Long Lost Summers



Well I am down to my last week here in Wyoming. I plan on leaving early next Saturday morning for the long trip to Oklahoma. It is 1100 miles and 17 hours. So I should get back on Sunday night.

It has been a long week. I rode in the mountains moving cattle a couple of days. It was a long ride and one day we got really soaked, but it was all worth it. The views from on top of the mountain are amazing. I was standing where I could see both the Basin and the snow peaks at the same time. We pushed cattle to the uppper portion of a pasture. It was a very steep climb and sometimes I felt like I was standing side ways just to stay straight up. The rain up there is so quiet, its really a neat experience. I even saw a funnel cloud while up there. It kind of makes sense that one could form from all of the movement of the air over the mountains, but you really don’t expect it way up there.

I ran over a young mule deer this week. I hit it as I was driving down the ranch drive way. It was obviously dying so I had to pick it up off the drive way. I put it in the back of my truck and took it down the road to carry it off. When I went to get it out of my truck it jumped up and started jumping around the bed, then jumped out of the side and ran off. That scared me to death. I was expecting the poor thing to be dead, and it jumped up and ran around. That might have scared me more than sitting on the rattle snake last week.

I really didn’t accomplish anything this week. The swing tongue haybine broke first thing Monday morning when a hydrolic hose broke. It took most of the day for us to get it off and when I finally got to town, they didn’t have the parts to make a new hose. Then it rained when I got the hose back on Wednesday so I only got some hay cut that afternoon. When I started on a new field Thursday morning, I got an hour in and a strap broke that was holding the gear box in place. After messing with that for a few windrows the PTO shaft broke on the gear box. Talk about a long day. After getting my truck stuck while trying to get it back to the tractor, I was about to give up. So I just started fixing fence, because I knew it was something that I could accomplish without breaking something.

I actually slept in till 8:30 today and when I woke up I was thinking about how much I miss the summers in Arkansas. There is just that awesome feeling when you are standing in the middle of a pasture in the heat of the day. You are surrounded by grass burnt brown from the heat, trees that are lush and green, and cattle resting in their shade. Everything is so still and quiet in the heat of the day, even the birds are not as active. Then there are the summer evenings. Resting in the late day heat right before the sun sets. Everything starts to be active again. The cattle head from the water to the pastures for grazing and the whippoorwills start their singing. ‘Chip, butter, and white oak’ is what they are telling us. The crickets and frogs are competing to be the loudest in the night. It is so humid you can’t stand it, but you fight off the mosquitoes just for a little time to set on the steps of the porch until you give in and go to bed for the night. The summer mornings are great. Walking out to feed the calves behind the house as soon as the morning light starts to shine. It is humid and after just a little work it’s easy to start a sweat. The cattle hurry to get in some grazing before the days heat sets in and they have to head to the trees. Its almost a poetic time of year for me. I will have to return to Arkansas someday. I just don’t think I can do without the summers there.

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