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Old 06-27-2010, 01:58 PM   #1
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You can ride behind me....

We rambled up Italian Creek heading toward ''timber line''. That is ''high country'' where the trees stop growing. As the horses plodded along the ground got rougher and very large rocks began to appear. Some of the rocks were bigger than a house and buried in the ground with just the very top of the rock showing. I picked my way along being very careful not to let ''Booger Red'' make a bad step and possibly break a leg on the slick rocks.
We went thru a sort of a pass between two mountains and over toward another valley except it was high up in the mountains. This turned out to be an old mining town up there. Long ago abandoned when the gold pinched out and many of the buildings had fallen in on themselves. You could see the main street and still make out the old hotel by its size though the front section had fallen in. In the back was the kitchen and in that kitchen I saw the largest cook stove I have ever seen in my life. It was of course cast iron and it had a double fire box on it. This means that it had a fire box on both ends with two ovens between. There were probably ten ''eyes'' in the top of the massive stove and I believe it had at least six warming closets above the cook area. There was a water tank on the back for heating water that would have held forty gallons of water I bet. One of the legs had fallen thru the floor and the stove sat at a odd angle with the floor. We roamed around in the town looking and picking thru the junk finding several ''blue fruit jars''. Art said they turned blue due to age. We found several medicine bottles and some old whiskey bottles. Art said he had been there before and the only way into this old town was on horse back. I asked about the large stove and how they got such a monster into the town and he told me that it came apart and was hauled in while dismantled. He said he would love to take it out but it was just too heavy for his pack mules. Art warned us to stay in the streets because there were shaft mines all around and they had been covered over with boards and the dust and dirt had miagrated on the boards and it looked like solid ground. One wrong step and you could go down several hundred feet and probably never be seen again.
We left the town and went south and found the two bulls laying on the side of a mountain. We wrangled them up and got them moving down the mountain toward Pie Plant which was probably ten miles away. They would just plod along taking their own good time, stopping to munch grass occasionally. Keep in mind that these bulls probably weighed over a thousand pounds each. Very big and very independent.
For some strange reason these two bulls decided they didnt like each other. One stopped and snorted and pawed at the ground lowering his head and snorting again...... Hummmmmmmmm?
The other bull took up the challenge facing off with the first bull. He snorted, pawed the ground and proceeded toward bull number one with his head down. Mind you this was all in kind of slow motion.
At this point it turned into a pushing contest of a sort. Both bulls lowered their heads and went horn to horn and started pushing like to D9 Caterpillars on muddy ground. Both would push and snort and push some more. Art looked at me and said that I should back off to a safe distance and he would handle this situation. He got of ''Rex'' with a long whip in his right hand. He walked up to within twenty feet of the bulls and swung the whip over his head. The report of the whip sounded like a shotgun going off. He pulled the whip back and made it ''report'' again, this time sounding like a 30/30 rifle. I pulled up beside of Jim and asked what exactly was Art trying to accomplish besides getting stomped to death by a couple of mad bulls. Jim just grinned and said his dad knew what he was doing. He was trying to distract the bulls with noise. Again and again the whip cracked within inches of the bulls heads as they snorted and pushed. I asked Jim if he was hitting the bulls with the whip and Jim said of course not. These bulls were worth a fortune and Art would not dare hit them for any reason. I asked Jim why Art didnt stay on his horse Rex while he was doing this so if he needed to he could make a hasty retreat he could do so. Jim grinned again and told me that his dad raised Rex from a colt and he would never put his horse in danger. It seemed strange to me that Art would put himself in grave danger but not his horse. The bulls finally lost interest in the pushing match and ambled on down the trail toward timber line. Art got back on Rex and we headed after the bulls.
As we headed down there were more rocks and boulders and dead trees, stumps and other obstacles on the ground. I was holding ''Booger'' back some making him pick his way along and even at that he would kinda stumble or slide on the lose rocks occasionally. The further we went the further behind I got because I was being careful. Finally Art turned in his saddle and told me to ''Catch up, or we might lose you boy''. I replied ''Art, I am afraid that this old horse may take a fall and break his leg and I dont have the money to pay for him if that should happen''..... Art replied ..''No worry there young man. If that happens I will just SHOOT HIM IN THE HEAD and you can ride behind me''. ''Now get yourself up here with me and Jim before you get lost''........................
I fought back the thought as to what may happen to ME if I fell and broke a leg way up here............... BANG............. ''He was a good cow boy I guess''....... ''you lead his horse down and I will bury him'' .....lol....

I was real careful from then on till we got down out of the rough country.

Seajay the sailor man ....

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Old 07-03-2010, 07:15 PM   #2
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Going from riding the waves to horseback-WOW. Enjoyed the story. I grew up on a farm and can relate to the beastly battle. Saw that happen many times.
Safe travels
JOE.. LEO(ret.)-active USCGAUX-
ck. our website:www.overmountainsams.com
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