Idaman

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of your favorite breed.

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Re: Idaman

Postby Idaman » Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:00 pm

Some observation of interesting activities along the eighty mile road from the paved highway to the headquarters at Empire. It seemed that almost every time we went out to town, which was about once a month or less we would see something happening along the way.

One time a neighbor was swathing hay and the road to Gang Ranch and Empire ran right along the edge of his fields. An old car filled with Indian people was going along that road when it stopped. The occupants got out, raised the hood and worked under there for a while. Soon they must have been satisfied that it would run again so they all got back in and prepared for departure but the cussed thing wouldn’t start. The battery must have been dead. There were four or five young men in the car so pushing should not have been a problem. However the car had stalled in the bottom of a dip in the road so pushing by the occupants was almost impossible. Their activities were somewhat limited by the amount of their intoxication.

There was quite a lengthy and at times heated discussion about the best course of action. Soon they hit upon an idea that all could agree on and they immediately put the plan into action. They raised one rear wheel of the car off of the ground by making a lever system using some old poles that were lying along the road next to the fence. Once the wheel was four or five inches off the ground they produced a lariat rope from the trunk of the car and wound the rope around the tire several times leaving about ten feet to pull on. Thus if they could pull the rope out fast enough, with enough momentum and force the car should start. Now they had the problem of deciding just which one would do the task of holding the clutch in long enough and then engaging it at just the right time to cause the momentum to start the car. Probably the decision hinged on just who was too drunk to pull on the rope. They “gently” placed this most inebriated one behind the steering wheel with loud and certain but maybe confusing instructions.

The other four positioned themselves along the rope and prepared to run with the end of the rope and spin the tire. Amazingly they wound the rope around the wheel in the right direction. That simply meant this wasn’t the first time they had employed this ingenious idea. The clutch depressed and the four took off at high speed and the wheel spun beautifully. All should have gone well except the driver forgot to let the clutch out and after the rope unwound from the tire the four who were leaning into their pull so hard that they all fell down in a heap. Next some rewound the tire and the others dragged the driver out and tuned on him some or at least enough to make him remember to let the clutch out next time.

The next pull the driver sure didn’t want to not let the clutch out so he let it out almost immediately and jerked the four pullers to the ground before they had gotten enough momentum to keep the wheel spinning. Again some rewound the tire while the others “educated” the poor driver. There were a couple more failed attempts but finally it all came together somewhat by mistake and the engine started. They put the car in neutral, lowered it off of the block and were ready for travel. They all piled back in with a new driver and raced on to wherever they were headed in the first place.
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Re: Idaman

Postby Idaman » Sun Jul 18, 2010 7:19 pm

When you live in a remote area and the roads aren’t that great and no one ever drives a new vehicle you are going to see some pretty amazing and ingenuous solutions to the age old problem of ‘keepin er runnin ‘. One of the most descriptive and commonly used comments was “She’s no more good!”

One day on the way to meet the mail stage I passed several young Indians that I didn’t recognize and they were all sitting on the ground in a circle on a blanket beside their incapacitated vehicle. When I stopped to see just what was going on I saw that they had a whole lot of oily small parts spread out on the blanket and soon I could see that what they had apart was their automatic transmission. From the way they were working on it I would say that the seals had become “no more good’. To replace the seals in that remote setting they had found a very pitchy log and with the aid of a fire they were melting the pitch and then applying it to the parts needing seals. The fire was what had attracted my attention as they were huddled around a good sized fire in 100 degree weather. When I came back by later in the day they were gone and I hadn’t seen them on the road so it must have worked for a while at least.

The local hippy had an old Ford that had certainly seen better days and was pretty rusted out. So much so that there were holes rusted clear through that you could see the road going by. These holes were right in front of each rear wheel. In the winter when the roads were slick but the hills still remained steep the hippy just couldn’t go anywhere. With his personality he would have been much better just to stay home but that wasn’t what he wanted. To solve his dilemma he filled several five gallon pails with sand and set them in the back where the seat had been. As he would be climbing a hill and starting to spin he would just reach in the back into one of those buckets, grab some sand and then trickle it out on the road just ahead of his rear tire through the rust hole. This worked really well except that going down those steep hills either he would slide with the brakes on or his brakes weren’t good enough to slow him sufficiently. To solve this problem of gaining speed while going down hill he carried an axe in the trunk and some pieces of chain. Whenever he was approaching a steep down grade he would stop use the axe, cut down a sizable tree, attach it with the chains to the back of his car and drag the tree to the bottom of the hill. We noticed that during a snowy and slick winter there were several logs abandoned down near the suspension bridge.

One fall when I was hauling cattle to Kamloops and traveling the road every day I saw a really nice fairly new van parked down along the river with no one around. I thought at the time that that van had better be gone soon or occupied or it was in grave danger. I found out later that some rafters had left it there to use when they arrived there to end their raft trip. They had gone about 150 miles up the river to put their rafts in the river and float back down to where the van was parked. To them it seemed like a great idea and what could go wrong?

Well what could go wrong did go wrong. The first day the van was just parked there, locked and presumably safe. The second day I went by the van had seemed to shrink into the ground some but upon closer inspection the tires and wheels were gone and it was sitting on the axles and frame. The third day the doors were all open, the seats and radio gone as well as anything else removable. The fourth day the grill had been beaten out with a sledge hammer and the motor and transmission dragged out through the front. The last day the van body was upside down and all the axles, brakes, and other fine parts were missing. That was the way the landing rafters found the situation except that they were 60 miles from town and a phone at least 15 miles in possession of someone who really did not want them to use it.

If I know the humor of the removers of the parts they probably knew where there was a run out van and just put all the newly “purchased” parts in it and then went down to the river and offered the distressed rafters a ride to town in a van that was at least partly their own. I’ll bet the perpetrators of this prank just had a tremendous laugh at those dumb rafters.
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Re: Idaman

Postby Idaman » Tue Jul 20, 2010 7:20 pm

Duane. Duane came to work for us as a young man in his early twenties. He had been raised out in the Chilcotin so he was very familiar with the lifestyle and people he might encounter. He was pretty good at staying alone in one of the camps with the cattle and he didn’t need any supervision. He was truly a pleasure to have around. He also did not have a good dog so he got the job on his own merits. However, there are a couple of stories about him that we all have remembered.

One summer Duane was staying alone at the main cow camp at Yodel. The Yodel camp was the first one that you came to going into the back country. It was 26 miles from the headquarters and much farther than that from any other form of civilization including logging and mining camps. The road there was passable only in the summer and then only with a four wheel drive pickup or dirt bike. It was fairly steep in places and forded three or four small creeks. In addition there was a large mud slide that crept a little farther over the road each year. Nearly every year we had to run a Cat back there and push a trail through the outer tip of the mudslide to be able to get through with a truck. We always had to haul a full load of hay and propane to keep the camp stocked.

We kept quite a few horses at Yodel so that anyone staying out in one of the satellite camps who needed a replacement horse would just have to go as far as Yodel to get one. There was a fairly large fenced pasture around the cabin to hold 10 to 15 horses from July through October. One day Duane discovered that the gate on the road heading home had been left open probably by a fisherman on a bike. He looked all around the pasture but no horses, He waited a day or two not wanting to face that 26 mile walk in his cowboy boots.

Finally in utter dismay and frustration he started the long walk really early in the morning to beat some of the heat. In the middle of the day he rested in some shade along a creek and then headed out again when it had cooled off. He was all the time expecting to come upon the lost horses since they would surely have headed for home along this route. He was sure that he would find them in the Higgenbotham meadow just outside the outer ranch pasture fence. When he arrived there they weren’t there either so he went on the six miles to the house arriving shortly after dark. He was limping and very sore footed as he had worn several blisters on his feet from the ordeal.

He stayed in his house at the ranch a few days healing up but went up every day to where the horses would be held up if they tried to come home. They never showed up much to his dismay, Finally, I suggested that we take the plane and see if we couldn’t find them. There were two major routes home for them to take so we had to fly a pretty big area in looking for them. After we had been up looking for about an hour with no luck we were back behind Yodel so that we had to fly over the cabin to head back home to the airstrip. When we were right over the cabin we spotted all of the wayward horses standing right in front of the cabin with their heads on the porch overhang for shade. I thought Duane was going to cry but I don’t know which from. Either the joy of finding the horses or the awful realization that that major walk was completely unnecessary.

In the late fall Duane helped feed the weaned calves and was around the corral all the time. At this time he was sharing a house with another young man who had a house cat. Duane liked playing with that cat and did so every evening. One evening he noticed that the cat had a long worm hanging out of his rear end. A few days later when we were having coffee with the whole crew in the cookhouse Duane said he sure hoped he hadn’t gotten worms from that cat. Duane was very clean in everything he did so these sort of things worked on his mind. For quite a while after that every time one of the others in the crew would spot a worm in the manure they would immediately call Duane over and ask him if that was the kind of worm he thought he had. Duane became obsessed with the potential and really worried about his supposed condition. Our foreman came up with the bright idea that he had read about a natural cure for worms. He told Duane that he should eat three fresh cloves of garlic per day for three days and then take a lot of laxative on the fourth day. Duane’s food order that week included the garlic and laxative and everyone was anticipating the humor of the outcome.

After the garlic arrived Duane kind of hung to himself at coffee and then on the fourth day he didn’t show up for work at all. Actually it was a couple of days before he was his old self again. He ended up taking it very well but never mentioned worms again although he threw the cat out and refused to let it back in the house.
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Re: Idaman

Postby Idaman » Sat Jul 24, 2010 8:58 am

Gordon. When a fairly large succession of people cycle through the ranch jobs some are just great and others not so much. Gordon definitely fit into the first group. I picked Gordon up at the bus and all he had with him was a small suitcase and a saddle over his shoulder. He had come for a riding job and we were happy to get him.

It turned out that he actually had many talents and quickly became an appreciated and valued member of the community. When he wasn’t riding he had worked as a welder on the steel structures on the high rise buildings down in Vancouver. That meant he hung out on those beams 15 or more stories in the air. It makes my heart race just to think of that job. Thus he was an excellent welder and totally fearless.

He had been trained as a crawler tractor mechanic in one of the large dealerships and his skills were very good in that area as well.

After some time while at Empire he acquired a fine little heeler dog and the cat that gave Duane the “worms”. The dog caused him major frustration and concern at times. He always let her sleep in his house and he laid his leather chaps by the door for her to lie on. Several times she came in heat and when she did wherever Gordon went he had an escort of 10 or more very friendly male dogs. There were several heated exchanges with the owners of those obnoxious males and a bout of fisticuffs or two. The problem was never completely solved at least to the satisfaction of those involved.

When Gordon first came he said that he had ODed a time or two and once in a while he would do unusual things. He was very conscious of having the right clothes to be fitting for whatever job he was performing. When he came to work each morning he would have on what he called his appropriate uniform for the job of the day. This in itself was not unusual at all, but the times that he didn’t know just what job the day held he would show up in his Sherlock Holmes uniform to investigate just what needed to be done that day. Sherlock was complete with curve stemmed pipe, double billed tweed cap, tweed jacket, vest, and gold watch chain. When the rest of us could straighten up from laughing and tell him the proposed job he would merrily whistle his way back to his house and change into the appropriate uniform.

Our neighbors there had an employee years ago that insisted that whenever he got a new pair of pants he needed to sew a one inch wide yellow stripe down the outside seam of both legs. He never went anywhere without his yellow stripes. When he was on the ranch he also carried an army bugle wherever he went. Early each morning he would blow revel lee, and just before dark, taps. This went on for many years.

Another strange outfit hit me when I came around the corner of the store house on the way to the shop in the morning and I did a double take when there was a man standing by the shop door. He had on pink wranglers, a silk Korean dragon jacket, and a black felt stovepipe hat. He wanted a short time job and I hired him right then. He didn’t stay long and his name was Wahoo, he was Indian, and absolutely the best horseman I have ever been around including those that travel around giving clinics. He had trained horses and mules for the Canadian military at some time in the past. Reportedly he was one of the only men who ever swam across the Frazer River and made it. Also he was reportedly encouraged to make the swim just ahead of the RCMP. A few years later he unfortunately met his end at a small rodeo where a car ran over him. His condition might have contributed to his being vulnerable to that danger.

One day I spotted quite a crowd, for Empire that was three people, down around a culvert in a ditch over the road which went to where the lower ranch houses were located, Since that was a very odd place to gather and take turns looking in the culvert I was curious enough to go down there and see for myself just what was so fascinating in that culvert. When I first arrived I couldn’t see anything unusual but the onlookers said that Gordon was in the culvert. The culvert was flowing about half full with 500 gallons a minute, It was right below our hydro-power house so I knew the amount. Gordon had determined that near the middle of the culvert it had been crushed down some and he was in there in the water with a jack straightening back up the crushed spot. No one could believe he was trying that but as I said he was totally fearless.

Another very endearing quality of Gordon was that he just loved to “tune” on the local hippy. This one quality just made him invaluable to everyone in the area.
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Re: Idaman

Postby Idaman » Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:58 pm

Pinecone! Of course that wasn’t his real name but it did rhyme with his real name. He had been called that for so many years that I am sure that lots of people only knew him by that name. The Indians had probably blessed him with the name early on in his cowboy career. Pinecone walked with a fairly obvious limp that was rumored to have been caused by him shooting himself in the foot while learning the art of quick draw. While I can’t prove this either way it certainly seemed reasonable after knowing Pinecone for some time.

Pinecone showed up in July one year and said that he just had to have a job. He was without work and when he pulled into the ranch yard his old pickup both ran out of gas and broke down at the same time. She was truly “no more good”. I had been warned about hiring him as he had the tendency to lose control in stressful situations. One problem was that you never knew just what would cause a stressful situation in his mind. Out of compassion and pity I hired him against all I had been warned about. He really did have a fine Border Collie that he had imported and the dog made up for many of Pinecones shortcomings.

At that time of year we were very short of horses that weren’t already assigned to other strings but we finally found him a couple up on Clyde Mountain who were very good at hiding out. So far that year they had been successful at not being found or claimed so they thought that they had gone through the year without having to work. It seemed that this desire was prevalent in all the horses. Pinecone threw his worldly possessions in a room in the cookhouse and headed back to cow camp where he spent the rest of the summer and fall.

When winter came and nearly all of the cowboys left and found warmer entertainment Pinecone just begged to stay in his house and pay for his residence and heat by cutting firewood for the rest of the houses that got low. This arrangement worked very well despite his felling a small tree on the wood truck one day. The damage was fairly minor so everything worked out.

The next spring he stayed around and started riding as soon as the ground thawed. At branding he insisted that he do most of the roping because of the pain in his shot foot. He was roping off a dandy little gelding called Ankles that could do almost anything but really lost it when he got a rope under his tail. Pine was prone to a little showing off either for the ladies or the other hands on the ground. While he was making a rather flourishing catch and drag of course the rope jerked up tight under Ankle’s tail and he went straight up. He could buck pretty good so Pinecone was pretty soon “air born”. He left the saddle sitting pretty much straight up in the sitting position and landed about the same except one leg was curled back up to cause him to land on the right spur. That part had to be painful. He just stayed there for a moment or two as I walked over to him to see if he had been hurt or just had a wounded pride. When I got to him he was spitting out what was left of his hand rolled cigarette. He had bitten the cigarette in half when he hit the ground. That is the only time in my life I ever saw a man bite a cigarette in two who didn’t have one tooth in his head. It was bitten off as squarely as if he had teeth so the impact must have been pretty hard. He wasn’t hurt and returned to his roping but later his limp had noticeably become worse. The rest of the cowboys told me not to worry because they had caught him not limping at all when he thought there was no one watching.

There was a story around that one day Pine had found a nice shady spot in some brush and trees to take a siesta. That he was very fond of his siestas I can certainly attest. Two native riders spotted his horse and eased over to see what he was up to. They were very quiet and spotted him snoring away on the ground. They came up with a plan for some fun so one dismounted and the other circled wide with both horses until he was on the opposite side of the sleeping beauty. Then the man who had first dismounted ran as fast as he could toward Pinecone and when he reached him he stepped right on Pinecones stomach and there was quite an expulsion of air. He was traveling fast and instantly disappeared into the bushes. He then sneaked to the waiting horses and they both rode away carefully using a route so that they could not be seen. They were anxious to hear the story when Pinecone returned to the ranch but he never said a word. They never knew just what he thought had stepped on his stomach. Probably a moose or Bigfoot.

One spring the riders were leaving their horses each night at the calving barn so they wouldn’t have to haul them home. Since there were four of them the one ton truck was just too crowded for four saddled horses. Even though they left the horses they still had to ride home with all four in the cab of the one ton. Two were well over six foot tall and Pinecone weighed about 190 and the fourth was a very small native man. It was pretty crowded in there and Burt and Pinecone were carrying on a running battle lasting several months. At times they had spur fights like fighting roosters. Watching two guys who were in their mid-fifties try to spur one another was a side show in itself. On the way home one evening they began to slug it out in the cab. The problem was that the smaller native man was wedged in between them and was receiving an awful lot of the punches that had missed. The driver noticed this, stopped and ordered the two roosters out onto the road to settle their differences. Of course the minute they got out the fight stopped so they all piled back in and headed on home. Very soon they started again and again they stopped the truck exited but refused to fight outside the truck. Luckily for the native man it was only three miles home so he did survive. They never even considered having someone ride in the back because of the pecking order and their perceived status.

Pinecone had an old Oldsmobile station wagon that he often drove up to the calving barn where he would leave it when he rode for the day. One evening when he returned from riding the thing just wouldn’t start so he had to walk home. He talked the best native mechanic to go with him and help start the car. Eddie agreed and off they went. Later Eddie told me that when they got to the car he started to work on what he perceived was the problem but before he could fix it Pine told him that the problem wasn’t in that area and shoved him out of the way. Eddie went over and sat down on the grass and watched Pinecone mechanic for more than an hour but to no avail. Eddie had not touched the car since he was shoved aside but patiently watched to see what might happen. They gave up and came home. The next evening the same scenario happened with Eddie patiently watching. For four nights this ritual continued until in utter frustration Pinecone told Eddie to fix the car. Eddie walked over to the car reconnected one wire and it fired right up. I have always thought about the extreme patience Eddie had in just watching all those nights while all the time knowing what to do and that the job would only take a minute or so.

When Pinecone was working at the Gang there was a female rider employed there. He immediately fell in love and she encouraged the relationship because he would shoe her horses for her. The Indians were totally merciless in their teasing and one evening two of them went to the shop and procured a lock washer that should be about the girl’s finger size. They then went to Pinecone’s apartment to tease him some more. When he opened the door they gave him the ring and had a great time with the tease. What they didn’t realize was that when the door swung open they couldn’t see the girl who was also visiting. When Pinecone finally slowed them down and pointed to the girl they were more embarrassed than Pinecone and couldn’t face the girl for weeks.
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Re: Idaman

Postby Idaman » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:49 am

There were a few happenings with Pinecone that I forgot to mention and my family refreshed my memory of those times.

One revolved the time when he was practicing some aerobatics at the spring branding. He had a very fine saddle and was rightly proud of it. For some reason he had some bucking rolls added to it during the previous winter. On the way to the branding that particular morning he had bragged to the rest of the riders that “There wasn’t a horse alive that could buck him off since he had gotten those rolls”. Of course Ankles was anxious to disprove that myth, especially with a rope under his tail. We went through the bucking episode with no harm done except maybe to a little injured pride. Anyway after the rest of the crew had headed home and the cowboys were pairing up the branded calves and their mothers Pincone just couldn’t let it slide and again he asserted his steadfast permanence in the saddle. To show he meant business this time he purposely jerked his rope up under Ankles tail. Of course Ankles needed to play his part in this ongoing saga, so he obliged and rocketed Pincone into low orbit on the first jump. When Pinecone landed this time most of the fun must have evaporated and quiet set in.

Some time later he was pushing some cows up the trail from Koster Lake toward Fareless Camp and something again caused him to become air born. This time, however, instead of landing in a sitting position he landed perfectly erect and straight but upside down. Whatever part of the trail that the incident happened on must have been gravely or had some rocks as he got a nasty cut on his scalp and a bit of a concussion. One of the other riders brought him into headquarters and the ladies cleaned his wound and decided that he should be taken into Williams Lake to see a real doctor or at least the vet.

In his delirium he insisted that he be taken into town in his old station wagon so that if he had to stay a few days he would have transportation to the donut shop and a way home. To do this my wife had to drive the station wagon (this was without air conditioning in 95 degree heat) loaded with the patient and of course his dog Ruff (the imported one who also liked all the windows down in spite of the dust) and our foreman’s wife who drove our truck so that the ladies had a way home. Shortly after they started Pincone told my wife to carefully watch Ruff and if he started to drool stop real quick and let him out as he was very prone to car sickness. It was a long, hot, very dusty trip with five or six quick stops for Ruff to regain composure.

They made the delivery and all went well.

A happy ending to the story was that Pinecone eventually married a very nice lady and took up the profession of maintenance man for logging camps where his wife cooked.
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Re: Idaman

Postby Idaman » Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:56 am

Image

Dobson. Our present day summer country where our cows are suffering through.

Image

Democrat. An abandoned stage stop where the only Democrat in a 100 mile radius lived.
It's on the map as Democrat.
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Re: Idaman

Postby Idaman » Sun Aug 08, 2010 10:12 am

Our very good friends and neighbors across the Frazer River to the east had a ranch
called Canoe Creek that started at the Frazer river and ran about 30 miles to the east. The headquarters was located about five miles east of the river in a small valley. At the eastern end of their range was a fenced holding pasture around some small lakes .This area was called Rocky Springs and had a very small line cabin near the lakes and the shipping corral.

The cabin was very small but had a heater combination cook stove a table and two folding metal cots. The cots were parallel along the walls in behind the stove. The place was sure built for mostly overnight stays or to warm someone who stayed out too late to make the long ride home. There were two Indian riders staying at the cabin for a while and while they were there the rats nearly drove them nuts at night. One rider was very affected by their presence and had trouble sleeping with their nighttime activities.

One night this fretful Indian just couldn’t get any relief so he decided to take some action.

The other Indian was deeply asleep in the facing parallel cot. The worrier had taken his 30-06 to bed with him and a flashlight. When the non-sleeper had finally come to his wits end he switched on the flashlight and sure enough there were rats under his companion’s cot. These cots were only about four or five feet apart. Without waking the other man he took careful aim and fired at the rat at almost point blank range. Of course this put the muzzle of the rifle only a very few feet from the closest ear of the sleeping beauty. One instant that man was sound asleep lying prone and straight on his cot in perfect peace but the next instant he was standing straight and erect on the foot of his cot still in his sleeping bag with eyes that were very wide open but not seeing and ears that were open but not hearing. It took him some time to figure out just what had happened especially when he couldn’t hear the shooter when he tried to explain and apologize. For several months it was very hard to get the attention of the awakened one and he rarely understood what he was being told. Once the ringing stopped but still deaf he seemed to be quite happy with being in a world of his own. His wife may have influenced that some.
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Re: Idaman

Postby Idaman » Sun Aug 15, 2010 6:44 pm

There are just some scenes from our past that keep coming back and I am talking here in a good way.

One of those scenes for me was going through a small Indian Reserve (maybe Toosie) near Riske Creek on the Chilcotin Plateau. Where the road crossed a small creek there were a few homes or more properly cabins along the road and the creek. About 100 feet from the road crossing there was the community outhouse. This outhouse was built on stilts right out over the creek so that the building was placed dead center over the creek. There was a railed plank walk way leading out to the building for safety in icing conditions.

I have thought many times how effective that was no cleaning, redigging, or odor. All you had to do is see that the poles holding up the house weren't rotten. It might have also been a little brisk at 40 below and a bit of a breeze going down the creek.

One of the things that I most enjoyed about this scene is just what it must to have done to the enviros. driving by.
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Re: Idaman

Postby 3waycross » Sun Aug 15, 2010 7:41 pm

Idaman wrote:There are just some scenes from our past that keep coming back and I am talking here in a good way.

One of those scenes for me was going through a small Indian Reserve (maybe Toosie) near Riske Creek on the Chilcotin Plateau. Where the road crossed a small creek there were a few homes or more properly cabins along the road and the creek. About 100 feet from the road crossing there was the community outhouse. This outhouse was built on stilts right out over the creek so that the building was placed dead center over the creek. There was a railed plank walk way leading out to the building for safety in icing conditions.

I have thought many times how effective that was no cleaning, redigging, or odor. All you had to do is see that the poles holding up the house weren't rotten. It might have also been a little brisk at 40 below and a bit of a breeze going down the creek.

One of the things that I most enjoyed about this scene is just what it must to have done to the enviros. driving by.


Were the fish downstream a little bigger than average?
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Re: Idaman

Postby Idaman » Sun Aug 15, 2010 8:30 pm

3waycross wrote:
Idaman wrote:There are just some scenes from our past that keep coming back and I am talking here in a good way.

One of those scenes for me was going through a small Indian Reserve (maybe Toosie) near Riske Creek on the Chilcotin Plateau. Where the road crossed a small creek there were a few homes or more properly cabins along the road and the creek. About 100 feet from the road crossing there was the community outhouse. This outhouse was built on stilts right out over the creek so that the building was placed dead center over the creek. There was a railed plank walk way leading out to the building for safety in icing conditions.

I have thought many times how effective that was no cleaning, redigging, or odor. All you had to do is see that the poles holding up the house weren't rotten. It might have also been a little brisk at 40 below and a bit of a breeze going down the creek.

One of the things that I most enjoyed about this scene is just what it must to have done to the enviros. driving by.


Were the fish downstream a little bigger than average?



I'll bet they were.

The Indians at Dog Creek felt toward our resident hippy about like we did. They worked on him some and finally sold him some ducks that were really fat and ready for eating. After he had purchased the ducks the Indians told me that those ducks had been raised in the sewer outlet for the Dog Creek Reserve.
They thought this was just extremely funny and referred to them as Ron's poop ducks. Actually everyone in the area just loved this but Ron never figured it out.
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Re: Idaman

Postby Idaman » Wed Aug 18, 2010 7:35 pm

The first summer we were at Empire we spent a lot of time just exploring the ranch to see where things were and get a feel of how we might use the different areas. One of those areas was Magee Flats. Magee was about 5 miles south of the house and at a lower elevation but not right down on the Frazer River. It was dry, hot, and had almost no stock water so cattle seldom drifted down there. There was a road down there but it was steep, narrow and very dangerous. In twelve years I only took one 4x4 pickup and one small Ford tractor down there to put in oilers for the paralytic ticks. On the way out the pickup broke a universal joint and had to sit there until we could go to town and get the part and then put it in on the hill where it broke. The tractor almost jumped off of the road and one of us had to ride on the hood to get enough balance to get it back up out of there. There were two heads of hair standing on end after that episode.

During that first summer I began to get curious about the Flat so one day I rode down on a horse. As I was wandering around the flat all of a sudden a bull came from seemingly nowhere and charged the horse. The horse was a smart little cow horse and danced out of the way with no harm done. The bull immediately spun around and had at us again. This time we took off at a good speed and quickly out ran the bull. After a couple hundred yards we slowed down and looked back at the bull but he was still coming as fast as he could after us. He couldn’t travel very fast as he was horribly bench kneed and couldn’t really run. We went on up the trail for about a quarter mile before we stopped this time but he was still coming as fast as he could. This went on for about two or three miles until he finally gave up. He was a purebred bull from a very reputable breeder and actually belonged to the lady who had the ranch before us. I would guess the bull to have been 5 or 6 years old. The same thing happened every time a rider went into that area so we decided that the bull had to go. Since he belonged to the prior owner I didn’t feel free to just shoot him so I called her and explained the situation. Of course she wanted nothing to do with him but said that she would like to have the meat. I said that we would see just what we could do.

A few days later a couple of the Indian cowboys and I decided to go down and get the bull. We took a tractor over to above where the road got bad and then rode the horses down to find the bull or more correctly carefully let the bull find us. Sure enough he spotted us and came running. We knew that we could out run him easily so we stayed just far enough ahead to be safe and yet tantalize him to keep after us. Sure enough he kept up the chase clear up to where the tractor was parked and then we shot him there. We hooked a chain around his horns and dragged him back to the house where we skinned and quartered him and hung the quarters in the cool room. I called the lady and in a day or so she showed up to claim her meat. I told her that we should at least give some to the cowboys to which she agreed. That carcass sure wasn’t the prettiest and I wanted no part of it. I knew the Indians didn’t either as we supplied them all of their meat but they were always looking for dog food and this bloodshot meat was just what the dogs loved.

I have been around wild cattle all of my life and I classify them into categories. There are the wild ones that just want to get away, the wild mean ones that will come and get you and then there are the tame ones that are mean and will get you unexpectedly. These last ones I hate the most because they aren’t afraid of you and don’t give any warnings.

My dad had a very good horse killed right under him by a neighbor’s wild mean bull. The sharp end of the bull’s horn cut the heel of dad’s boot just under the spur before goring the horse. These bulls were the worst because they were totally wild, mean, and very fast and agile.

Several years later in the spring when we used that area for yearlings the Indian cowboys rode down there nearly every day looking for cattle that had the paralytic ticks. I noticed that they were very faithful in riding that area nearly every day. One day I noticed them all carrying binoculars which seemed strange. After asking around the crew some it came out that the hippies from down the river liked to use a sand bar right under Magee Flats for their “all natural sunbathing”. That’s where they were going so faithfully and just lying on their stomachs and peering over the edge of the cliff to watch what was below. Even the members of the crew who never rode horses suddenly developed an interest in horses and riding. Of course binoculars were at a premium around there, especially the more powerful ones. You can imagine their glee when they found out I had a 50x spotting scope that I would loan them occasionally.
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Re: Idaman

Postby Ryder » Tue Aug 31, 2010 2:36 am

Good stories Idaman. Keep remembering.
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Re: Idaman

Postby Idaman » Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:55 pm

Eddie, one of the best! Eddie was a young Indian man from one of the local reserves that showed up one day and stayed 12 years. Eddie was good at whatever he did but he didn’t ride at all and was in charge of the irrigation and ran machinery most of the time. He was careful, a pretty good mechanic, but most memorable was his great sense of humor and way of looking at ordinary things and being able to see the humor in them. Much of my understanding of the workings of the local Indian culture came from my closeness to Eddie and his willingness to share his observations with me.

Eddie was the one who sold so many fish that his perfectly good car had to be junked because of the odor, especially after pouring several bottles of his girlfriend’s perfume in the trunk to try to mask the smell. That accomplished two things 1. It finished off the odor of the car and 2. It ruined the use of perfume for his girlfriend for quite some time.

One afternoon I went into the shop to see how Eddie was coming on a repair job and found him in the back of the shop with one eye absolutely glued to a knot hole in the wooden siding. I could see that he was highly agitated by what ever he was watching as his eye stayed inserted in the hole but his feet kept trying to run off some where. I asked him if he minded me looking through the hole so I could figure out this strange behavior. He reluctantly moved aside and I inserted one eye in the hole. At first I couldn’t see anything unusual just a couple houses and their yards. Finally after looking closely at Eddie’s house I caught on and saw the reason for the apprehension and agitation. There was a RCMP vehicle parked in front of Eddie’s residence. Eddie almost knocked me out of the way so he could once again insert his eyeball in that hole. He kept telling himself that they were surely after him and that he had better run. He was just about ready to make a run for it.

I told him that maybe we should talk and see if we couldn’t figure something out because I didn’t think that the running would be a very good idea. First I asked him just what was going on and he said that is was probably something with the Gang Ranch shop being burglarized the night before. I knew he wasn’t in on the burglary because that was just not Eddie’s way of living and I was pretty sure he had been home all night. Now stealing one of the wives of the RCMP officers was a whole nuther story and I couldn’t have vouched for his innocence if that had been the case.

He really wanted to run so I asked him just why they were coming to talk to him and just what he knew. They really weren’t coming there to talk to just him but he said that he was pretty sure that his sister’s boyfriend had done the job but in that culture it was much more dangerous to rat on someone than take your chances with the RCMP. We didn’t have much time to prepare for their visit but I told him to go out and meet the officers and not let them find him hiding in the shop. He really didn’t want to do this but I really leaned on him to go to them, answer their questions, but don’t offer any information that wasn’t asked for. I also suggested that if possible he should try to stop shaking all over and get his feet to quit dancing as if they were ready to head for higher ground.

He went back to the hole and as he did he jumped at least two feet in the air and almost shouted that they were coming to the shop. When they pulled up in front of the shop I told him once more what to do and that if things didn’t go well I would do whatever I could to help him. He went out to meet the officers and was very cooperative in every way except information which they never brought up. It went very well and they left. When they were out of sight Eddie really nearly collapsed and came back into the shop where he started the shakes again. I told him to go home and try to rest the rest of the day and maybe by tomorrow he would be well again. I really believe that his friendliness and cooperativeness so shocked the officers that they never got around to asking him anything that could have caused him trouble.

Often after the Stampede or some other festivities the crew would come home with quite a few injuries of various sorts from really bad human bites to nearly missing ears. Eddie however always came home without a single small scratch. After several times of this I asked him just why he escaped the injuries. He just smiled really big and said that he just wasn’t a fighter because he really preferred being a lover. After seeing some of his girlfriends I could sure see his point. His taste in girlfriends was phenomenal and he sure could find the best lookers by a bunch.
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Re: Idaman

Postby Idaman » Fri Sep 03, 2010 8:49 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tn5aCsBQcm8

These pictures are from the mid to late 1930's. They were taken by my dad on a bull buying trip to the famous Baca Grant Ranch in the San Luis valley of south central Colorado.

The bulls used there and in these pictures are of the Baca Duke line. They came from lines at the Wyoming Hereford Ranch and were later to be found to carry the dwarf gene. They were considered to be some of the better bulls in Colorado at the time.

The man you see is Col. Alfred Collins who developed the ranch and the cattle. He did a tremendous amount of work putting in irrigations projects amd irrigated hay ground.

The Baca Grant was one of many land grants to individuals by the King of Spain long before the Louisianna Purchase. When the US bought the Lousianna Purchase they agreed to honor these grants. The deed for this ranch I have heard reads "twelve miles square and as high as the heavens and deep as h-e-ll". I believe it was well in excess of 144,000 deeded acres. The eastern boundary goes right to the top of those mountains in the background.

I know that eastern boundary because we hunted bighorn sheep along it for several years near the Crestone Needles.

The southern boundary runs right along the northern edge of the Sand Dunes. The headquarters is very near the town of Crestone, Colorado.
Last edited by Idaman on Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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