Over the course of two summers starting in 1945, Lorna Benedict lived in a shepherd’s wagon on a large ranch in Wyoming. During her stint as a shepherd she watched over a herd of sheep, chopped her own firewood, shot and skinned local wildlife and fished the rivers for her food. Every few weeks, when the sheep moved on to feed, horses would be hooked up to the wagon so she and her home could continue the process. When asked what she liked about the lifestyle, she said “Nothing!”
“Well…at that age, it wasn’t what I wanted to do,” Lorna added. “But now that I look back on it, it was really amazing to be out in nature with those mountains in Wyoming. I sure did read a lot.
The shepherd’s wagon, built around 1930, now sits in Lorna’s backyard in Washoe Valley, Nev. She brought it back with her when the ranch she worked on found no more need for the tiny wagons since the price of sheep had gone down. Lorna has used the wagon as a guest house, a retreat and one couple even honeymooned in it.
The wagon contains a full-sized bed, the original wood stove, a toiletry cabinet and wash basin, a pull-out table stored under the bed, a small kitchen and storage for clothes, food and pots and pans. The roof is covered with a heavy canvas and the inside is lined with gingham. It has a small window above the bed and the front door is a double door.
Lorna has worked over the years as a Rolfer, massage therapist and massage teacher. A career she went into after being thrown from too many horses out on the Wyoming range.
Photos by Christina Nellemann