Today’s post comes from Renee in North Dakota.
Husband and I travelled to Newell, SD a couple of weeks ago to pick up some lambs we ordered from the Tri-county Meat Locker. It was a beautiful day for a drive, through some pretty isolated and rugged terrain, past the Slim Buttes, Custer National Forest, and Castle Rock, past Hoover, ( a former stage-coach stop that now is a ranch with a convenience store), with Bear Butte (sacred to the Lakota people) in the far distance near Sturgis.
We were about 20 miles into SD near a very small “town” named Reva, when we had to stop for about 15 minutes to allow the last of about 200 head of Angus cattle cross the road to their winter pasture closer to their rancher’s home place. They appeared to be cows with almost full-grown calves. We arrived at the very end of the parade, and we could see the cattle that had already crossed the road winding their way far ahead.
The cattle were pretty placid and calm, mooing quietly, trudging resolutely, herded by two teenage girls and a much younger girl about eight years old, all on horseback. The little girl didn’t look too happy about it. There was a mom-type with two preschool-age girls bringing up the rear on an ATV.
As we continued on our way we noticed fresh cowpies on the highway for about 10 miles, and we could trace where the cattle had started out in a pasture just below the Slim Buttes. Husband and I were so happy we got to see this, which we found out was pretty common this time of year. It is a lot less expensive to drive them to winter pasture than to truck them. I thought about the teens and younger children involved in the drive and I hoped they understood just how fortunate they are to experience this.
The cattle were not visible from the road on our return trip later that afternoon. I like to think they were munching away on good grass on the other side of the hills. I suppose they will travel back to their summer pasture in the spring, this time accompanied by new calves.
It was a really good day.
What unexpected sight stopped your road trip?