they get complicated in a hurry.

You make up the particular pattern. It might be over 1 under 1 like this one. Zane's trick is to pull tight the strand he is going to weave, cinching up the entire project as he goes. 

I think Garth Brooks would wear this bad boy.

Round braids add a different degree of difficulty. Each time you braid a strand you loop it behind the work and then weave it accordingly. Thus making a rope. 

4 round is a good starting point for a whole lot more. This is the beginning of a lead rope.

A stock whip is the ultimate project. Having some 16 under his belt by now, they are becoming old hat. The long durable handle is characteristic of a stock whip. Bull whips have a shorter handle and usually don't swivel at the base of the whip like a stock whip.   

Get along little doggies!

Nice work brother. I dig seeing guys take on a challenge and begin to master it. You are well on your way. Keep wearing that hat. The People of God like a priest they can relate to. It reminds them of Jesus. 


Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Cold Snap

Spring in Wyoming has a way of taking its sweet time. Cold fronts will probably come and go in the midst of warmer temps clear through March and even into April. I don't mind the cold, as long as you're geared up for it. But bring on spring!

-17 is not uncommon this time of year. What's brutal though, is when the wind complements it.

Keeping water thawed is probably the toughest challenge in winter ranch world. There is something inherently contradictory about open water in winter. Whenever I see water standing still waiting to be drank in subzero weather I marvel and thank God.

I actually like the challenge of winter. It can play the biggest head game with you if you let it though. Especially if it gets ahead of you. I've had this waterer freeze up twice. What I discovered was that the heat under the trough was good but down the hole that the water line came up was vulnerable to the cold. So we just placed a 75watt light bulb down the casing and haven't had a problem since. 

Oats make for happy horses.

It doesn't matter how mild or harsh winter has been, come the end of February, everybody is ready for spring. Like Grandma always says, this too shall pass.

Thy Will

God's will is not so much in front of us as beside us.


Friday, February 11, 2022

Coming to America

Sometimes you got to kick a little.

Grand Finale

In Gerry's tour of the wild west, we decided to save the best for last. Worland sits in the heart of the Big Horn Basin and will always be home for me. It produces some of the best beef and beer in the world. So I thought I'd show my buddy around.

The sun just seems to shine a little brighter at the mouth of the Gooseberry. 

One thing Worland is known for is feeding cattle. My brother Luke was on the cutting edge of this in the early 00's. It may look glamorous, but keeping water thawed in the middle of winter is one of many not so easy chores. 

If you decide to sign on the 9 Iron you can camp out in the bunkhouse.

Looks like you'd fit right in.

Next stop was the Coors grain elevator. Worland grows high country barley that's used to craft the finest beer in the world, Coors Light. The barley is harvested in late summer and half of the farmers' contract is brought in then. The other half they store and deliver in February when life is a little slower.

Uncle Scott manages the elevator. He brings a little color wherever he goes. Thanks partner, for helping keep America's spirits light in more ways than one. 

With spring starting to spring, we swung by and picked up this box scraper that we purchased from a local farm sale. She sure fits fine behind our 450. Note to self, don't wear your Sunday hat when hooking up hydraulic lines. 

Looking good, ol' son. There's more than one way to skin a cat. 

It seemed more than fitting that your departure date is on the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. Special thanks to Mom and Dad for their hospitality. I promise to wait at least a month before I come home again. 

And then there's Grandma... You just can't go through town without stopping for cup of coffee and a hug. Sticking close to your grandparents keeps a guy young at heart. 

So long my friend. Sit tall in the saddle and hold your head up high. 

Well, you've seen it all pard. I hope you had as much fun as I did. You're an inspiration. Not many people have the courage and perseverance to follow their heart the way that you do. Searching out some random Catholic priest in Wyoming to show you around the greatest land on earth is something only cowboys do. You've earned your wings; wear that hat with pride. Never give up on your dreams. Your no quit has gotten you this far, let's see where it takes you in the future. Peace partner. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Skinnin Cats

Jason Kuhbacher called and invited us up to the ranch to work cows on Wednesday. We couldn't make that, but we went ahead and ran up there today for a visit. It’s always good to be on Belle Cr. and visit Bonnie and him. After a good ranch lunch and chat about the place, we went out and got our hands dirty skinning a bobcat. 

Bonnie trapped this nice female just yesterday. They are not uncommon in this area of Montana. 

Their hides are worth a pretty penny to the tanners in town. 

Not quite like skinning a cow. You don't want to cut the hide and you also tube them by mainly pulling the hide off.

Nice work you two.

Afterwards Jason showed us some of the heifer calves that they are planning to bread. Looks like they have them cake friendly.

On to the next one.

Always good to see Jason and Bonnie. They are living the dream, just ranchin. I was glad Gerry got to know them; their faith is real. Our time together is winding down. Let's see what else we can squeeze in. 

Sunday, February 6, 2022

Feeding the World

Now that Lungren Brothers has gone international, we've thought about changing our slogan to Feeding the World. We'll see. One thing America has to offer the world is hamburgers. 

 Our Spaniard brother Gerry has been an asset in our farm to fork operation.

After we chunk up some choice portions of beef, we run it through the grinder. For hamburger patties we like a richer fat to meat ratio.

We then run it through a second time, but with a finer grind. 

Then comes the work, pressing the little buggers. Our press is actual made in Spain. It works good but takes some time and talent. Our patties end up being about 1/2 pounders.

My buddy Daren taught me that flash freezing them before packaging makes them keep their form. 

Once froze, they sure do seal up nice. We made about 250 patties. 200 of them are going to Kurt and Leah's wedding in the spring. 

Of course we have to do our own quality control. 

Looks like they pass inspection. 

Hamburgers are my favorite food, and I'd like to share with the world the goodness that they have brought into my life. Nothing says freedom like ground beef and a cold beer. I'm confident that beef can reconcile the world's problems. We at Lungren Brothers Cattle Company won't stop ranching until every man, woman, and child has a hamburger in front of them. Peace

Duc in Altum

Don't be afraid to go out into the deep with the Lord.

Saturday, February 5, 2022

Friday Funday

Friday was snowmobile day. After Mass, Rosary, and a Maverick Bonfire burrito, Kurt, Gerry, and I arrived in the Northern Big Horns above Sheridan. A fun time was had by all.

Kevin Geis lent us one extra sled and with Kurt's snowbike and my RMK we were ready to rock.

Why not us the Paddy Wagon for hauling sleds. Thankfully they have reverse these days.

Beautiful view off the western side.

Nothing like a midday hotdog. 

Gerry rode steady all day on one of the snowmobiles. But when he switched to Kurt's snowbike, it was like a homecoming. 

Here's some rides:

Fr. Bryce




This was about as good of snowmobiling day as you could ask for. The snow was light, but we found some good pockets, no one broke down, no one got stuck and we all had fun. Chauk it up as another American experience for our boy. 

Thursday, February 3, 2022

Be a Man

Being a man is to spend yourself for God and others.

Sale Barn

With all our cows in the cooler, we thought we better start looking for more. We've had good look buying directly from the producer, but I'd like to find a few lighter cows too. So we took a shot at the barn in Buffalo.

If nothing else it was to be a good experience for Gerry. I also was able to run into a buddy from the Big Horn Basin who gave us some sales ring tips.

You can't go to a cattle auction without getting some homemade grub. Shepherd's pie was the special.

Short sale. This can be a pretty dead time of the year for sale barns. Once calving season comes on there'll be more of a market for our heiferettes. 

So we turned around and headed for Hulett to celebrate Mass.

No harm no foul. Just give me an excuse to roll over to Buffalo. Good folks and beautiful countryside. Hmmm, wonder what we can do next...?


Jesus is THE means to THE end, which is the Father.