October 23, 2011

Farewell to the Cowboying Couple


Farewell to my friends and ranching neighbors Chris & Diana Elwood who have been a cowboying together for over thirty five years. Things will not be the same without this hard working, salt of the earth, cowboying couple in the area. After 16 years on the nearby old Double X Ranch - starting as hands at the Pines Camp then moving up to excellent managers of the Double X & 7 Cross, they will be hitting the trail back to Montana. Nothing lasts forever, I know, but sometimes you sure wish it would. Words and photos cannot express friendships formed on horseback while cowboying together and all the gorgeous rides on the Old Double X.  I will miss working together and helping each other out - they were a big part of the crew south of Belvidere, South Dakota. I feel lucky to have got in on some of the years while they were here. Thanks for keeping the Double X a true cowboy ranch and for all your help over the years and of course friendship and laughs. I know I speak for many when I say - you will be missed.

HAPPY TRAILS TO YOU ...

©JEAN LAUGHTON 

October 10, 2011

Gathering Porcupine Pasture - Badure Ranch

 Woke up to the sound of a pack of nearby coyotes. Put on my 'costume' for the day and stepped out of my Scotty camper ready for the day's cowboying ... Headed out on horseback just before sunrise on the Badure Ranch next door ... The Crew: Baxter Badure, Al Badure, Brianna Badure, Colter Carlson, Joe Pavlis, Chris Elwood, Bob Fortune, Charlie Fortune, Kenny Fox, Wade Fox, Lyle O'Bryan and Me ... Watched the sun come up over the yucca covered hills as we rode towards the back of the cowboy movie set of a pasture ...  camera-ready silhouetted cowboys riding the ridges above me ... multi colored cows and calves trailing down the draws... riders decked out in full cowboy gear spread out for miles across a large pasture trailing several hundred head in from all directions ... like an endless reel of iconic cowboy movie scenes come to life one after another ... my mind absorbs the day in a series of 'storyboard' images ... I know this isn't a movie but it sure feels like a celluloid day dream ... Once gathered, we worked the heifers east and the steers west in a dance of cow and calf, horse and rider ... cutting pairs out one at a time while holding the rest back ...with a little chasing now and then making for some great action scenes ... a few cowboys trailed the heifers to Horseshoe Butte and the rest pushed the steers across to Black Pipe ...  Back to a house packed full of vintage beaded gauntlet gloves, antique guns, and old time saddles for lunch in a museum-like setting ... One of the best times of the year- Fall ... one of the best parts of my job - helping the neighbors and riding with the crew from south of Belvidere, South Dakota.
©JEAN LAUGHTON

October 6, 2011

Sale Barn - Philip, South Dakota


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