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  • Coleen Graybill

Cats and Dogs and Bears - OH MY!

Lynn Boutte, a long time friend and fellow professional photographer, joined us on our recent 2+ week trip to the Northern Plains photographing for the Descendants Project. HIS job was to document us doing OUR job. We knew we would need some photos for upcoming promotions, so we invited him along. Please note, we travel in a truck camper. It's pretty tight quarters for the two of us and now we have added another 6' man? LOL We had explained to him that he would be either sleeping in a tent or on the fold down table in the camper which is 5' 10" from corner to corner. He chose the tent. I would too!

Being in the tent quickly became an unexpected adventure! The first night out, Lynn had a cat that really wanted to get in the tent to snuggle with him. The next night was a dog named "Neighbor" that kept knocking on his door to come out and play. As we moved to the Crazy Horse area, he endured an inquisitive bear in the middle of the night... followed then by terrible thunderstorms and lightening strikes within 100 yards of his tent in Garrison, ND. Semi trucks and airplanes taking off all night in Williston, ND... So when we thought he could take no more, we got him a hotel room - to which there were trains in the night. Then when the snow came, which the weather report did NOT have this storm in their predictions when we left Colorado, we got him a cabin - with a tiny space heater that barely kept up. They told me they were heated cabins! Honest!

Then the final straw, the last night, on our way home, I had booked a tent site for him but it was windy with rain and snow coming down so we again decided we needed to get the man a cabin at the RV park we were scheduled to stay at. Well guess what? It was the first day of antelope/prong horn season and they had no cabins left. I would have never imagined in the middle of Wyoming at the end of September... So off we went to find a hotel room for the poor guy. Well, again, it's the first day of hunting season and things are booked. He ended up having to take a SMOKING room... Who knew those even still existed?!?!?!?! It's great if you are a smoker, but not so much so if you are not. In the room was the typical warning of additional fees, not for smoking in the room but for gutting your animal in the room... REALLY???

Full disclosure though, we did get him a decent room a couple nights in Browning, MT. We felt like he might need some real rest!

Thank you Lynn for your dedication and contributions to this project!!! We were thrilled to share this experience with you and thank you for the photographs/videos.

John and Coleen Graybill debating how to photograph the next image.
"The camera angle should be from over there... " he said.

More debate over where the camera should be.
"I think the camera should be a little more to the left... " she said.

John and Coleen Graybill finally agree.
"I disagree but love you anyway... " they both said.

John Graybill sets up his 6.5"x8.5" view camera for the next shot for the Descendants Project.
This is how the conversation goes when you have two photographers and only one camera. I guess John wins, because he's the one behind the camera!

These photos were taken by Lynn as we were setting up for a descendant from the Arikara Nation. We will be posting more on Dorreen Yellow Bird very soon!

Thank you again Lynn for all your hard work!

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