Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on June 16, 1974 · Page 80
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 80

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, June 16, 1974
Page 80
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Page 80 article text (OCR)

The Simple Life RIO BLANCO. Colo, i AP) - She rides up into the high country with her sheep, a girl alone with the quivering aspen, pinon pine, the lush grass, the quick little streams, the crystal lakes that mirror the endless sky. Things are simpler. "You kind of know your own mind," she say.s. "There aren't all the little hassles. It's easier to tell right from wrong." Every three days or so. her boss, Gus Halandras, who owns the sheep, rides up with groceries, but the rest of the time Laura Colby, 23, is alone with her charges. W h a t ' s the blue-eyed daughter of a wealthy La Jolla, Calif., family doing up here? She plain fell in love with the land, with the idea of raising and caring for these small servants of man. Her family used to summer in this wild place, and liv HoliScoil that was how she met Gus, and begged him for a job. shepherding his sheep."I've born those babies." she told him. "1 think I can raise them." And so she does, riding over the high meadows of wild grass, moving the sheep to new pasture every day. shielding them from coyote and bear. She carries a 30-30 rifle, seldom has had the op- p o r t u n i t y to use it. She sleeps mostly in a sheep wagon with a sign over the door that says "Home." "Other ranchers have asked hie to work for them. There's not much muscle in, volved in this business. Ranchers seem to realize gals are more reliable or conscientious. A lot of the old sheepherders are retiring and no one seems to want this job. " Last summer, she ran 2.300 sheep in these mile-high altitudes. When .there are coyotes around, she sleeps out in a sleeping bag. and no fire. The fire would scare away the predators before she could get at them. And then there's the constant job of acting as her own vet. She treats the sheep for maggots, and mends their wounds when the coyotes have been active, or the "bear's Inieri messing'"Ground with, the lambs." It's a big job, baby-sitting sheep, and the day leaves her .bone-tired at the end of 18-hours that begin before sun-up and'end under the stnrry Colorado sky. "Itls a good feeling." And back in California her old friends envy her. especially when she tells them: "Every once in a whilei you just have to calm down a bit. Being alone lets you get your thinking together;" And she leaves the hurly- burly again, and returns to the simple life; ,;y 1 f. 4m CHARLESTON, W. VA. . . -June 16. J97-1 Hundav Gazette-Mail

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