Continued from last week…Posted 23, 2013
BY Dean Meyer
Continued from last week…
But all in all I kind of like winter. When you are walking to the house at night and you can look up and see the millions of stars twinkling back at you. And the air is so still that even an occasional snowflake is embarrassed at disturbing it.
And I always kind of liked riding in the winter. Oh, your toes might freeze and fall off. And your fingers get so cold that you have to hold back tears as they warmed up under warm water from the faucet.
But there is something about riding along the ridges and spotting a buck deer bedded down under a cedar tree. Or having a pheasant or sharptail burst through fresh snow from right underneath your horse. Or maybe seeing the tracks where coyotes pulled down a young or crippled deer in the deep snow. And picturing the battle in your mind.
I remember one time I was riding down Deep Creek. It was one of those winter afternoons where the world is standing still. Not cold enough to be miserable, but cold enough to keep the riffraff out. Snowflakes as big as saucers were gently drifty down from a dark sky. Not a breath of breeze was disturbing those lazy flakes.
Riding along in fresh fall snow, I sensed some movement out of the corner of my eye. There was a herd of elk winding down a sidehill towards me.
I stopped “Freeman” and he sensed it was a special moment.
We sat there, frozen in time, as 30 elk came winding down through the scrub oak and passed a few yards in front of us. Only one saw us. And that old cow elk just turned her head and looked at my kind of quizzically, as if to ask why I was in her house.
Then they disappeared up the next canyon like ghosts into a castle. When they were gone, I sat there another moment, hating to move, and realized that life was good.
Oh, sometimes winter was bad. When you broke down on the river and had to walk eight miles home. Uphill. Carrying 50 extra pounds of lasagna around my middle.
Or pacing the house while a blizzard roared for a couple days and you were worried about the cows. Or worrying while a son or daughter was on their way to a rodeo over icy roads and drifting snow. But, I guess I’ve been pretty lucky.
The cows usually came out of it pretty good and the kids always did.
May as well put on some extra clothes and we’ll go feed cows.
Hang on cause I’m going to take a hard run at that big drift up ahead.