Hay, that is.. got up at 3 a.m. this morning and headed east.. got back there in 5 hours, got loaded and headed home.. took me almost 12 hours total time over, load and get back.. was 12 hours by the time I got it all unloaded…only stopped to fuel up or go to the restroom.. weather and roads were good.. sure glad I ain’t a trucker.. stupid people out there driving who don’t realize outfits with heavy loads can’t stop on a dime.. been cold, getting a few flurries once in awhile but they always melt off quick. If you got to have a drought, now is a pretty good time to have one!

Got a skift of snow yesterday morning.. didn’t amount to much..feeding the cattle a little hay once in awhile to try and stretch the short grass we have, ..Gabe went wrestling yesterday afternoon and pinned 3 opponents… the other kids all had B Ball.. they played good.. didn’t really pay attention to who won or lost.. doesn’t really matter, as long as they are trying.. it always amazes me how they come along and get better, year to year.. kind of like watching young colts get more confidence and better as they get older and more experience.. been trying to get some leather work done, but seems like there is always something else comes up.. I did make it east river to get another trailer load of hay..sure like the way this dually handles those loads..had a deer run into me one evening when I was coming home after dark a few weeks ago.. I was going slow but the deer didn’t care, bam, right into the side on a dually fender… didn’t even kill the deer..took it to a body shop and got an estimate to fix that and a couple other dings and dents.. looks like I will be getting a flatbed for it.. cheaper and really more handy.. Mick Harrison came out yesterday wanting a leather project done for him.. we are going to trade some leather work for some art work.. good trade!

Of the flu bug, it seems.. wasn’t feeing the best on Thursday and by Thursday night  I realized I had the scours… dang.. and no bolus pills the right size! Cindy babied me as best she could with 6 grandkids here…. I stayed away from them as best I could.. I hate passing on sickness.. what is it with people who get a cold or the flu and go out and seem to be around people more than when they are not sick? Anyway, it is much better this morning.. matter of fact, it was better by last night, but I am not much of a gambler, so was carful…

Had a feller die, who in his mind, probably didn’t know he made much of an impact in my life.. he probably wasn’t aware of the impact he made in most peoples lives… great guy, fun to be around, told funny stories and was pretty sharp to boot.. I will be going to his funeral today and am sure that the building they hold it in will be maxxed out to over flowing.

I hope I make as much of an impact on others lives around me… Dad told of a guy who passed away and said that there sure were a lot of people at the funeral, about half were there to make for sure he was dead! That is not the kind of crowd I want… remember, you are making an impact on peoples lives you are around..try and make it a good one. It costs nothing to smile and say Hello and be pleasant.. or to give some time to those around you. We have lots of time, don’t we? Lets share it with those who need it. A kindness is never wasted.

Yesterday. Delbert came over and helped.. we had 5 grandkids saddled up and they all helped..Tate and Chance and Hope and I all rode also, so we took the field with a large and wild contingent and the wild bovine never stood a chance! Went good.

Chance and the adults plus Gabe sorted at the gate we normally sort at while I had my minions at the other corral and we sorted some cows off and then set them up and pushed the rest into the other corral so they could get sorted off.. calves looked bigger and better than I thought they would.. they got two shots and poured.. had a couple or three who had some small horns so we bobbed them off.. well, on the char cross calves anyway, we never did anything to the Corry calves but have them go thru’ the chute…was going to cut the bulls calves but left them to get a better base on their horns..then Cindy and I took off for Philip for a birthday part that a buddies sister was having and he asked us to come down, eat a steak with them and then play music, so we did, had a great time! Finger are sore this morning… but it’s a good kind of sore!

Up before daylight, got Mijo saddled and loaded and drove north about 45 miles, we gathered the pairs and yearlings and got the calves stripped off and then I shoved al the calve thru’ the chute while they gave 3 shots and pour on… 1:30 before we were done and the vet showed up to preg… we ate a quick bit and then back to the cattle, got them all pegged and sorted as they wanted them and then kicked the yearlings and dries out  and let the pairs go back to the pasture they were in.. dark by the time we were done, nice day, almost too warm.. cattle were so gentle you couldn’t hardly get them to move and dang sure no respect for a man on horseback or a foot.. I like gentle cattle but I want them to move off when I tell them and not run back over the top of me… oh well, it paid good… and it is done…

Helped a neighbor on Thursday and another on Friday to ship their calves, windy and cool both days, looks like fall is here… hope winter holds off, not much grass left but what there is, isn’t very tall, so would like to get it before it is covered with snow… Cindy and I went to town the other day and she got herself a new vehicle, a Jeep Cherokee.. drives and rides nice and gets good fuel economy… it looks about like all the other SUV’s, only thing I am not crazy about.. easy to get in and out of and I can wear my hat while driving or riding in it..

Got more cattle to ship on Monday and help a neighbor work cattle on Tuesday… one of these days we are going to need to work some calves if we can find a day that works for everyone..

While in town yesterday afternoon, we drove up Spearfish canyon and then on to Deadwood.. found a friend who was their for the music deal going on so had a nice visit and ate some supper then stopped in Scooptown for groceries and came home.. doesn’t take much to amuse us old people..

I took off last Monday afternoon and went to Martin, staying the night with Fr Tyler.. he drove me on down to Merriman Neb the next morning where we met up with Marty Blocker at 5:30 am… Marty and I spurred Silver and away we went, heading for the Poetry Gathering in Durango, Colorado…. we traveled good, there was never any quiet as we drove a long, we are good traveling partners… we both need to use the bathroom at the same time and felt the need for water and food at the same time also.. Marty was the Capitan and I was the Navigator… what could possibly go wrong?

We got to the north east edge of the Denver area and found us a trail around it… of course, being in Colorado, they evidently have better things to spend their money on than road signs….. we managed to get across the north end in suburbs… everyone was in a hurry and evidently the speed limit signs are just a suggestion.. and me and ol’ Marty know that the weak that don’t keep up with the herd get ate, so we whipped and spurred and stayed with them.. when Colorado passed the law to allow people to use pot legally, I am pretty sure they knew what they were doing as if you were smoked up and mellowed out when you got to any city, it would be a good thing, but my guess is that no one is using it before they drive, as they sure ain’t mellow!!!

We got around the mess, into the mountains which, while very pretty, are not the best for making good time… we made it to Glenwood Spring (where Doc Holliday is supposedly buried, but we never seen any proof).. every body in three states was wanting to go a different direction than us so it was a teensy bit exasperating for a couple of ol’ cowboys… Marty’s cousin finally found us and lead us to his brothers place where we had a great supper and conversation…then he lead us up a mountain road that no self respecting mountain goat would have traveled on as it would be just too scary… he was kind enough to go slow enough we could keep up and by then it was dark so we couldn’t really see to the bottom of the straight off drop off most of the way up… we sure crowded that canyon wall! We spent that night at his “little” cabin… evidently them fellers make better wages than me on ol’ Marty….early next morning (like 5 am early) we was up and at them.. followed him south, I guess, really hard to tell directions with out the sun and heck, in that country I bet they only get 3 hours down in them canyons…he said we was headed south and by golly, turns out he was right! We ate breakfast then headed out for Ouray and Silverton and then Durango… we never did leanr to pronounce Ouray like the natives… we did find a real nice gentleman there who tried to pass us with flashing lights and turns out he followed us everywhere we went, so thinking he needed to ask us something about cows or horses, Marty pulled over.. he did ask us a bunch of questions but wasn’t a one of them about cows and horses…. we must be popular as he had another feller with the same kind of car come over and visit with us also.. not sure why they was both so red faced… I think they must have had a cold and it effected their ears cuz they sure talked loud.. I bet they realized they was talking to fellers who don’t hear very well… didn’t matter, we sure heard them… he suggested that the road ahead was steep and windy and we might better slow it down, so we thanked him for the nice conversation and told him we needed to be getting on our way, so they both walked off shaking their heads… again, must have been the head colds… anyhoo…

We started up this twisty trail and man there was some nice views.. poor ol Marty was holding the steering wheel, so didn’t get to see as much as me as he had his eyes closed most of the time.. but I kept up a running documentary of what we was seeing and how well he was driving and encouraging him as best I could…I even got some video but can’t get my stupid camera to share much of it..

We finally winds down into Durango, and I had been their the year before so I was really showing Marty all the high points.. we found our lodging and they was good folks other than they sure try to crowd a lot of vehicles into a tiny spot.. some of the folks couldn’t even get their car doors open after we parked, but we could, so that was what really mattered… they always feed us a good breakfast in the morning also but wouldn’t let us in until 6 am, so we’d have plenty of time to visit and make plans before breakfast…

Not sure if I remember what all we did from Thursday night until Sunday morning as there was just so much and we only had 24 hours a day to jam as much fun into as we could, but I do remember a real nice little horse “ranch” we got to eat and entertain and listen to good musicians and poetry at… and the Starter Hotel hosted a bunch of us like minded folks and just plumb turned the place over to us…you’d think they’d know better, but by golly they been doing it for quite a few years…most had the good taste to take off their spurs and knock most of the trail dust off before they went in and sat down..we got to ride a tiny little ol train up a steep canyon, but they had the foresight to knock the rock off the edges enough in places to where they could sneak the cars by and only about half of the side of the car was hanging over open space, but shoot, it wasn’t but 100 to 500 feet down into that canyon and there was water flowing in the bottom, so I bet if you did fall off, you’d likely miss all them rocks and land in the water for a safe landing.. I was a bit disappointed when they told me I couldn’t drive the train, even when me an ol’ Marty both told them what a good driver I am.. heck, sit’s on tracks! How you gonna go wrong!

And then several of them fellers running around and working the train stopped me from getting up on the roof.. I was planning on surfing that train just like them boys out in California do and I seen fellers doing it on the movies so I knew I could.. and they watched me pretty close, like they was afraid I would go ahead and do it after I promised them several times I wouldn’t.. matter of fact, they watched me like a hawk… never could sneak away long enough to get out of their sight…

Marty and other performers performed all the way up and all the way back on 6 different cars.. up the canyon, where they turned the train around, they fed us and  let some rest their legs a bit.. right purty little canyon, kind of windy and chilly but I had my flannians on so I was prepared…

We stuck around the Strater most of the time when we wasn’t out terrorizing the other people in that country, evidently they don’t get too many people with hats and boots..the food was always good tho’ they sure were proud of it.. we went out to a roadhouse and I got Marty to eat raw oysters with me and he said they was good, we never did find out what breed they come from…

Sunday morning we headed for home as I had checked the weather and they claimed snow was coming.. me and ol Marty, we ain’t afraid of no snow, heck we seen a bunch in our lives, but we sure didn’t want to be going thru’ them big cites with anything but dry pavement, I sure wish someone would teach them folk to drive… only took us about 3 big circles thru’ and around Colorado Springs to finally find the right road.. again, with their lack of road signs.. of course I was driving and Marty was navigating with the map, but them maps don’t show roads in and around them cities very well… QWe did stop and check out the Royal Gorge,, pretty disappointing as they wouldn’t let us drop a punk in’ over the side.. heck. they had some setting right close.. claimed we might hit one of them rafters or kayakers was down there over a 1000 feet below in the Arkansaw river, but we’d of never hit anyone, we got better aim than that.. and so what if we did, them folks must have a death wish anyway…heck a punkin ain’t gonna hurt no one dropped on their head… Some of the people discouraged us from hanging off over the railing on the outside to get a better view.. sure are a bunch of scared cats around there…we headed back on out and Silver flew thru’ the day and 11:30 pm found us back in Merriman and Fr Tyler picked me up and hauled me back to his place.. I slept a few hours and headed home, sure felt good to be back amongst people who know what a speed limit sign means and see grass and cattle.. we seen some cattle out their in Colorado but I am betting they are buying lots from this country cuz we didn’t see enough to feed even half the people we seen, for one meal!

It was a great trip and if we can get that restraining order throwed out before next year, heck, we’ll go back! But not Red Mountain Summit! Something about them wiggly side roads seem to bother poor ol’ Marty’s indigestion…

We took off the other morning and went back to Aberdeen area and got to flat bed loads of hay, behind the pickups, Tate’s and mine… Chance rode with me… long day but good hay and they pulled good..then yesterday morning Tate and I took off and left Chance and we went back on the other side of Huron and got two loads.. almost as good of hay, poorer roads.. man, coming east out of Ft Pierre that road is beat up! Not sure why, can’t think of any heavy loads that would be going west… it sucks until you get west of Hayes.. make your pickup and trailer buck and jump like a bucking horse.. Tate’s load must have been different than mine or he is just young enough to handle it, but I had to slow down.. I was afraid I would tear the neck off the trailer or break a spring! Sad part is, we need to go get at least a couple more loads… Bridger hill was fun to go down and pull up the other side… Ol’ Blue just flat got down on his belly and pulled… if I had a truck that handled loads as good as this one ton Dodge Dually and an automatic like it has, I’d go to trucking hay! I think we averaged about 8 miles to the gallon over and back, both days..

Chance had several local loads on trucks come in and he unloaded and rikked and stacked them up.. got more to come…

Rained a bit last night and supposed to be more going in today and tonight.. let it pour! We will take it.. back there on the other side of Huron, it is lush green and water in ditches.. looks like heaven after this dry ol’ country around here.. too bad it’s so far.. we’d just haul cows out there and let them guys feed them all winter! But it would cost us almost twice as much as buying the hay and feeding it ourselves…


Tho the calendar tells me it is still summer, it isa fall for us… working calves, cooler temps…

Cindy and I drove to Ft Pierre to go to their Heritage Festival, on Friday.. Chance, Hope and kids went also. Chance, Gus and I were to perform… went good, Gus did a great job.. Addy Bear rode along with us so I taught her a short little poem to tell the crowd, she did good and they loved it..I had to host all the day sessions and we had a great jam session on Friday night in the lobby of the motel we were all staying in, along with all the other performers…

Cindy and I took her Nitro in to get an estimate from deer damage on it and did a few other things in the Hills, yesterday.

Cooler and windy today and supposed to stay that way this week… I need to get back east and get a load of hay or two that I bought.. need Chances trailer tho’ and he’s been using it building fence..

I should go out in the wind and move some cattle today..

As always, we sure could use a good rain… normally we get at least 10 inches, evening a dry year and I think we are less than 7 right now.. sure hope the rest gets here before it comes as snow, but afraid we will get some this winter… we need it to fill dams and recharge water underground, but I am not looking forward to it..and it can rain enough in the spring to do all that…it just seldom seems to happen that way..

We had a nice stretch of color weather but it stopped yesterday and they are saying it will be a warm weekend..

I got some chinking done in the mud room today, I forgot how bad it wears me out.. need to finish one wall but have to wait for this to dry so I can move stuff..

We got cattle in the other day and sorted off some that needed branded and I am sure glad that is done.. big job, but went well..

I had to run to Rapid day before yesterday and get a new hearing aid as I lost one while we were working cattle.. my guy, Norman, at Mountain Plains Audiology always treats me so good, ended up with a new set and sure didn’t cost too bad.. Cindy said she didn’t care what they cost, she hates it when I don’t have them or wear them.

While out checking cows the other evening we found some more plums so Hope and the kids and I went and picked them then she and Cindy made jelly.. you can’t have too much wild plum jelly!

We got some gigs coming up.. Ft Pierre next weekend, then Valentine the last weekend and Alzada on that Sunday… They’ve invited Gus to come play so we’ve all been practicing a bit..

Hope the cooler weather come back and I’d sure take several inches of rain if anyone wants to send some..