Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Your Cows Are Out

Nothing profound in this post. Just WSF being a fool again.

Three days a week I drive by the EJE Ranch South of Kimball, NE. Shaun Evertson writes an interesting blog I follow, and sometimes it brings back memories.

On Monday we were ahead of schedule. Our route, Hwy 71, is a narrow two lane no shoulders heavily traveled road making a North-South link between the Nebraska Panhandle and Northeast Colorado, Interstate 76,  Interstate 70, and Hwy 287 into the Oklahoma and Texas Panhandles. If it is blocked for any reason, you are screwed schedule wise.  

We decided to map out an alternate route through the prairie West of Hwy 71 on the Weld County gravel roads. Along the way we passed a very large yellow/white  cow all on her lonesome. Brought back a memory.

Of all the bad news a stock grower can hear, “You’re cows are out”, ranks near the top.

Some friends had been in a bad wreck and I was visiting when they got that call. We tried shooing the cows with our vehicles and on foot but that wasn’t working.  Finally, we had to saddle a horse and I mounted and rounded up the critters.  Back at the barn there were many disparaging remarks about my horsemanship.

“How long has it been since you were on a horse?”

“Probably twenty years”.

“Well, don’t give up your day job”. Etc, etc etc.

That ended when I asked the question, “Are your fucking cows in?”

For the record, I was riding a horse by myself before my 4th birthday. My father, bar none, was the best rider I’ve ever seen. Close behind is my sister. Me? I ride like a sack of potatoes tied to the saddle horn. That said, I’m damn hard to buck off.

Back to the cow, the county road she was along is lightly traveled, mainly by the windmill farm maintenance people, so she probably wasn’t in too much danger. A few miles further West there was a herd of  similar color – probably where she belonged.

It has been a long time since I’ve been around ranching but I think she was a Charolais breed. Hope she found her way home. Didn’t see a calf.

The route we mapped out I found interesting. Rolling hills, some quite steep, gullies, outcrops of Niobrara shale, missile silos, oil infrastructure, and occasional glimpses of the Pawnee Buttes. 

A good sized herd of Pronghorns were bedded down in a protected swale, and catching a few rays one could guess.

 Mileage wise about eight miles longer than the Hwy 71 to Hwy 14. Comes out at Raymer. About 20 minute longer time wise. It will be nice to have an option.
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