So as I mentioned in the last post, we got our nice warm rains in June and then early July brought massive flooding. About the time the irrigation was all coming off, Mother Nature turned on the tap and did a much better job of soaking us than we ever could on purpose. The amount of water was staggering, and slightly terrifying. With every puddle, pond, creek, spring and swamp filled to the max, even a little rainfall over the summer would put us back in to flood mode. (And there was plenty of rain!)
We thought 2016 was bad....this year we are not even able to drive a tractor on to more than 50% of our hay land, let alone create a bale.
I'll show you a video.....
What does this all mean? Buying hay and selling cows. Not really the position one wants to be in when building up a ranch. But it is what it is.....
Boys being boys
Ah, but it's not all bad and we have much to be thankful for! Here is another video link to our calves for the season. I make this video every year and it is shown in the auction ring while two loads of our steers are sold. They won't actually be delivered until later in October, when we will sell the heifers and the rest. So sadly, we will also be forced to sell the majority of what we would normally keep as replacements.
But they look amazing, don't they?!
The big upside to the summer was another great season of trail riding with wonderful guests, repeats and new. Overall, we were quite lucky with the weather in the mountains, although a person didn't want to get too far separated from their raincoat.
We did have a really crazy trip down in to Pan Valley the one day. The weather that morning started out good enough, we didn't even put our rain coats on until about an hour in to the ride. But as we got to the top of Pan Pass, the thunder crashed and boomed and lightning flashed. Like seriously....it could not have picked a worst time. Things got worse before they got better, the britchen on a young horse broke (a piece of equipment that drops over the horses hind end to keep the packs/saddle from going to far forward), and things were about as exciting as you could dread, headed down a narrow shale trail in a thundering rain storm. Everyone held it together, the britchen got a temporary fix with my knotted bandana and we started off again. It's a steep rocky trail to get down and not a lot of fun at the best of times. I would prefer to walk my horse down, as the guests do, but that's pretty much impossible when you are leading three packhorses. Usually I'm riding a colt too, which brings a whole new level of fun. Haha. This time I was riding a seasoned champion, Vicky, who is normally used for packing. I was really happy to have her solid body under me, especially with my dogs both in a near panic and trying to climb up in the saddle with me with all the thunder slamming around us as we skidded down the trail. Anyhow, I started this story out just to mention how incredibly beautiful the ride was, even during the storm. The rain brought out all the most vivid colors, and the sun shone though to bounce the craziest light off the rocks. I really regret not digging out my camera at the time, but I knew that in reality, I really didn't want to take on one more challenge at the moment. Unfortunately, I think everyone else was thinking about the same, so opportunity lost. (But everyone arrived safely and smiling at the bottom (as the rain stopped!) so it was a win overall.
All for now,