Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Have you ever awakened to the smell of coffee, bacon, and fresh bread? Or, awakened with the smell of pine in your nose? Have you ever been rolled up in your bed roll, with a camp fire, snapping and popping, as it dies out for the night? With the stars so bright, and so many, that it seems that you can see the heavens go on forever.

Have you ever watched the sun rise from the back of a good cow pony? Or watched as trout jump in the early morning light on a beaver pond? Or awaken to the sound of a breeze blowing gently through the aspens? Have you ever listened to cows as they settle in for the night? Have you listened to the sounds of the forest as it starts a new day? Or the sounds of the forest as it readies for nightfall?

The sound of a small stream as it rolls over stones and tumbles over on small water falls. It makes for a lazy late afternoon of dangling your feet in the water. As you prepare to head back to camp for a supper of homemade biscuits, beans, steak, and apple pie fresh form the chuck wagon cook. The sound of someone chopping wood and the voices of men who are gathering around to fill their plates after a hard day of rounding up cows.

These are the things that I grew up with and the hunting, fishing, and camping all those years ago. I was just being on the ranch that I spent so much time on with family and friends and the men who worked on the ranch. They were so kind to me and my sister, all of them teaching a youngster the things he should know, like how to ride, rope, mend fence, and all the other things about ranching and being a cowboy.

They also taught how to see things from their eyes. Like, how to know when a cow is about to calf. Or when it's time to bring in the herd. And to cut out the yearlings that need to go to market. They also taught us how your word and a hand shake meant something. And, they taught fun things like how to play mumbly peg with a pocket knife. And how to roll a smoke. (I never could get one to roll right.) Horseshoes, poker, ( I always lost my allowance), riding a yearling calf (before mutton busting), how to saddle a horse (which is really hard to do when you are only about seven years old.)

They teased, and joked, and picked on me. And I enjoyed every minute. All I ever, really wanted to do was to be a cowboy. But times changed and I got older. The ranch is still there. It's owned by some big shot rich guy. All the places that I roamed, fished, and hunted are still there. Over the years my family and friends have been to these same places and have enjoyed some of the things that I enjoyed as a child.

But, people pass on and things change. The places of my youth are still there, but you can no longer get to them. Condos, cabins, and ranches are now on land that I use to roam. Beaver ponds that gave me so many hours (years!) of fishing are gone, drained, covered over, or destroyed just so some rich person can have their BIG cabin in the woods.

Before they closed it all off. I was able to do a little fishing in a beaver pond that I used to fish in when I was 17 or so. And not too far from this beaver pond was a group of aspen trees, and behind those was some heavy timber. This is where I got my very first deer. Now the aspens are gone. The heavy timber is gone. In their place is a road and a big metal building (a workshop, I think.) Someone has placed a mobile home there.

I wish that I could go back with a good cow pony and some cows to a place that I can call my own.

I just wanted to be a cowboy.  


  1. "But, people pass on and things change."

    Sadly, that pretty much says it all.

    Great post, even though it set the tone for my day. :)

    1. Matt, thanks for stopping by. This has always been a place that I thought would never change. And I hope that your days are better. Put a smile on your face every day, it makes other people wonder what your up to.

  2. oh Flier - you always were and always will be a cowboy! i am so sorry that the lands that you frequented as a child are now owned by idiot rich people who probably don't even appreciate it. but buddy - there are true and proper cowboys up in heaven looking down on you saying "yep, that's a cowboy!". since i met you, i can't even think of the word cowboy without thinking of you. i send my best wishes to you and Kathi, always.

    your friend,

    1. kymber, Thanks for stopping by. I've kind of always thought of my self as a cowboy. Even though I have not ridden a horse for quite some time. And have not thrown a rope in more years than I care to mention. The land that I tromped on for so many years, I know like you know your own yard.

      The rich person that now owns it. just wants to make more money. Last year, he was selling 35 acre Ranch-et's, for over a million dollars. And people were buying just as fast as they could. Beaver ponds that I spent many a summer, fishing, have been drained, filled in, and destroyed for some rich a-hole to build a "cabin" in the woods.

      And thanks, I'm sure old Joe, is up there, looking down, and smiling, while setting on his horse, with one leg over the saddle horn. And smoking one of his home made cigarettes.

      And Kathi and I send our best wishes to you all. I'm sure we will get to meet each other one of these days.

  3. I think it has everything to do with aging, hurting, and realizing what we CAN'T do anymore. I'd give anything to "go back" in time. It's not just the places, but what they represented. Disappearing land, disappearing people, disappearing lifestyles.

    1. lotta joy, I'm with you. I'd love to be able to go back in time. Things seem to be getting worse, as time goes on. And every thing goes full circle in time.

      Thanks for stopping by my friend.


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