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!
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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Gathering Cows on Stinkingwater

~I want to earn every cent myself that pays for my land.
I like my independence.~
~Betty Lou Harris 1875~

Looking at my long list of housework chores to do yesterday mornin'...the phone rings. Ty wants to know if I could help gather cows above Buchanan...'well sure!' I'd much rather ride than clean house (which is why my house never gets cleaned!)

So, I scramble to get everyone fed, myself fed, the trailer hooked up, Colt saddled, and haul over to Grandpa Temple's by 10 AM...I made it on time.

We load up Colt and their two horses and drive east up Hwy 20 toward Stinkingwater Pass; pull off the side of the road at a gate on the right, pull in and unload the horses.

I've got my camera in my horn bag, but didn't think I needed it until Ty's horse decides he's a lil' bit cold backed and puts on quite a show. I'm just glad Ty stayed on, because that piece of ground was one big rock pile...scary!

After we decide who's going where, I went with Jerry toward the east and Ty goes west...we keep lookin' back to see if he's still on the lil' bronco. Thank goodness there weren't any more explosions for Ty that day.

At the far east fence line, Jerry too to the hill to push any cows down to me as I traveled through the trees along the edge of the flats.

High Desert Fall Grazing
Three bulls we really have to go home?
I kept checking for cows coming down the hillside, but nothing happened, but I finally did come upon these three bulls...and some very old farm equipment. In the late 1800's and early 1900's, Harney County was full of homesteaders. They were told that crops grew well with little wrong could they be?!? Look at the rocks! And there is very little water.

Farming in the Desert
Farming at it's finest...back in the homesteading years.

Once Upon a Time~
A grain seeder.

Another seeder.
From Colt's back I was pleased to get this clear shot from the metal plate on this seeder. I didn't see a manufactures name, but the patent days are clearly printed...any guesses?

Proudly Manufactured
My guess is that these dates are from the late 1800's. Could the wood be in that good of shape? I would say yes; being high desert, the amount of moisture is limited.

I keep moving my three bulls along and of course they headed straight to the waterin' hole...beautiful and clear water. It was overflowing at the west end and the bulls crossed it and headed back up the hill.

Desert Pond
This spring-fed pond runs all year 'round. Bella Jo sure enjoyed the cool did Colt!
Colt and I quickly followed and got above them...pushing them back down to the flat and moving west. There was still no sign of any other cows from either Ty or Jerry's directions...but I did spot this ol' homestead and loped on across the flat to check it out.

The Ol' Homestead
The stagecoach homestead.
According to Jerry (who's grandmother homesteaded in the area way back when), this was a stagecoach stop between the town of Drewsey and Burns. The barn was huge. It had a loft, harness area, and the stall floors were covered in wood. Most likely it wasn't an overnight stop, just a place where they changed out horses.

The Ol' Stagecoach Barn
The Stagecoach barn...or what's left of it. The archway posts have almost given way, but you can see a lil' piece of wood on the left from the crosspiece and the carved post top on the right.

Windmill Trough
These cows were just waiting for us at the windmill trough.
Jerry, Ty and I all met here at the windmill and these cows were just here waiting for us...the only thing out in that pasture were the three bulls.

Ty took this bunch on north to their pasture while Jerry and I rode south to check the adjacent pasture. It was an amazingly gorgeous ride and I was in such awe, I forgot to get my camera out!! The other lil' issue was that there weren't any cows in the field...and hunters had left the gate at the far end wide open...dang city folk just don't get it!

We rode a couple of miles following tracks and got up on a ridge...way over in the distance, there were black and red dots on the hillside...cows. Jerry said that was a ride for another day...I told him we should get them since we were so close!! So we did.

All in all it was a pretty good day, except that half the cows are still MIA...probably out in that field where the gate had been left open (on BLM land) that will be a gather for another day.


Sydney_bitless said...

How fun I love the old barn and stuff. Is this all your property? or lease land?

gowestferalwoman said...

We are now living on homestead property in Powder River County MT - its hay ground, and I couldnt imagine planting anything without irrigation - they really were fed a bunch of hooey by the railroad bigwigs/government at that time, we have one of the original RR pamphlets, it reads like heaven! and then the drought hit, it must have been so terrible, the losses...

But that looking for cows job beats laundry anyday! thanks for sharing your photos!

Cowgirl in the City said...

Thanks for taking us along for the ride! I think the equipment is from the late 1800's, it probably wasn't new when it was abandoned, and I remember finding old stuff like that all over the ranch on the Owyhee High Desert.

Cheyenne said...

Absolutely fan-bloody-tastic!!!! Thoroughly enjoyed the ride ! Thanks.

Ed said...

Very cool, lots of history in your area. Great shots too, it reminded me of the hike I took on part of the Oregon Trail a few years back..:-)

Linda said...

Sounds like my kind of day.....great pic's too!

Mikey said...

What a gorgeous ride! That looks like a perfect day too. Thanks for capturing all the old equipment and homesteads, that's fascinating for us readers to get a look at. History at it's finest :)

Susan said...

I love coming across old homesteads and equipment. You can research patents online using dates. I found the bottom of a bottle with a date on it from the late 1800s on our place. It was a whiskey bottle (what else?). I read that in Montana 80,000 people homesteaded during the heyday and 60,000 left, usually after the first drought year. Yea, they were lied to.

gtyyup said...

Sydney_bitless~OH'm just helpin' our neighbors gather their cows. Some of the land we were on was theirs...some BLM. You probably got the idea when I said "Grandpa Temple"...I should have been more specific; there's three generations running the ranch, Grandpa, Jerry and Ty.

Shirley said...

That's a lot better way to spend the day than cleaning house! Sure is good riding country there.

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