Brad and Dan

You guys are simply a blessing, you know that, right?  Writing what I figured would be the most controversial blog post I’ve ever written, I just knew I’d lose readers/fans/lurkers.  Maybe I have, but at least they were kind about it and simply slipped away!  Thanks for sharing your own stories of heartbreak and hard decisions… it does help to know that I’m not the only one to have made this heart-wrenching decision.  My condolences to everyone that’s gone through this, and those of you who haven’t… well, I’m hoping you never have to do it.


It was a nice -20˚ this morning… Vernon had bet on -30, my money was on -26˚.  I won!!!!  It was probably -30˚ at my old house, it is usually 10˚ cooler there sitting next to the creek… The cold does beautiful things to windowpanes of old houses… have to share my window behind my computer last night as I finished my post.  Pretty, huh?


It’s not near as impressive tonight, we must be having a heat wave…

I wish you could feel the piercing cold.  Hear the squeak as the snow complains of your passing.  And the Facebook post that keeps going around here which says, “The air hurts my face.  Why do I live where the air hurts my face???” – well, it’s just TOO FUNNY!  We were pretty spoiled there for a bit, but it *is* November.

I tried to get a picture first thing this morning that portrayed this bitter cold… I wasn’t very happy with it.

This evening, coming home from work, 1˚ on the thermometer, I *should* have got some kind of pic for you, but I was too busy sweating!  Yup.  You read that right.

I noticed a calf on the road.  It was one of ours.  JOY.  Livestock on the road is BAD, Capital B-A-D.  Black cattle/black night can equal a wrecked car and dead calf… so I debated.  No, too cold to jump out in my “town clothes”, I continued on home to change and head back.  Of course, Vernon wasn’t home yet, so I grabbed the spotlight and left.  I drove 4 miles back down the road and tried to bring the calf to the nearest gate.  Since it was so cold and I was tromping through 6″ of snow, the calf turned and ran the other direction.  Of course.

OK… I hiked it back up to *another* gate… and it jogged right past it and kept on jogging.  Me?  I’m not into jogging.  I went back and retrieved my car, knowing I couldn’t catch up on foot.  I tried to catch up to him… where the samhill did he go?  WAAAAAAY up there almost to another gate!  Nope, we’re going back to the second one, less up and down and more open to keep an eye on him.  By now it’s dark-thirty, and I see headlights coming our way.  My car is stopped back down the road and has its flashers going… I wave my spotlight back and forth and shine it on the calf, though he appears to just be a blacker hole than the surrounding darkness.  It’s the school bus.  Slow down… slow down more… The calf steps out into the road, and I’m talking to E., the bus driver, like he can hear me… Slow down more!  The calf wised up and stepped out of the way… whew.  That was close.  I’m hiking through the snow, encouraging him on… only occasionally using a profane word or two.

About then, a pickup stops.  “Need some help?”  “Yeah, if you guys could go make sure he goes through the gate up there, I’d sure appreciate it!”  “We’ll try!”  Off they went.

I had just been contemplating having to go get some help… this had taken me much longer than expected… and when it’s DARK out here… It’s RATHER DARK OUT HERE.  I was glad they offered some help!  I kept hiking, finally getting the steer to the gate, and the volunteers were in perfect position, and the calf zipped into the pasture just as planned!  “You guys are my heroes!” I yelled!  “We’ll be bigger heroes when we get you back to your car!”  “TRUE!”

Brad and Dan gave me a lift back to my outfit, and I thanked them profusely!  “Hey, this is Wyoming, and we help each other out here.”  You are exactly right, Brad and Dan, and that’s one reason why I love it so much!

The top half of me was sweating, the bottom half was getting chilled, and I was ready to head for my house!  No pics of my dark adventure, so I’ll share this morning’s pic instead.  Its title?

Stupid Powerlines



Brad and Dan — 10 Comments

  1. Hero’s come in just at the right time. Thank God. My computer has been down for several days. So sorry. You gave Colt all you could. You did do the right thing. Poor Colt must have had some kind of tumor??? God bless you for the right Descision

  2. Horrah for unexpected help. In Wyoming, after dark especially, we are always on the lookout for situations where our help could be needed. And we willingly give that help, knowing the situation will be reversed sometime. The good neighbor attitude.

  3. What perseverance! I can feel your chill. We used to be snowmobilers. I can remember going through Yellowstone Park one morning on the way from West Yellowstone back to the trucks at Flag Ranch. It was -80 wind chill. The snow was very crackly and frosty beautiful — but we decided that cold is cold and just feeling it is difficult to determine how far below zero it might be! That particular morning, we put our machines at top speed!! (-:

  4. Just saw the blog about Scout.. so sorry for you and him… he had something terribly wrong and it had to be done – but so so hard…. He knew you loved him and is at peace now…. and yes this air does hurt your face…. Have a good day & hopefully warmer…

  5. You are ever so lucky that you live in a place where people help each other and there is never doubt. Where I live, if two men stopped…the first reaction would be of a bit of fear…help or hurt?

    Stay warm…glad your calf is now safe and sound!

  6. You know, I sometimes really miss some of the sights and sounds of bitter cold… I just don’t miss BEING cold! lol Things like frost patterns on windows, evergreens with fairy frost, that creaking sound of the snow, the sound of ice on a lake when it’s not all the way frozen and you skate out just far enough to make it sing… Those things I miss, but not enough to want to deal with being so cold. So, I’ll live vicariously through others, or so I’ll plan. 🙂

  7. On the first of my U.S. road trips that took me through Wyoming (and Ten Sleep, what are the odds!!), I felt myself breathing more deeply… and falling in love. At first sight. I kept stopping, getting out of the car and saying, this is where I want to live. However, the wind. The strong, chilly wind. Did not hurt my face – it was late September – but my ears. I cannot stand the wind, it gives me splitting headaches. I also cannot handle cold, let alone COLD… Bye-bye, WY, guess I don’t deserve you! But I can dream. And read Red Dirt…
    Glad the calf rescue ended well! (I may have a hunch why you didn’t let your cow dogs extraordinaires help.)

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