Welcome to our ranch near Canada's west coast in Beautiful British Columbia's West Chilcotin mountain region. Where calling the vet means hollering back at the house to bring your kit, new friendships are formed from the back of a horse and true fun for a five year old is getting a machete for Christmas. Where 'cutting the dinks off' has a totally different meaning than what first comes to mind, Muck Boots are a household name, a hand shake still means something and the coffee is always on.

Saturday 6 January 2018

Cold Rides, Now and Then.

Well, some more photos of cow rear ends for ya.  That's what I've been seeing lately, so it's what you get to see too!  Too bad you can't feel the frozen feet too, just to get the whole experience!  Haha......living the dream.  
I have been doing some writing, trying to explain exactly "why" we move cows so often.  My computer, or this site maybe, has be arguing with me about posting or adding photos lately.  It seems to be working tonight (so far), but I'll finish up that other post later.  For tonight, some photos of recent days of riding.  

Well, I don't know about you, but just seeing this photo makes my shoulders instinctively hunch against the cold.  There is something about cold grey days.  Could be the same temperature on the thermometer but a blue sky and sunshine just makes it that much more bearable.  

I used this photo as a background on my fb page and a friend commented about the lovely 'red ribbon'.  I like it!  Especially with the beautiful snowy Itcha's as a bow over top.  

These next photos are all the same day.  

Cold and snowing.  Lovely way to start out.

But then the sun started coming out.  Isn't this a wild photo?  Magalie took it and apparently the camera was on some sort of funky setting.  Pretty darn awesome anyhow.  She sent it to the Beef in BC Magazine so maybe our cow bums will be famous!  Photo credit to Magalie Steiner

Turned out to be a beautiful day.  But still not to be considered warm.  The weather warmed up AFTER we had all the cows moved.  

 This was pretty neat to see, although the photo does it no justice at all.  The sun was shining on ice crystals in the air (above the cows) and there is a 'sun dog' as well.  That is the rainbow you see to the right of the photo, right over the tractor feeding the cows.  

My very much appreciated Christmas present....  it is a slicker that is fully designed to fit over the front and back of your saddle.  It fits right over my horn and front of the saddle and you can see it fits well over the back.  (I had actually taken one of my jackets off and tied it on my saddle).    Mum has one of these and she refers to it as her "tent".  They are huge to walk around in, but absolutely lovely to ride with when necessary.  So awesome not to have snow in the saddle with you!  Photo credit to Magalie Steiner

I've been reading a handful of memories lately, from a guy that came into this country from the Kelowna area many years ago.  He came into the country in 1938 and although he does refer to himself as "Don" a few times, I can't even find his last name in the pages.  Someone in my family will know though, and I'll try and find out more.  It is quite fascinating as he talks about working at Three Circle Ranch and the surrounding area.  
He says at one point, something along the lines of "When the good Lord made Anahim Lake, He surely forgot to turn the thermostat up!"  

Here is one of "Don's" stories.   

"I had a long ride now every day to feed the cows, about eight miles a day, there and back.  That wouldn't have been too bad if the weather hadn't turned cold, really cold.  Shilling's sixty below thermometer wasn't doing us too much good in telling us how cold it was, as the red was right to the bottom.  We estimated it at around seventy below zero.  Riding up to Four Mile and feeding the cattle was a real trial.  I was happy I had those home made wool socks that Mrs. Smith had made for me.  Those and my buckskin moccasins kept my feet fairly warm.  I had my calfskin chaps over my overalls, my long johns underneath, a flannel shirt, and my buckskin shirt over that.  I had an old flannel shirt that I made a hood out of by sewing up the collar, pulling it over my head, and zipping up the front until only my eyes were showing.  Then, on top of that, was my big cowboy hat.  Even at that, when I'd get to Four Mile, my hands would be so numb I could hardly move my arms, even with a pair of moose hide gloves on.  If you ever had a button come undone, no way could you fasten it up again, so a fellow sure needed to keep his pants buttoned up!
     I'd get an armful of hay pulled out of the stack and it took a sheer effort to get a match struck, but once I got a light into that dry hay, I'd soon have a fire going.  Once I got my circulation going once more, then I'd have to harness up the team and haul out a couple of loads of hay.  Then I'd have to chop open the water holes and give the the team a drink and feed them in the big hay corral there.  Then I'd have the ride home: once in a while a Jack Pine would split, just like a rifle shot."  

  Not gonna lie, it makes me feel kinda wimpy to whine about riding in mere -25 or so.  I haven't seen the kind of temperatures he talks about since I was a kid (and I'm not sad about it either!)    

One of our resident moose (there is a camera shy baby there too).  So nice to see them around this winter, even if they are hard on the hay pile.  They are quite choosy about their hay so when we need a particularly good bale (to feed the colts for example), you always find the "moose approved" ones.  
Anahim Lake style quality control!   

All the best,


kolea said...

Such beautiful country. But I am happy to visit in the summer time. I have been known to grumble when it’s below positive 40 F. I’ll do it to myself from now on. Hey the days are getting longer.

Hoofwrangler4@gmail.com said...

"Moose approved". Great writing. I read somewhere that somebody in your Outfit is a Farrier. What do you do for winter prep? Snowpads? Borium in summer? Given time constraints, I imagine you use all keg shoes. How about an article on the Shoeing / trimming side of life? Thanks again for your generous gift to time.