Friday, February 24, 2017

Half Cocked TBT ...

Here we are to Friday, so I'm going to post a Throw Back Thursday (which makes no sense, but that's the way things are around here)...  by reposting an old post from three years ago entitled:



 "Half Cocked..."

Most of my wrecks have come either around cattle or on horses.  Some were bloody, some were just plain funny, and some just were.
 One normal day the Cowman and I were moving a 100 head of heifers from one pasture to another.  The pasture they were in sat in a small valley between rolling hills and high mountain ridges.  A small dry stream with many deep cut banks traversed the valley.  
The Cowman sent me to bring'm, while he was busy setting the gates.
Heifers can be tough to work, they have a tendency to be flighty, one minute huddled together and the next kicking and running in all directions.  Most days if you take your time, and keep them at an even pace, things work out.
This day wasn't going to be one of those days.  I gathered them up at the far end of the valley and started them toward the gate at the other end.  Everything was going along smoothly when over the rolling hills popped three black helicopter gunships. This happened often enough on that ranch that the Cowman and I were used to them.  In fact, I loved to watch them play hide and seek thru the draws.

File:AH-64 Apache.jpg

  
This day they swooped down the valley fast and low, banked, made another run down the valley, then powered up to go over the high ridges and were gone. I'm pretty darn sure they were laugh'n their heads off on that last pass. Because those wringy heifers had not seen the like before and started stampeding.  There we are: the heifers, the big bay horse and I, all pretty much going full out, when out of a deep cut bank came a large herd of squealing wild pigs.






 The heifers went berserk, what with the gunships having gone over them twice, and now wild pigs shooting out of the ground.  
Of course, that big ol bay horse had to join in.  As I'm grabbing leather, for the third time, to stay on the bucking horse, I look up. There off to the side, a horseback, sets the Cowman.  His arms crossed, reins resting on the horn, and I swear to God, giving me the steely eyed look, with one eyebrow cocked and a smirky smile...




 

23 comments:

  1. Oh... THAT must have been a scene!!! :-)

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    1. Old NFO,
      I don't know how the Cowman kept from laughing, I blew both stirrups!

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  2. Hey Brig. Here's the other side from a story I heard once ;-). A number of years ago, six 'SAC trained killers' astride their mighty aerospace war machine entered a low level training route in in the deserts of northern CA and NV at dusk. A sortie in tactical low altitude flying. Mostly we follow the equipment's advice but one leg of the route is really made for handflying. Slightly sloping terrain leading up through a narrow pass, sheer drop off on the other side. A dirt road leading up through the pass so it's a beautiful lead in line I can see in the moonlight. We're flying low enough we're pulling a rooster tail of dust 100' high and 20 miles long. Tactically unsound, but too cool for words. The power is up so the nose is down and while I can see the ground in front of us real clear, the sides are a blur. I am totally focused on the nose of the airplane, the radar altimeter, and the dirt on the road. We crest through the pass, junipers almost brushing the wingtanks, and the co-pilot says, "Was that a pickup?"

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    1. Barney,
      Bet some lonesome cowpoke is still talk'n about that ;^)!
      There was a a couple hundred acre flat field in front of our house when I was a little kid. My Dad used to put his jet on the deck & come at our house, usually when my mother had clothes on the line, and blow the clothes off... Us kids loved it, mom not so much.
      I had my share of Not sure this air frame is designed for this, rides with him. Good times.

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    2. Indeed. Fast forward a couple of years. Me and my dad are horse camping off of a spring at the edge of the Smoke Creek desert and a cowboy comes along pushing strays out of the draw. Chatty sort and leaves after a while saying over his shoulder, "Be careful over there, some *&^!! idjit pilot will run you off the road if you're not careful". Dad gave me one of those looks, but I didn't say anything.
      Those Good Times are priceless. Keep them in a safe place. Ever so often take 'em out to impress the grandies. Be well, Brig.

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  3. That story was too good to be true. I'm still laughing about the pigs popping up. Has to be a great memory for you now but at the time I am betting your were not laughing...even though the Cowman was:-)

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    1. Granny Annie,
      True story. The Cowman never did laugh, but I sure did on the way back to headquarters.

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  4. Wow!! Sounds like something you'd see in a movie!!

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    1. Jenn Tanaka,
      Just another day on the ranch!

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  5. The Cowman towards the end of this post gave me the image of Curly in 'City Slickers' watching Billy Crystal and his urban buddies. Curly, sitting on his horse, tooth pick firmly in side of mouth, shaking his head and muttering...'city folk.'

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    1. Fredd,
      No City Slickers here, just us ranch folk have'n fun.

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  6. What a great story. We have Blackhawks coming over the marina where I most often work on training missions. They come out of Ellington, but pretty much stick to the prescribed routes -- partly because the Johnson Space Center lies between them and wherever they're off to. I suspect the JSC folks wouldn't take kindly to shenanigans. :-)

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    1. shoreacres,
      Thanks. I love those Blackhawks... the sound of Freedom! Shenanigans are a way of life in cow country.

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  7. Put me in mind of this:http://www.shootingtimes.com/handguns/handgun_reviews_st_panache_200907/

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    1. Anon,
      Thanks, my favorite kind of stories!

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  8. What a story! Thanks for this one!

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    1. Granny Sue,
      I am pleased you liked it, as I have enjoyed so many of your stories.

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