Every winter we trail our cows the few miles from Holbrook to home and every year it turns out to be a family adventure. This last year we managed to move the herd when the brothers were home for Christmas. They always love a good chance to help on the family ranch and we always love a little extra help!
This move is just a little jaunt that can be done in a few hours and you can expect things to go smooth and easy. In fact, when I asked what kind of help they needed from me, The Rancher said they had enough and didn’t even really need me. Rather than be offended for not being needed, I decided that this was a great chance to just come along for the photo opportunities. Of course, as soon as I planned on that, things got hinky!
Even though I wasn’t really needed, I was told to drive the truck and trailer to pick up the boys and 4 wheelers after the work was done and since I was in the truck I was assigned the second task to sit on the road to turn the cows. The gate where the cows were coming out of was right on the oiled road with a private lane on either side. I think, “No big deal, these cows have done this hundreds of times. I’ve done this loads of times. This will be easy.” I park the truck on the road to block the cows from going one way and plan on the near two feet of snow on the lane crossing the road to deter the cows from going the other ways. The Rancher figured that if that plan wasn’t enough to keep the cows headed in the right direction, the bale on the feed truck meant to entice them would surely keep them on track.
It wasn’t. I was standing on the road, snapping away at my camera as the cows neared the gate and as the feed truck pulled on to the road. Everything looked good- they were following along nicely until one wild girl thought it would be more fun to tear down the snowy lane and into another open gate of a neighboring field. Don’t you think that it would be more fun to swim in the belly high snow than take the easy way down the road? Where is the excitement in the simple, huh? I see this happening and figure someone will quick jump after her and keep everything in line. As the self-proclaimed photographer for the outing and a very pregnant lady, I was sure I wouldn’t have to be the one. But I was.
And by the time I started running, holding my camera in one hand, keeping my bulging belly from bouncing too much and praying that I wouldn’t fall on my face, half the herd or more has followed crazy cow number one. The Rancher and The Buckaroo quickly came to my rescue, pushing all but a few of the cows through the field and back into the herd. The two last feisty ones wanted to play hide-and-seek-around-the-old-railroad-car. After chasing them for as long as my preggo body could handle, I claimed defeat and decided I would just take their picture instead. Of course, pulling out my camera motivated them to scamper along…
The rest of the drive went as smoothly as it should or at least less dramatic on my part. Once I got back to the truck I stayed there. Those boys can get their own cows, especially since they didn’t think they would need my help anyway!