Spring time at the V6 is really busy with our 3 cattle drives in April and May, gathering and pregnancy testing 250 first calf heifers, and receiving 280 head of Mexican cattle to brand and vaccinate. Add in the fact that we are in the middle of getting 75 acres ready to plant 11,000 Pistachios trees on, and that’s a full schedule. However, everything had to take a backseat to the events that unfolded this evening.
Zee and I helped our son John and his wife Barb put on a spur of the moment cattle drive. This worked for me because I was still about 80 head short of cattle. Zee and I went along to help out and gather some of our missing cattle. This drive had 14 guests and family wranglers.
We started on a Tuesday and rode about six hours gathering and riding to our Mustang Camp where we would all stay Tuesday and Wednesday night. Wednesday was another pretty long day riding for seven hours. By Thursday, five of our guest had worn their fannies to the bone, so we gave them a ride back to our headquarters in a pickup. That left five extra horses to lead home. What we normally do is put them through a certain gate that lets them travel about 6 miles to home. Well, their leader’s sense of direction must have been off as he led his four friends into a dead end brush alley that engulfed them so tightly that they could not go forward or turn around. Friday morning arrived and no horses standing at the gate so Zee and I decided to go looking. No luck but we were sure that by afternoon they would be waiting at our gate. Late afternoon came and went. Son John volunteered to go back to where they were last seen and track them on foot. I would wait 15 minutes and then drive to Mine Mountain trail and meet John.
No John in sight, but his wife Barb arrives to meet me with a cell phone message from John to meet at Catfish Camp. I have my 6 horse trailer in tow, so off we go to get John and the horses at Catfish Camp. We arrive to a camp with no John and no horses so we wait and wait some more. Finally, we decide to go look around and see if he came down a different part of the mountain. No luck. Barb and I start to really worry is John is hurt. Where could he be? This being a no cellphone service area, we decide that we need to go back to where Barb parked her side by side utility vehicle and put the search into full gear.
As we round the last bend in the road and the side by side comes into view, there stands John with one horse in tow. Barb’s face goes from the look of dread to joy. John’s cell phone had been dead the whole time. He told us that the other four horses got away because he only had one halter. He said that they looked like they were headed back to Mustang Camp. We load the one horse in our trailer and head to Mustang Camp where we had just spent the last three days. It’s just about dark now and as the corrals come into view, there stand four horses waiting to get into their pen. I can’t be mad anymore because all’s well that ends well.