A DAY IN THE LIFE or Mikey Likes It
Sep. 10, 2009 8:20 am
Updated: Sep. 11, 2009 11:33 am
Jump out of bed at 5 a.m. Pour myself into a pair of jeans and boots and run to the barn to catch my horse. No time to eat, but that's okay, I am used to this and will be much too busy to have AR or food on my mind.
I notice its chili out.
Saddle up and throw Wimpy in the horse trailer with the rest, take a seat in the "green bomb" with the boss and 3 of the kids, while one of the triplets warms his pickup with his brother asleep in the front seat. They will follow us with the horses. We will start bringing cattle down off the mountain today, it is that seasoning. We will meat up at Stonehouse meadow.
Drive 30 miles, unload and mount up under the rising sun. We start the long trek up the mountain that will climb 4,000 ft in elevation in the next hour or so.
A good part of the morning is spent looking for beef. They are spread in every nook and cranny. The 7 of us split up and start pushing them in from the far corners. My first trip up here nearly broke my teeth, as we were in a vehicle, and it tossed me all over the cab as we endeavored to inch down the rocky road. It is heavily peppered with large stones all across the top of the mountain.
Two hours later, we have them by the corner gate in the Cabin field, and are ready to start pushing them down the hill. It is now around 9 a.m. and I have been chewing gum all morning to keep from getting too thirsty. I'm not hungry even though it is long past breakfast time...food never crosses my mind.
The next leg of the trip makes me glad I didn't eat. Cattle prefer going UPhill to downhill. Instead of dropping to the road, for an easy saunter to the bottom, they split up and start climbing the steep canyon walls, and pushing thru low growing juniper trees, and we spend the next 5 hours trying to scrape them off the sides, while I am desperately trying to focus on something other than the view down the canyon to the valley floor far below. That view was a lot scarier on horseback than the view from a hot air balloon. I hardly notice the chokecherries and elderberries growing wild all around us.
I ponder the fact that I am feeling queasy, and if I HAD eaten pancakes, sausage and eggs, I might be leaving it there...and we won't even mention what coffee would have done to me! The footing on the mountainside is poor, one wrong step and we will be toast, and I wonder if Wimpy will be able to save my bacon.
The sun is up pretty high now, and the hot dogs can no longer push the cattle down the canyon walls, in spite of their barking and frequent nips. They opt to cool off in the stream far below us. We have to resort to pushing them with our horses, and hooting and hollering, and Elizabeth with her handy bullwhip.
Hours later, we have them on the road at last, and headed in the direction of home. They will continue to walk that direction for the next couple of days on their own, until they arrive. We will leave the light on.
One of the boys climbs his horse onto a high promontory to see if we left any beef back in the canyon. He knows I have a camera and its the perfect photo op. What a ham!
Jump the horses back into the trailer and head back home 9 1/2 hours after we began...just in time for me to milk the cow, and start dinner, which will be the first and only meal of my day. ..I opt for squash and give thanks that Wimpy didn't do that to me rolling down a hill, he managed to stay on his feet this time. I feel like a little chicken, so I throw some of that in too. Handy Randyman wants beef, but thats just the kinda guy he is.
I hope you enjoyed this cheesy little blog.
5:30 am...start of the workday
gotta find a bunch of these...
take them down 4,000' in elevation to the valley floor...which you can hardly see here
steep country, and that is dust, not overexposure
did i mention it was rocky?
a little closer to the valley floor....
He might be "bluffing"
yours truly...takin a break