The student tour ships are wallowing off to Europe, bikinis are popping out on the beaches, picnickers are picking their way through the woods, and summer is in blue-skied command. In all this sunny easiness nobody has it rougher—or better—than eastern youngsters lucky enough to find themselves on a Wyoming dude ranch. Eastern air is swapped for the mile-high western kind, clothes from Best's and Brooks Brothers are shucked for duds from the general store, and the living is as out-of-doors as you can get.
The youngsters and young people on the following pages are guests of Trail Creek Ranch, a 310-acre spread in the Jackson Hole country near Grand Teton National Park. Trail Creek is run by Betty Woolsey, a forester's daughter who is as western as the tumbling tumble-weed, although she once had a whirl at eastern living herself as an editor of Ski Illustrated. Her ranch accommodates 110 each summer, two-thirds of them under 21.
What does a body do there all day? He can turn out at sunup, ride any of 48 horses, pitch hay with the hired hands, help with the milking, swim, wrangle, hike, canoe, climb, take in a rodeo, square-dance, fish, pick wild flowers, drive in the mountains, stuff himself on ranch-grown beef and, along about evening, clutch his knees by the campfire and drawl The Red River Valley. After a day like this, bedtime, naturally, comes early. And in the near-freezing mountain nights blankets are piled on.
Grooming her horse after a morning ride, teen-ager Sandy Sturges of Saunderstown, R.I. uses kickproof approach of her own devising. Youngsters are encouraged to care for horses they ride.
Stubborn steer is unmoved by impromptu efforts of eastern wranglers. Susie Kolthay of New York City and Susan Rush of Concord, Mass. are on tether end, while Elizabeth LaFarge, of Providence, R.I. grasps the nether.
Mountain of hay weighing 41 tons was erected with the help of dude ranch kids, who get cold lemonade as reward. Haying takes hands and volunteers two weeks, will feed horses during winter, when ranch is under snow.
Riding and boating are combined when scenic trail rides end up at Lee Lake. Paddling a 19-pound boat they brought along are Vassar's Anne LaFarge and Harvard's Mal Ticknor.
Swimming hole in southern foothills of the Teton Mountains, though fed by chilly mountain stream, is a favorite watering spot for Trail Creek guests and horses, share and share alike.