November 23, 2012
Each summer, my husband and I live on our wilderness property in a wild canyon not far from Hailey and Sun Valley, Idaho. A nearby sheep rancher and his men bring a large band of sheep to our mountain valley for summer grazing. We have been able to see up close how hard and amazing the life of the rancher is, and the effort and skill of his Peruvian herder, his dogs and horse. This is difficult, often thankless work, and we have seen the dedication of the men and their amazing herding dogs and fascinating guardian dogs. In fact, we have as a pet an Akbash dog from the rancher. The Trailing of the Sheep festival brings the spotlight to this life, to the great effort involved in raising livestock. The Festival has showcased the colorful costumes, music and dance of the ancient Latin American heritage from which these herders come. It brings to children and 'city folk' the beauty of the horse and dogs and the wildness of the sheep, as they race through the town of Ketchum. It brings Basque food and delicious lamb. It highlights the wonders of wool, often forgotten in these days of synthetics. The Festival, the genius of Diane Peavey, a sheep rancher's wife and a well-known author, has exploded into a multi-day, multi-faceted celebration of the glory and difficulty of living with nature. In its color and vibrance, it celebrates our multi-cultural America. It celebrates all that is wild and real.
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MY ROLE:General Member of the Public