There’s a line in my favorite movie, “The Man from Snowy River”, (set in Australia) where the protagonist asks the hero of the film, Jim Craig, a question about the mountains (as it’s good country upon which to raise cattle). Jim’s reply, “I think you’d sooner hold back the tide than tame the mountains”.
I kind of feel like that about Armstrong County. Which is where I live, duh.
Branding season here, was plagued with rain- to the point that everyone was weeks behind (kind of like my blogging) This event happend June 2!. No one was complaining about us being 2 inches above normal precipitation for May after last year’s drought, but due to the rain it’s become even more apparent that you must have a healthy respect for mother nature. Especially when you live in gumbo country and getting stuck can be the rule, not the exception.
Take for instance the other night. We’d had a long day and were asleep to the sound of rain on the roof. The phone rings at about 11:30pm . It’s the neighbor, who is stuck in the creek with their trailer. They were gonna need some help getting out, so we jump up, grab Big Green and head to the rescue.
Then there was a Thursday branding scheduled for a few days after that incident, that had to be postponed. That neighbor waited a few days, and again, there was more rain. He decided he’d have it anyway – rain or shine. In Armstrong that means a few things: You may be riding your horse several miles to the branding; you may get your pickup stuck; and for me, you might find yourself at a branding riding a mud-covered horse. Which happend. His new name “Pig Pen”.
When we arrived at his turn-off, there was a cluster of trailers piled up. It seemed no one really wanted to be the brave one and drive 3 miles down a muddy gumbo “road” to his house, or better yet, another mile or so to the branding pens, south of his house.
But, just as we were pulling in the first rig headed South, then the next rig, then us. The first muddy spot, we made it through, though it was pretty rough going. Rough enough that the cowboy said, “if the next spot is that bad, we’re parking and riding in. If I’m gonna cripple a horse, I’m gonna be riding the sob”. AND THEN we see the tell-tale sign that someone had gotten stuck. It’s all fun and games in Armstrong until someone gets stuck! Though in the spring, when it’s muddy, it’s kind of the status quo. If you live in Armstrong, chances are pretty good you’ll be stuck at least once in your life. Probably more. It’s just how it goes. The four wheel drive on your pickup will be used, and chances are at some point, you’ll have it in the shop to be fixed. As an aside, if automotive engineers came to Armstrong, they’d see the shortcomings in their designs. Haha! We put vehicles to the test in this country!
Here we are riding in:
And because I’m an awesome photographer, I don’t have a single photo of the mess of trailers stuck, unstuck and otherwise in a pile off the road. At the end of the day the tractor was there to pull folks to the “road” which, by the afternoon, was pretty dry.
So, since I don’t have a photo, we’ll leave the vehicle pile-up to Canadian singer, Corb Lund. If you dont’ know who Corb is, I highly recommend you find his music and start listening. ASAP. There’s actually been times in Armstrong when someone gets their tractor stuck, and someone else comes to pull them out and they get their tractor stuck and well, then you’re just stuck…