February 5, 2014:
The Buffalo Bridge team has made it Gardiner, Montana! After several days of preparation in Pony, Montana, we loaded up and headed out in the cold and snow. We are loaded down for an expedition! And from the looks of the weather, we are going to need it. It was 0 degrees today in the sunshine, with the wind blowing pretty good. We are staying warm in our woolens, buckskins, and furs though. I am very excited at this opportunity to test my handmade gear and winter camping skills in this challenging environment.
We arrived at our camp location at mid- afternoon, but the landowner appears to have not yet returned from his trip to the east coast, probably due to the storms there. Since he doesn’t have a cell phone, we just have to wait. I am writing this from a cheap motel right on the banks of the Yellowstone River. We have already seen big horn sheep, elk, and deer from the window. And of course, we were thrilled beyond words to see the shaggy creatures that brought us here. The buffalo are an imposing presence on the vast and windswept grasslands. They are right in town on the school football field. They are foraging along the banks of the Yellowstone River. They are even walking down the middle of the highway!
Our spirits are undamped by the cold and the delay in setting up camp. This place is truly awe-inspiring. The wildness and beauty is made even more poignant knowing that we at Buffalo Bridge will be participating in the cycle of life and death here – that we have a role and a job to do, just like everything else that inhabits this cold and splendid place. I am honored by this opportunity. Come and let us eat you, Buffalo! Come and let us tan you! Come and let us share your fire!
Until next time – Katie Russell