This past Saturday after Thanksgiving I was part of an unique crew that moved cows home from summer pasture for our neighbor. When my neighbor had called he thought it would be himself, his wife, me and another neighbor for help. The evening before they had stopped at the pastor’s to check in. They’d had family for Thanksgiving and two extra guests. Our pastor teaches at a very small bible college about 3 hours away. These two girls had come to spend the Thanksgiving vacation as they lived to far away to be able to drive home. They were intrigued by a cattle drive and asked to come along with us. It was a blessing in disguise for my neighbor’s wife as she had been struggling with a head and chest cold and was hoping to be able to stay inside and out of the very cold air.
We didn’t start extremely early because all the cattle needed to be fed before we could start. I’m sure this later hour worked better for our adventurous college students. We saddled one extra horse and loaded a 4 wheeler into the back of the trailer for the other student. One girl had ridden before and the other wanted to go ‘motorized’! :) We trailed several miles to where the cattle had spent the summer. We drove on a state highway, a one lane black top road, gravel and then onto trail. The interesting part was that we never left the route that the mail follows. The mail carriers in our area are also adventurous types or they wouldn’t be able to handle the good and very bad roads. :)
Rachel was our extra horseback rider. She is from West Central California,right along the coast. This had been a eye opening week for Rachel, she had never felt temps below freezing and Western Nebraska saw temperatures fall to zero and below with a nasty wind driven cold. We’d even had a dusting of snow. Rachel’s folk run a bible camp which is open year round. They do youth and kids camps through the summer and have other adult meetings and conferences during the rest of the year. She grew up loving horses as a girl and her parents finally let her start riding her best friends horse for lessons. She then graduated to owning a horse and enjoyed showing it in English classes and jumping.
Chrystal was our 4 wheeler driver. She was from Pennsylvania and had grown up on a small acreage around livestock. Her family had an orchard, a large garden and a few head of cattle produced for beef. She was impressed with the vastness of the Sandhills and the bleak beauty of the hills during the winter months. Our day was a good one for the week as we enjoyed some sunshine and the wind didn’t howl fur
Our crew as we left that morning – Nate on a 4 wheeler, Gordon the trail boss and owner, Chrystal on a 4wheeler, myself (Jecca) and Rachel. Nate went ahead of us and opened gates or let the fence down so the cattle could cross. He also made sure we left the fence in better shape than when we let it down.
Just thought I’d share another great day in this ranch wife’s life. It was such an encouragement to get to know these two young ladies better and to be amazed at the connections we have across this great country. Who would have thought that both east and west would be on a cattle drive in the middle of the Sandhills of Nebraska!!