This morning we drove 201 replacement heifer calves about twelve miles through the hills to a neighbor's place. He will winter the heifers and then AI them next May. It will then be just a six-mile drive back to the northeast corner of our ranch to get them to grass next summer. We got a good early start, and Peach Blossom led the way with the pickup and trailer, hauling her horse along in case it was needed. (It was.
The calves are used to being caked and fed hay with the Hydra-bed pickup. This wasn't the same vehicle, but they still followed fairly well. The terrain we went through was pretty rough for the first six miles, but Peach Blossom did a superb job driving until getting almost to a good gravel road. There she went around a pond the wrong way, and the sun was in her eyes. The poor old pickup could go no farther, as it was stuck in the mud.
Earlier in the morning, Saddletramp's sharp eyes caught sight of a lone black two-year-old heifer, still out on summer range. We knew we were short one heifer, and I had gone looking for her on three different occasions without success. The reason I couldn't even find any tracks in the two pastures she could have been in was because she wasn't in either of those pastures. How she got where she was remains a mystery, but I'm just glad she turned up as she has been missing since before Thanksgiving.
As Peach Blossom's pickup was incapacitated, she unloaded her horse and rode back the way we had come. She found the heifer and took her on home as she went. She then left her horse at the ranch and brought back another pickup and trailer. Saddletramp, Kosmo, and I continued on down a gravel road to the north with our heifer herd. We arrived at our destination where hay was fed out, just as Peach Blossom arrived with the pickup and trailer. It was just past noon. We made our way back to the stuck truck, pulled it out, ate our lunch which was along, and returned home to take care of the rest of our stock.
The day was absolutely beautiful for this time of year, and got up to 60 degrees. With our good early start, a cloud cover, gentle breeze, and not hurrying the calves, they arrived at their new home in great shape.
The proof is in the pictures.
Bright and early start
Beautiful January morning
Early morning by the lake
Cowboys and cattle are a comin'
Ears the way we do it
A joke being told
Kosmo Kid and Kompany
Saddletramp and the Kosmo Kid
Winding through the hills
Peach Blossom leads the way
Saddletramp, sandhills and soapweeds
Ladies marching onward
Coming down the road
Going down the road
Yup, this is where she got stuck
End of the trail