AUGUST 13 – Last week Dani rode with Andrea and me to move the range cows up out of Baker Creek again. Andrea and I made a short ride with her new horse early that morning, then she changed horses and rode Sprout for the long cattle drive. We took the cows on around the mountain to better grass.
Dani really likes helping move cows; she and Ed make a good cow-chasing team. The next day Sam rode with us on a shorter ride with Rishiam. He’s getting used to having more horses along for the ride.
That Sunday Andrea’s friend Robbie was here for the day. That afternoon Andrea and Robbie helped Michael and Nick work on the new fence they are building for my brother—setting posts in a rocky hillside.
Lynn’s trough garden is growing lots of squash and zucchini this year. We had a lot of big zucchini and I cooked and froze a dozen packages. I will use them later to put in stew, soup, chili, etc. The tomatoes aren’t doing as well this year; the vines are still just blooming instead of making tomatoes!
Last Monday Sam and Dani both rode with Andrea and me on a longer ride with Rishiam. We paused on a flat ridge where Andrea and I both took photos.
Lynn took our old stackwagon to a friend who is a good welder—to fix the hole in the floor where the gas pedal goes clear down through it. Lynn had stuck an old license plate under it to get by during haying, but it was time to fix it for real!
Wednesday evening Andrea and the girls were visiting Yoders, our Amish neighbors who live just a mile below us on the creek—when they got a phone call from Hannah Miller (another Amish family around the hill from us). Hannah’s younger brother Sy had been rushed to the hospital by ambulance with a head injury. He’d been helping his dad work on their hay cutter, getting it ready for their second cutting of hay. Part of it had gotten bent during haying, and they were trying to straighten the metal. Sy was holding a bar against it while John was pounding it with a big sledge hammer, when the head flew off the hammer and hit Sy in the back of the head.
It knocked him down, and after a few minutes he was unresponsive, so they called for the ambulance. Word spread quickly around the neighborhood and many people were praying for him through the night. A CT scan showed no bleeding in the brain, and after keeping him overnight in the hospital for observation, the doctors let him come home the next morning. He had a big knot on his head, headaches and dizziness for a few days, but seems to be recovering, so we are all thankful.
The next day, we moved the cows to the little field above our house.
Then Andrea and I rode up the creek to meet Carolyn for another ride, but her horse was lame. So we went over the middle range instead, and discovered a dead calf in some brush this side of the Bear Trough. The smell was strong, and Rishiam didn’t want to get near it, so we made a wide detour around it and come down the Second Gully. When Andrea went over to Millers later that day with Get Well cards from all of us and a gift for Sy, she told John about the dead calf. He thought it was probably Alfonzo’s sick calf that they had to cut back the day they moved cattle to the high range. He’d offered to help Alfonzo bring it home to his own corral and doctor it, but Alfonzo didn’t want to bother with it and just figured it would be ok.
AUGUST 20 – When my cousin Ned and his wife Pam were here, on the last day of their visit, Andrea was preparing to hike back in to Running Creek Ranch to get Emily. Carolyn and Nick went with her, and they left very early in the morning to drive to the trail head at Paradise. The stopped briefly at Nez Perce Pass on the way.
Nick wanted to run the 7.5 mile trail, so he took off ahead of Andrea and Carolyn, who were hiking a leisurely pace.
Nick did the run in just over an hour (with a 30 pound back pack) and he and Emily started hiking back out, meeting Andrea and Carolyn about halfway, and they all hiked out together, preparing to drive back home again. Emily was supposed to have a week off from work before going back in again later.
Late that morning, Ned, Pam and Andrea’s other kids came down to our place for lunch, and we planned to have supper at Andrea’s house after Andrea, Em and Nick got home that evening. We had a really hard rainstorm—a major downpour—through part of the morning, and lightning struck Main Street in town, but the rain stopped before noon. Ned and Pam went to town to do some shopping and picked up some fresh-made pizza on their way home, for supper for everyone.
The road crew said the washouts couldn’t be repaired any time soon, so there was only one way to come out—to drive through the wilderness area along a jeep track along the mountain ridges for 100 miles north to Elk City, and then loop back over into Montana and come out at Lolo and then to Missoula and home. Since it would be too dangerous to drive that route in the dark, they stayed in the cabin at Magruder and started that trek early the next morning. Nick was impatient because he had to get ready to drive back to college in Iowa, and this would put him a day behind, but it was an interesting adventure. Em was driving Jim’s truck that she was supposed to take to the airport at Hamilton. She and Nick followed Andrea’s truck along the ridgetops on the jeep track.
On Monday we had a pleasant surprise visit from Harv and Wilda Koehl from Minnesota—friends we haven’t seen for many years, since Emily was a baby. We all had dinner at Andrea’s house and they got to meet her other 3 kids.
That afternoon I typed up a brief biography of my father for the Historical Society and described how he came to write Murder on the Middle Fork—his historical novel that they are reviewing this week.
Dottie and Rishiam (the gelding Andrea is training) have had 8 days of vacation from riding, with Andrea being busy with company, going into the back country to get Emily, etc. We had to make this ride fairly short, and hurried home so Andrea could take Dani to her dental appointment to have a tooth pulled. The new tooth is coming in underneath it and the old one had to come out. It’s raining this evening; maybe our dry summer is over.
AUGUST 31 – We had several days of rain last week but Andrea and I kept riding in spite of it, trying to get more rides and miles on her new gelding and get him farther along in his training. We’ve been working on getting him over some of his fears and spooking at new things, and his phobia about bridling and taking the bridle off. He’s doing a little better now, lowering his head enough to make it easier to put the bridle on, and easier to take it off without clanking his teeth. He’s starting to trust us. He is also more patient about standing tied for longer periods of time.
We didn’t get to ride our young horses that day, but I rode Ed to move our cows from the lower swamp pasture up to Heifer Hill.
We had to move some cows up out of Baker Creek that day, and Dottie did very well; she’s deciding that she likes to move cattle and will eventually make a good little cowhorse for Sam.
Michael and Carolyn went on a riding/camping trip in southern Idaho this weekend with Carolyn’s brothers, so we did their chores while they were gone. They brought the two goats down here for us to keep track of.
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