Rainy Day Hole up at the Monk King Bird Pottery
The Wyoming wind blew the snot from my nose in to my eye and I steered the mules for the sign that looked mis-spelled: “Monk King Bird Pottery”. I blamed the snot but sure enough, there was an “N” in the name where I would have expected a “C”.
Pulled the mules to a halt in front of the storefront. Out of the wind I wiped the snotty tear from my eye and stared. No motion. Then, from a recliner, a body rising. That’s how I met Byron Seeley, owner of the Monk King Bird.
Hanging out at the Monk King Bird
Byron owns the Monk King Bird Pottery. The first thing he said after introducing himself was, “I’m kinda sore right now because my dog ran away today. They found him over at the school and brought him back. First time he’s run away in months. That’s why he’s on the zip line. I hate to tie him but he can’t run away like that. He’ll get hit on the highway.
I asked him what the dog’s name was. He said, “Right now it’s Mud. His real name is Floyd but I’m pissed off at him right now for running off.”
Byron said it was okay if I tied the mules out behind the pottery for the night.
Introductions over, Byron gave me a tour of his studio.
In to the Monk King Bird
Byron grew up west of here in Big Piney. He worked cattle with his family before heading out to Taos, New Mexico then swinging back to Caper, Wyoming. Over a decade ago, he bought a gas station in Jeffry City and converted it in to the pottery.
Here’s a look inside.
A Place to Weather the Rain
Last night the rains washed the stars from the sky. I took shelter in a cabin surrounded by Byron’s collection of vintage campers. I woke to a soggy scene of dripping sage brush and muck. My boots are leaking. My bedding is damp. Some days the best thing to do is nothing.
So the mules are getting a day off. Tomorrow morning, under hopefully dryer skies, the mules and I head toward Sweetwater Junction.
Jeffrey City Thanks
Deep in dust and sage of eastern Wyoming, the mules and I are more dependent then ever before for folks we meet along the way. Thanks to:
- Byron of the Monking Bird Pottery: for putting the mules and me up through this patch of wet weather
- Isabel, Lisa and Bill at the Split Rock Cafe and Bar: for the beer, eggs and wi-fi
- Eddie at the Split Rock Cafe and Bar: for telling me so it was going to rain in time for me to crawl in to one of Byron’s cabins
- Lynn and NaNa: for the roadside cherry and nut chocolate bar
- LeRoy: for teaching my how to say “see you later” in Navajo – “a-con-a”
Get A Free Copy of my Photo Book “Nineteen Million Mule Steps”
I’d love to give you a free copy of my new 134-page photo book “19 Million Mule Steps”. The book is about my 7 month, 2,300 mile Long Ride from North Carolina to Idaho with my mules Brick and Cracker. Yes, there’s a photo of Byron in it!