On tonight’s episode, I went on a real life cattle drive! It was like something out of the movies. Between the scenery and the action, I don’t know when I’ve ever had so much fun or been that sore. Here’s a run down of what happened:
3:30AM Rise and shine! I did my hair and make up because cowgirls need to look cute, too. I wanted my hair out of the way and wore it in one of my go-to styles: a small French braid that gets pulled back into a ponytail. It’s simple, adorable and practical. I didn’t want to have a massive amount of make up on seeing as I was actually going to be working and wouldn’t be able to retouch anything so I chose “dew skin” by Beauty Counter for my foundation and a simple eye with pink lips.
4:30AM Dressed in jeans, boots, a vest and of course wild rag I set off for the barn to tack up my steed. I asked for the horse that they let the 5-year-olds ride because that seemed about my speed. Dunnie and I made quite the pair, if I do say so myself.
5:00AM We load up the horses, drive down the road to the pasture where the cattle spent the night. We mounted up, met up with our cowboy compadres, and were off to the races!
5:30AM The first thing you do when driving cattle is get them all in a bunch. When we arrived in the pasture, the mamas and babies were spread all over the place so we had to heard them up. This was the part I was the most curious about and much to my surprise, the cow dogs did the majority of the heavy lifting for us. I was mesmerized watching each pup effortlessly gather up the cattle. Next thing I knew, it was time to drive them down the mountain.
6:30AM The drive is on. We went down the mountain and waited for the entire heard before it was onto the blacktop for a fun little walk through Downtown Loomis. And by downtown I mean yards and houses. It was funny to watch the calfs try and sneak into the backyards of some lucky residents but once again, our trusty cow dogs kept them in line.
Did you know cowboys eat breakfast burritos while driving cattle?! Ya me either. But we did and it was delish.
Then we drove the heard all through town and up the mountain to the next pasture. It was about 5 hours total. My tushy hurt from sitting. My legs hurt from trying to convince Dunnie to keep going. My face hurt from smiling so much. It was a complete blast! I held up the rear which is where all of the calves ended up because they walk a bit slower than their mamas.
While the most of the time it was fairly uneventful, there was always something going on. One mama cow would wander into a stream to the left, a baby calf would try and climb the rock formation to the right. Then all of a sudden Kent whipped his horse around and went galloping down the mountain. I didn’t see what happened but apparently a sneaky little calf had decided he had enough and was going down the mountain. I didn’t know why this was such a big deal until later when Kent explained to me that if a calf gets lost from it’s mother, it will go back to the last place that it remembers being with mom. Well, in our case that was about 5 miles and 4 hours back down the road! Luckily, Kent found the little guy and we were all reunited at the top of the mountain in the new pasture on which the heard would spend the summer grazing.
As much as I loved the drive itself, I couldn’t get enough of the scenery! Washington state is maybe one of the prettiest places in the country and I was in awe of what was all around me the entire time. There is also something to seeing the countryside on horseback. There really is nothing like it!
11:00AM Phew! All of the cattle were safely moved to the new pasture for their summer and I was exhausted! Time for a nap.