At an auction at a ranch in western Wyoming in 1988, a gentleman takes a break on a rail shed gate. If you can figure out at what ranch this took place, comment below and we’ll let you know if you got it right. (Angus M. Thuermer Jr./Jackson Hole News/WyoFile)

When it comes time to auction all the machinery necessary to operate a Wyoming ranch, the bidding can go on for a large part of the day. When the auctioneer moves to sell a batch of equipment a bidder isn’t interested in, it can pay to take a break and wander off from the crowd. Friends gather two by two, chatting and kicking the dirt. Or one might find a rail gate to lean against.

That’s what this ’poke did during an auction back in 1988. Astute observers may be able to discern the ranch’s general location by distant peaks, but they’re admittedly vague clues. Considering the direction of the sun, time of day and size of mountains, viewers could narrow down the site as being in the western half of the state — and they’d be correct.

Beyond that, you’d need a bit of local knowledge to name the ranch, which remains in operation today. If you’ve got an idea of where this gentleman was when he took his break, comment below and we’ll let you know if you got it right.

Angus M. Thuermer Jr. is the natural resources reporter for WyoFile. He is a veteran Wyoming reporter and editor with more than 35 years experience in Wyoming. Contact him at or (307)...

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  1. We have a winner! Rep. Albert Sommers identified the ranch as being Barlows’ and he’s right. The auction took place at John Perry Barlow’s Bar Cross Ranch in Cora.
    Sommers identified two of the people in the picture. His mother is in the background to the right of the resting cowboy’s right elbow, looking at the dump truck.
    And he says Doug Price is left of the resting cowboy, looking down as he talks to another ‘poke.
    Thanks for the information and filling in a little history, Albert.

  2. Jerry spence. Double Dismond ranch.

    Took a break during ranch property bidding made phone call dropped out of bidding then had some one else buy ranch for lower cost