Did you know moving cows begins at 3 a.m. in the summer? Well, it does. Up at 3 a.m., coffee to be made and slurped fast, horses to be caught and saddled, on the trail by 4 a.m. so the cows and calves can be moved up to the high country while the day is still cool.
It’s done in stages, from the pastures around the main ranch buildings to the higher pastures to the higher pastures to the highest pastures – takes about a week. I only worked for three days.
If traffic jams in the Bay Area are my idea of hell– which they are, riding a big horse and pushing cattle through the mountains of Montana is my idea of heaven.
Finnigan is my favorite horse. He’s big, he’s fun, he’s bossy, he’s experienced and he gives me an eye right off the bat that says – I know what I’m doing. I’ve been doing this longer than you so just sit there and shut up and if you fall off it’s your own fault. Now let’s go.
Finnigan and I moved 120 steers all by ourselves because my daughter took off on her horse to find her dog (chasing wildlife) and the other woman with us wandered over to a swampy area looking for strays (there weren’t any). We drove the steers a mile to the fence where my daughter’s cowboy/rancher husband waited. Like I said… heaven.
I wish I had photos for you but I was way too busy to worry about a camera or even a phone.
I’ll give you some brief highlights– you can use your imagination.
Coming home I left the house at 4 a.m. and met up with everyone else as they trailered up the road for the last push into the highest country. The best part of the trip home? My flight arrived into Seattle 20 minutes early and I was able to catch an earlier flight home, even got seated in First Class. Ah… life is good!