Picabo to Lava Lake Ranch: Journal Entry 12

This morning we get a late start. Wake up calls weren’t available where we stayed last night as there are no phones in the rooms. Bill and Lone talk for a few minutes and Loni loads a couple of bales of hay and some oats to help us on our journey. Blackie is sure receiving the royal treatment from all of his fans. We say our goodbyes and head out for Cary. Bill makes good time getting here. I guess Blackie is in that trotting mode again. He loves to trot when he gets bored. I’m not too sure Bill likes it very much though. Blackie can be a little rough when he trots. As I wait at the second pull off, Cheryl Bennet, the operations manager of Lava Lake Ranch stops to be sure we will stay with them tonight. She is on her way to the Farmers Market.  gallery

Our third stop is at the historical marker by Lava Lake. The view here is beautiful. I am surrounded by jagged black lava and hills. The lake is a green oasis in this rugged terrain. The memorial plaque tells of the hardship pioneers experienced while passing through this sea of lava. I can only imagine the broken wheels and injury to livestock. We were thinking that we would have to trailer the horse through this area to avoid injury to his hooves and legs. Thank goodness the Idaho Department of Transportation did some improvements to the road and shoulders. This way Bill is able to continue on horseback, and not mar the continuity of his ride.

When we arrive at Lava Lake Ranch, Tim and his children greet us. While Bill and Tim are talking, I tend to Millie. I see a very small rattlesnake dead in the driveway. This is the first snake any of us have seen on this trip. Bill finds out where we will corral Blackie for the night, and we proceed to take care of this chore. The corrals are spacious and will make a nice place for the horse to rest tonight. There are a few head of sheep to keep him company.

Lava Lake Ranch is in the business of raising organic lamb for sale to the public. I have always thought that the flavor of lamb was a little too strong; however, I am about to change my mind. Tim has prepared a meal for us consisting of lamb, potatoes with onions, garlic, and peppers, and a green salad. Cheryl brings a fresh loaf of bread and there is garlic, olive oil for dipping. As I take the first bite of this organic, grass fed lamb, I am surprised at the delicious flavor of the meat. Cheryl explains that the flavor of most lamb is so strong because of excess fat caused by feeding grain before butchering. It would be nice if more companies would use the organic method of raising sheep. Then the meat would be palatable to more people. I will not exclude lamb from my list of favorites any more, just demand that it be the organic grass fed kind.

You can order their product directly by going to www.lavalakelamb.com. I sure is worth trying. They have a great program, and are conservation minded in their ranching practices. Good for the land, and the people they supply.