It is 5:08am on Monday. I forgot to turn my alarm off, so…..I am awake blogging now, Russ is watching Netflix. I am feeling a little stupid but it does give some moments to do this. I just asked Russ, “how would you describe yesterday?” He replied, “it was a good day….it was a great day.” There were challenges and mishaps, but overall we have much to be thankful for.
Jen sent this picture early on, the first glimpse I had of the work. Russ says they were just bringing the cows into McNeil’s yard for sorting. That is Griff, Morgan, a rider we aren’t sure of from behind and Jen’s dog Paisley.
More of the crew moving in to get the job done. This is all the pictures I have of the early work. Jen said her hands were too cold to take her gloves off during the actual sorting. It was busy and cold (-7).
Jen, Kenzie, Jordanna and Tenley in the McNeil yard.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I came into the house after getting buns from the garage freezer. Buster was sitting on my desk. That has never happened. Buster doesn’t usually get included on cowchase posts, this was his chance.
The frazzled cook has hair half up and half down.
One of the last lunch prep jobs was making the gravy to go with beef on a bun.
Jill has become the master packer of the van. This lineup meant many trips.
The scene inside our big chuckwagon. We figure it’s our sixth season rolling down the road in this creation David Powell gifted us with.
Jill and I came from the east and caught a glimpse of the herd coming up to Alameda. We were excited and drove past our lunch spot to see them. We were getting a glimpse of the action and seeing if we were needed on the highway. The herd had been slow moving and we got in a wee bit of heck at the end of this video, for looking like we were going to stop the herd at a crucial moment. 🥴🤦♀️
Jill took this picture. Peyton had to come back for seconds, our dog Knightwing had stolen part of her lunch. She was extremely cute telling us her story.
This looked like a fun moment to capture but I ended up getting involved and it didn’t go well. Gina ended her day in an aircast, one we own from a previous injury of hers. Gina was riding bareback because her horse had developed a cinch sore. Mounting up was tricky. Despite hurting her foot/ankle in the process she worked all afternoon, she didn’t want to miss out and it was clear to her that her Dad was relying on her. Indeed, Russ and Morg had to leave the herd for about an hour to try and rope a calf that left our herd and joined another in a pasture along the way. He returned to find Gina with a survey stick in her hand working the herd back and forth, back and forth. She was 100% focused on the cows. Long before lunch she had been nominated for cowgirl of the day, Jen witnessed Gina helping to sort the three herds from each other in a way that was admirable. After riding bareback most of the day and enduring pain all afternoon she definitely earned the nomination.
Jill took this picture of Russ at lunch.
Gina took this picture of Russ shortly after lunch as they headed over the dam.
Patrick took this picture. The dam is a mile and a quarter long and has a low guard wire. Russ reports this was the first year he can remember that no calves got over that cable.
Pat got this one too, his daughter Emory joined us on the trail, that’s her in the foreground.
Becca shared this picture from her vantage point, where she was guarding an approach. I don’t often see head on views of the herd and hardly ever on the dam.
Russ got this picture of the newest rider on the Bar MW trail, this is Jessie Henderson.
This picture of Russell’s features Dwayne who spent his birthday riding with us. I totally forgot about his special day at lunch.
Patrick and Emet, a picture of Russell’s. During lunch Russ was appreciating finding Emet at the right place at the right time, guarding the herd, without being asked.
At the front of our herd is our ox “Moo.” He leads the herd on many chases and Russ says after six years he knows all the routes. Russ says the old west trail bosses would have a steer who knew the way, they used them year after year. Moo is a calming influence and a good leader. He is fraternal twins with Jen’s horse Cinder.
Dwayne shared this very pretty picture of the herd on the move.
Tenley shared this momentous picture of the cows going into the pasture.
It wasn’t clear that we would have supper together but a couple delays along the trail meant the crew not getting back to the yard until right before supper. Jill and I learned this at 4pm and swung into gear. We served an easy meal and it was fun.
Some of the supper scene.
Maddie’s position at days end is something most of us involved could relate to I think.