Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Damp Finish

The cows are happy in their new digs. The last leg of the journey was good for them - cold and wet - but hard on the cowboys. It rained the last half of the day, and with a cold wind we all got chilled. When we dumped them through the gate, I told Sandy, Jesse’s Mom who had taken a day off to ride with us, “Let’s use our age and sex as excuses to take cover!”  Might as well; pride is overrated. Mark and his friend Greg, our banker, stayed out in the rain to keep the un-mothered pairs from going back.

After waiting a long time for Mark’s parents to arrive with a horse trailer, we got word they had slipped on a sidehill and had gone to the valley for tire chains. In the end we still got home before dark, safe and sound.

When Mark went back yesterday, only one calf had crawled through the fence and returned to our starting place. Mark loaded him up and his mother was waiting for him at the gate. Not bad.

We had puzzled over this last day's move. Brush Creek is a stubborn place to get out of. It’s down in a hole, split by a creek with rugged sidehills on either side. Because the herd is so large, we strategized to let the first draft out and then gather what was left to make two herds out of them. Mark worked with the first crew and came back in an hour or so to find me and three good cowboys trying to get the last of the calves across Brush Creek. The last two crossed when he got there and he took credit of course!

I was sure missing Seth and Anna, but I found out we could do it without them. They had their first day of work in D.C. while we were mauling cattle through the mud. When I got to talk to Anna she said they were suffering from culture shock. After spending a week on horseback, then getting off a plane and on to the metro, they looked at each other and said “what are we doing here?”

They didn’t want to leave and I suppose that's good in a way. I told them they were going on a grand adventure. I told them, as I always do, that the ranch will still be here. Waiting.

the last long climb

mist on the camera lens/
that ring is his coffee mug!

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