Posted in Ranching

Headed for High Country (A Five Day Journal)

Happy Summer to everyone!  Summer is officially here, and I’m super excited!  It has been getting really hot around here.  As I’m writing this, it’s somewhere in the eighties outside.  Wow!  Way too hot for me!

Today’s post is going to be on taking the cows to our nearby mountains.  Everything went…  cows, calves, spayed heifers, and replacement heifers.

There are two different places up there where the cows go.  Some go to a place called Robb Ledford, and some to a place called the Upper Ruby.

So, for something a little different, I’m going to write out each day like it’s a journal entry.  There will be five days of writings.  Let me know if you enjoy this new twist of writing.

Now, on to the journal entries.

Day 1: Wednesday, June 15

The first bunch of cows headed up to Ledford today.  Seven semis carried the cows up.  A few pairs, all the replacement heifers, and all of the spayed heifers went up.

  Colton, Stran and I went and helped today.  Our day started out at 4:30 am, and we were down at the corrals at 5:00 am.   We sorted the cows from calves because the cows and calves have to go separately on the trucks.  Well, some of us sorted; others vaccinated the calves that were sorted off.  Trucks started showing up at 6:30, barely giving dad and grandpa time to have coffee and one of mom’s homemade cinnamon rolls, (Which were absolutely delicious!), before having to start loading trucks.  Colton and my jobs were to keep the pens full of cows for dad and grandpa to load on the trucks.  Everything went very smoothly and all trucks were loaded by 9:30.  Grandpa and a friend of ours, Don, went up and let the cows and the calves out of the corral when they were all mothered up.

What does mothered up mean?- Since the cows and calves had to go up separately,  the cows were split up from their calf.  So, they were just kept in the corral until all the cows found their calves.

As for Stran, he just had a great morning!  He enjoyed watching the cows get loaded into the trucks and even helped a little.  He also got to ride up in one of the semis.  After Stran came and told me and Colton that he got to go for a semi ride,  Colton described Stran’s excitement as “walking on clouds.”

So, all in all, everything went well and the first bunch of cows were safely in the hills. 

Gathering 5.png

Me, Colton and Stran

Gathering 7.png

Dad and Stran

Gathering 8.png

Stran getting in the middle of the action.  Boy, was he having fun!


Day 2: Friday, June 17

Thursday was a day off, then we started back up this morning at 5:00 am.  We saddled at 5:30, and were to work by 6:00.  The group consisted of, Dad, Grandpa, George, Colton and I.  We had a couple different things that we had to do on horseback today.  We first started by chasing some pairs off of our neighbor’s bench.  We trailed them home and put them in the corrals.  They would just be in there until the semis came the next morning and take them up to the mountains, this time the Upper Ruby.  When we got them to the corrals, we sorted off some of the pairs that would not be headed up country.  These were cows who were either old, lame, had a small calf, a few of the bulls, or one of dad’s cows.  These ones would head for the Homestead.

After all of that was completed, we headed for our nearby field called the “Cole Spring” and chased those cows to the corral as well.  When we got those pairs there, we did some sorting.  But the cows were restless, so dad and grandpa decided to go have lunch, than come back when all the cows had settled.  We all went home and enjoyed one of mom’s amazing lunches!  We had barley lentil soup, homemade rolls and salad.  Mom’s rolls are to die for!  Grandma Gloria makes dessert for these meals, which are also super delicious!  Today, we got ice cream (which is a real hit in our family) and homemade fudge topping.  Yeah, we get pretty spoiled!

After lunch, we went and finished the job of sorting, and headed to the field down below the corrals to get a few more pairs.  With that done, the cows were all ready to go, and wallah!  We were done for the day and everything went well!

Day 3: Saturday, June 18

My day started at 4:00 am this morning. I got ready, fed my 4-h steers, and saddled at 4:30 am.  Once again, we were down at the corrals by 5:00 am.  We had the same group from yesterday there to help.  Just like Wednesday, we sorted the pairs and vaccinated the calves.  We had some donuts and coffee, quick-like, before semis started showing up around 6:30.  There aren’t any corrals in the Upper Ruby where we were letting the cows out, so after the first semi was loaded,  Colton, Grandpa, George, and I loaded our horses in the horse trailer and headed up to the Ruby so we could be there to hold the cattle when the trucks unloaded.  With the help of the riders up there, we kept the cows in a grass clearing until all semis had unloaded cattle.  Dad stayed home and loaded the trucks.  We took his horse up for him and he caught a ride up on the last truck.  After all cows made it up, we trailed them through a gate and up a hill to a water trough.  We kept them there until they mothered up.  After awhile, we let them wander down to a small meadow.  We waited a little while longer making sure everything had settled down, than headed for home.  Another day that went very well!

Gahering 4.png


Gathering 6.png

Holding cows while they unloaded

Day 4: Sunday, June 19

We saddled at 5:30 am this morning and were to work at 6:00 am.  Today’s job was to get more pairs, because tomorrow we will be shipping the last bunch of cows to the mountains.  This bunch will also be headed for the Upper Ruby.  The first stop was the bench above the ranch.  At 5:00 am this morning, dad was up on one side of the bench with his four wheeler kicking cows to the other side where the gate was.  This would save a couple hours of work on horseback.  So, grandpa, George, Colton, and I were on our horses on the opposite side of dad kicking those cows towards the gate also.  So, working together, we swept across the whole bench and got all the pairs.  We chased the bunch of cows to the corrals.  Just like on Friday, we sorted off the old cows, lame cows, young calves, a few bulls and dad’s pairs.  These pairs sorted off would be going to a place closer to home.

Next stop was to our neighbor’s pasture about six miles down the road.  They had ended up with some of our cows, because the fence between our cows and their cows had broke and some of our cows had gotten in with their’s.  So, our cows just ended up trailing home with theirs to their place.  We loaded the horses into one trailer, and dad took another trailer to load the cows into.  It was quite a task sorting our cows from their’s, but we got them, and there ended up being seven pairs and an extra calf.  But when we got them home, dad and grandpa were able to find the stray calf’s mother to make sure they got back together. 

We once again went below the corrals and got eighteen more pairs and put them in the corral,  sorted out a few more bulls and the cows were ready to go!

Day four complete!

Gathering 1.png

Right: George   Middle: Grandpa       Left: Brittni (Me)  (Colton was with us; he was taking the picture)

Day 5:  Monday, June 20th

Another early morning.  Down at the corrals once again at 5:00 am sorting pairs.  We did the same thing as Saturday, trucking up to the Ruby, except there were three less trucks of cows.  As before, Colton, grandpa, George and I went up after the first semi to hold the cows as they got off the truck.  Dad stayed and loaded trucks, catching a ride with the last truck headed up.  After all trucks unloaded we pushed the cows up a hill to a water trough where we held them until the cows found their calves.  Then, we let them wander to a grass clearing down another hill where they grazed.  Everything went well, and we were headed home around 1:30 pm.  The  cows are now safely in the mountains, and the weekend went well with no major problems.  The cows worked well, and the weather was really nice,  maybe a little too hot, but I’m not going to complain about a sunny day.

Gathering 2.png

George holding the cows while waiting for them to mother up

Gathering 15.png

Yeah, I know… I’m really enjoying my lunch

Gathering 13

Right: Grandpa    Middle: Dad    Left: Matt (The rider for the Upper Ruby)

Wednesday, June 22nd

All the cows in Ledford got trailed to pasture.  I wasn’t able to go because of other plans, but Colton and Tierra did.  Here are some pictures grandpa took of that day.

Gathering 11

I thought this was an amazing picture!!

Gathering 9


Okay, so that’ the end of my five day journal.  Let me know what you think!  If you have any questions or comments, let me know in comments below.

Thanks for reading!


A HUGE thanks to grandpa for the pictures!









Hi! I am a ranch girl who lives in southwestern MT. This blog tells about all of our adventures and stories on the ranch!

16 thoughts on “Headed for High Country (A Five Day Journal)

      1. Hey Britt, you were wondering how to change the comment text. Go to WP admin (dashboard) and go to settings>discussion and at the bottom there should be a thing that says “Comment form” you can change it from there.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Hello Britt. Great job on your story of our five days of moving the critters up to the High Country mountain pastures. Your pics were placed well to bring life to the story. Only one question. Who was the old man on horseback in a couple of the pics. Couldn’t have been me!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s