Monday, October 31, 2011

The Recap...

Seems I owe you all a blog post so that Tiffy doesn't send her minions here to pester me or something.

Anyway... I moved up on Sunday and set up camp.

Monday found us riding through the neighboring allotment looking for our cattle who had strayed. Didn't find any, some of them saw a few elk and I had good luck finding frost gnats.

Tuesday, we made the big circle, which is always a slow day for me when I'm the only four wheeler out there... oh, I didn't tell you that my horse for the week was a four wheeler? Oh yeah... I have to ride one of those because nobody else wants to. I'd rather be on a horse too, but somebody has to do it. Beats you to death and leaves you with a stiff lower back and sore shoulders for the first couple days, if not weeks. You get used to it.

Tuesday the weather report that filtered up to camp was that it was the last of the nice days. It was supposed to turn off rainy on Wed, and then down in town the low on Thursday was supposed to be 42, the high? 45. We were a long way away from "town" and about 2000 feet higher. To top it all off... Wed rain was supposed to be mild and it was really supposed to get serious on Thursday. We all suspected snow.

Anyway... I've been using my dad's old Army poncho for the last 20 years or so, but it's starting to develop a couple leaks, so I bought a brand spankin' new Army poncho from the surplus store. I was more than ready for a little rain.

Wednesday found us starting the day gathering cattle in damp, but dry conditions with a mere 25 mph breeze coming straight into us. That changed rather quickly into a slight driving drizzle. I quickly put my new poncho on right before the wind died down to a mere 15 or so, and the rain really started to come down. The high? Maybe 40. After a few hours in constant driving rain, I wondered why my elbow was getting cold and wet, and I don't mean the bottom of the elbow, I mean the inner elbow. Even though that was covered by a new poncho, a denim jacket, and a long sleeved shirt. Que??? Also... why were my shoulders getting cold and damp... turns out the only thing the poncho did was keep all of the rain from hitting the ground. It soaked through in no time and then clung rather well to the rest of me soaking me to the bone. Coat, vest, shirt, undershirt, chaps, pants, long johns, and skin... I was never so disappointed in a surplus item. The army needs to find out who made those and kill them. Seriously. I damn near froze solid and the troops don't need to go through that.

About 1:30 on Wed, we made it back to camp and started to thaw/dry out when the snow started...

Thursday? Woke up to about 4 inches and wind and blowing snow. No way we were going to ride in that. You couldn't see anything. Most of the crew went to town leaving me with a crew of Mexican nationals to watch the camp. Turned into a fun night spent brushing up on my Spanish and braiding a few strands of twine. About 1 am I awoke to frigid conditions in my camp trailer. The heater fan wasn't working on DC power so I had to venture out and fill up the generator with gas so that I could switch the fan over to AC power and have some sort of heat.

Friday we awoke to about 8 inches of snow and 30 mph breezes. I tried to make a little circle but I couldn't go anywhere nor see anything when I got there. I did get a small dose of frostbite on my cheek though, so it wasn't a total bust. The rest of the day was spent in the cabin, eating a late lunch and playing cards till 10pm. Went out to the trailer and found that it wasn't the DC power, it was a much bigger problem. I tried to chase the wiring to see if something had come loose, and couldn't find anything wrong with the wiring so it looks like the fan motor went out. That night it didn't even freeze up there. It was a balmy 34 or so all night long. Much time was spent under many covers, and one of the roof vents started leaking and dripping onto the carpet next to my bed. I had to get a mug to place under the drip.

Got up the next morning, broke camp, busted trail and we all loaded up and came home.

Back to the grind Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday (started sorting cattle), Thursday (kept sorting cattle), Friday, (still sorting cattle) and so on and so forth until it was time for me to gather another allotment which meant riding... and riding... and riding some more. Followed by sorting, gathering, and weaning and processing the calves... Followed by more riding looking for the stragglers, and more riding looking for the sneaky ones, followed by more riding for the last of the mohicans... followed yesterday by one last big sweep on the second allotment for all that we could get sight of. Now we'll have to wait until the snow falls and track them down...

So all in all... since we last spoke, I've been playing with cattle or trying to fix breakdowns/water lines/fences/corrals every day thinking of all of you. Thinking that you all should have shown up and actually helped me out that is!

Sheesh... you all are a fine bunch of fair weather friends now... aren't ya.

Today's mystery lyric: (Remember the rules folks, no online searching of the lyrics, if you don't know it, you don't have the answer!) Just for Danigirl...

Lipstick junkie debunked me all at once
She came back wearing a smile

Looking like someone drugged me
They wanted to unplug me
No one here is on trial it's just
A turnaround and we

Answer to last lyric: Bad Case of Loving You by Robert Palmer. Way to go BC! (ok, ok... I'll give Tiffy a nod too)