Saturday, October 8, 2011

Trailing to the Vance Place

The day started with Mike finishing his roofing job on the front porch.  The old farmhouse got a lovely new coat of paint this summer and it seems like we just finished cleaning up from that job, but the front porch couldn't face another winter without attention and rain was in the forecast. So up he went on the ladder, while I tackled some of the plums, cutting them up for the dryer and tossing a few into the cinnamon rolls, thereby discovering a new delectable treat, plum rolls.
What I call "date" plums

Sweet-tart sticky fruity plum rolls
By the time we loaded up and hauled to the Zumwalt, dark clouds had descended and the rain had started. Nothing like swinging onto a wet saddle in your dry jeans....but wonderful to smell, hear and see that moisture falling on the range.  I was glad for my many layers in what seemed like an overnight transition from months of shorts and sandals to fleece and slicker.

Mid-day dark, leading Mike's horse while he brings the truck

The cows gathered easy, but weren't sure where we were going, as it was their first time trailing to the Vance. The last few miles seemed to stretch on and on as we meandered back and forth down the draw, stymied by the persistent traffic of hunters who seemed to enjoy stopping in the middle of the herd.
Scattering in the draw

I was glad when the winds died down and the rain let up and relieved to finally see Vance meadow through the trees. The cows were relieved too and quickly settled to grazing on their new range. With just enough daylight left, we repaired the dilapidated gate and put up the "Keep Gate Closed" signs.
Mestizo and Ol Zeb

We loaded the dogs and horses and hopped in the truck, ready for the last cup of coffee from the thermos and the plum rolls I'd saved for the end of the day. That's when Mike realized our headlights were out. It wouldn't have been the first time we'd plugged across the prairie with only our running lights, but luckily it was just a loose fuse and soon we were rattling west over the hills toward home.

From Sara at Magpie Ranch, home of Bunchgrass Beef