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9/28/2011

Memories That Will Be With Me For The Rest Of My Life!

Time has a way of slipping away from us all. The past three weeks have proven to me how fleeting our experiences really are. When we gathered south of Caldwell on Sept 3rd the cattle drive seemed a daunting task and I wondered if I could even make the week, let alone the entire drive. Now that it is over, the cattle drive has become a series of memories that will be with me for the rest of my life. There were so many good cowboys, cowgirls, cooks and the unsung heroes of the support group who made certain that all of our necessities were provided for.  
Vickie Koontz found out just how efficient the boys were when the portable outhouse was hitched up and rolled away while she was in it! Every camp depended upon the crew to move vehicles and get the next camp organized and the Major (Stephen Bachelor) kept everything moving in good military order. 
Craig Opel (Corncob) got his name when he moved those outhouses without securing the toilet paper. As he traveled away the rolls began to unwind, effectively T P ing the countryside as he unknowingly drove along. As the cattle moved forward we knew we were on the right trail by the sign he was leaving.  
The Cowboy (Me) got in more trouble than was reported. Besides flying over the Moon and getting bucked off a second time the last week, I had a little run-in with some round bales along the way. A steer ran between two lines of bales and I made the mistake of going in to get him out. Well, Moon isnt much for reverse and when the path began to narrow I realized we had to stop but Moon wanted that steer! So he lunged forward just when he should have been backing out. I got my boots stuck between the bales, still in the stirrups and there we were. We finally worked our way back and Trail Boss Mike Clover jumped over the bales and dug the calf out while we worked our way back out. From then on, every time we came across hay bales I received several warnings to keep a close watch on them and stay at a safe distance. Needless to say I made the rest of the drive without any additional hay bale incidents.  
Electric fences were a nightmare. The cattle seemed to be drawn to them and we rarely passed one that didnt attract an animal or two to the other side of the fence. We lost nearly the whole herd to one electric fence and the boys spent a good deal of time repairing the wire and posts after we passed by.  
Corncob tried to run off a steer that was giving him undue attention in the middle of the night and after he told the story we were all glad that we were sleeping soundly. Apparently he sleeps in the nude and when all attempts to send his unwanted visitor away failed, he jumped up and ran naked after the steer in the clear moonlight. That would have been a sight to cause many a cowboy to lose sleep for many a night afterward! 
Roger, the lead steer became a celebrity. Everyone wanted to see Roger and he seemed to like being the center of attention. Every time the cameras came out Roger would put on his best pose and give a bawl to the herd as if to say Im the King of the drive. And I guess we all thought he was. 
Cant really complain about the weather. We had only one hot day and several cool nights. Even the little rains were just minor distractions as Mother Nature mostly smiled on us throughout the drive.  
Every cowboy has his own tale to tell and I havent even begun to touch on all the things that happened to us. But there is no question we all experienced something that we will never forget. Oh yeah, and as for making it through the drive, this ol cowboy came through stronger than he started. Moon carried me through with flying colors and along with his rider grew stronger every day.  
Thinking back on events I feel like this is what I was made for. But then Moon made the trip more pleasurable than I could have imagined. So, I guess I will sign off from this here Drovers Diary. Thanks for following along. Me and Moon will be lookin for ya down the trail. 
So Long&. 

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