Howdy 'n Welcome to JKs Rough String Ranch

Thanks for stoppin' by!! Grab a hot cup of coffee, and enjoy the ride! You can contact me at gtyyup at wildblue dot net. See ya on down the trail!
All photos and content on this blog are exclusively mine, unless noted.
Please DO NOT copy or reproduce in any way without my permission...just ask!!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Driving Cows from the Mountains

Well, Dang. My garden is pretty much done's 22 degrees this's been a good summer though!

Yesterday I helped the 3J move pairs down from the mountains northwest of Buchanan. Their cows that summered on the desert behind our place were trailed home in early September.

Riding up in the mountains is a real treat for me. We just don't have much time to get away from our place and ride up there...and I love the tall pine trees!

We trailered the horses up to Pine Creek where the cows were held in a small field. The two days prior, they had been gathered and sorted. Two other outfits ranged their cows with the 3J. I couldn't spend three days helping them (wish I could have!), so I helped on the day Ty needed me most.

Most of the pairs stayed in the meadow by the creek.
The willows get really thick off to the left and
a bunch were hiding in them. Ty's grandpa
pushed them out of the corner on foot while I
rode Colt through the tangled mess of willows.

Ty had to ride to the rim to push a few pairs down
that had gone up there to graze.

This is the typical "fall foliage" around here.
Freeze dried!

Ty, on the right, counting head as they
pass through the gate.
The other rider is was just the three of
us moving the cows.

It was a pretty cold morning...35 at my place...30 at Ty's...and a lot colder at Pine Creek. We were probably at about the 6000 ft level. The sun was shining, but there were clouds above too that were trying to spit some snow at us.

We rode through an area where they had done some
logging...that gave me this really cool shot.

These cows had been on this trail many times and knew the way home. Since I'd never ridden up there, I just kept the stragglers and wayward cows going whichever way the majority of the herd was going. Ty had to open numerous gates as we passed through other allotment fields and some private land too.

The wind and snow pellets were the worst when
we hit the gravel flats. Colt usually has his
ears all perked up, but he was trying to
keep the snow from going into his ears!

Then we dropped off the flat and the sun was shining,
snow pellets were falling, and the dust was flying!

We arrived at the "ol' homestead" around 2 PM.

This is about half way to where these cows will winter. There's enough feed and water in this field for a couple of days at which time they'll take them the rest of the way off the mountain. It would be dark before we got them home if we tried to do it all in one day.

This is Jake riding one of Ty's colts.
Jake is a darn good hand. He's a farrier, does day
work, and braids rawhide and mohair.

This is the ol' homestead. Ty's grandpa's mother
had lived here (probably in the early 1900's).
I love this's totally awesome!
But, I might not think that when the snow is 3 feet deep!

But, is sure paints a picture in my mind of
days gone by.

Grandpa said that they usually just summered up here. They had a place in Lawen too where they spent the winters. But she'd grow a garden, they hunted their meat, and rarely went to town (Burns) which was probably at least two day's ride one way.

It took us an hour to trailer the horses down the mountain from the ol' homestead. Grandpa pointed to numerous places along the way down that were homesteads. Unfortunately the buildings are no longer standing. But none of those homestead locations compared to theirs.



mugwump said...

I love the old homesteads. It reminds me of my ex-husbands family place. There were cabins built by their grandfather when he homesteaded the place and then others from the years before. Your photos took me straight back.

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

Incredible photos!!

I love old homesteads. There are lots of them in my area of SD. I have noticed a lot of them up in the mountains here in CO too.

I always thought I would take the time to stop and photograph the old places around home(SD), but have just never taken the time. I really need to get on that.

Dusty Devoe said...

Looks like a lot of fun! But COLD! The picture of the old homestead is priceless. I love it.

The Wife said...

Very cool. Thanks for taking us along for that.

Anonymous said...

Nice ride you took us on. It's glove weather here too:(

Ed said...

Very cool, snow already? Lucky you, I'm sweating in Houston today, dreaming of getting up north..:-))

Paint Girl said...

Wow! What a ride! You have me shivering in my seat! Cold!
Love the old homestead, that is so neat it is still there.

Jayke said...

That looks like it must've been a great ride!

That homestead reminds me of some of the oldest settlements around here, and I love the way you captured the beams of sunlight falling across it, it gives it an almost ethereal quality.

But honestly the first thing I thought when I saw the picture was:
Wow, Oliver would definitely come up with an excuse to spook at that.
"Moooom! There's horse eaters in there! I can't go by there!!!"

Great post though!

Paula said...

23 Degrees! Mercy Sakers and all you guys are wearing is jackets and gloves! I am a weinie!

Paty Jager said...

You sparked my attention with the homestead info.;)

It looks like an enjoyable day.

Andrea said...

Brrrr!! But WOW! What an adventure and even with the cold weather, you got some awesome shots and got to move some cattle! I love the old homestead. It amazes me how people lived back then. Yes, it's hard to imagine living in that house with out a central heating system with winds and snow outside! Those were some tough folks back then.

Jocelyn said...

Thanks for taking us along!

I love old homesteads and the history the walls could talk about!

Nina P. said...

A wonderful post. your photo's tell a story of hard work, accomplishment and pride in a good days work. There's nothing like the sound sleep after a honest days work. Thank you for sharing and sleep well sun up comes all too soon. Love and Light, Nina P

threecollie said...

Saw your link on Sunday Stills and dropped by. What wonderful photographs! Thanks for sharing!

lisa said...

I just love coming over and seeing your posts! The pictures you take are amazing and I love to hear about your day!

Mellimaus said...

Wow, cool shots, I'm SO jealous! I want to do that one day, too! :)

Shirley said...

Cool for riding, but the cows always seem to know that cool weather means they get to go home and eat hay; bet they were willing! Really like the counting picture.

Faithful said...

Thanks for the great trail ride, Karen. Love the pics of the old homestead. It's pretty neat that grandpa is still around to tell the stories.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Awesome experience, ride, and homestead! What a rustic beautiful home.
But Jake sure looked tired. I bet you and Colt were, too. Such crazy weather there. I wonder what winter will bring us this year. I'm expecting an early fierce winter. bah!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin