Saturday, June 10, 2006

The schedule for today was to wake up at 5:30 a.m. to go help the Schettlers brand. The Schettlers live way, way, way out in the Badlands along the Little Missouri River. I rode in Ron & Sarah McFadden's outfit w/ their five little ones, plus Margi and Kristin. When we arrived at the corrals, it was raining. Seven or eight pickups with 30 or 40 cattlemen and women were there. Burning brands on wet hide doesn't work well, so we all waited in the damp mud and fog with the bellowing heifers and calves. The riders had gathered up the herd, though, so it seemed things would get cooking before too long. We waited some more, but the rain wouldn't let up. Around noon we slip-slided to the ranch house for coffee. I felt sorry for Mrs. Schettler, because we muddied up her kitchen something terrible in the process. Eventually the whiskey got passed around, and other beverages. I'm recovering from a cough, so I abstained. And the rain continued.

Then it was dinner time, so we ate a Schettler feast. Peach pie was my dessert choice.

At around 6:00 p.m. the branding got called off, and by 8:30 p.m. I was back at my parents' house, in their bathtub, washing off the mud that Katie McFadden wiped on my cheeks and forehead. As I stared into the bathroom mirror, I was once again confronted with how truly unCowboy I feel--wheezing w/ hay fever, carsick, shivering, lonesome for my computer, pallid-faced, tender-footed, and mute.

Nevertheless, it was a fine day amongst sweet people. Little Missouri Badlands country is as beautiful as it gets. Atop one butte we saw three bighorn sheep. And the grass is greener than ever.


Anonymous said...

Have you seen the movie Grey Owl?

Chris Sand said...

I haven't seen Grey Owl, but I'll Google it.

p.s. I erased the first part of your comment, because it asks a question I don't feel like wrestling with in a public forum. However, if you leave your email, I'll reply.

Anonymous said...

that is so unfair!!!