The long drive toward snoozeville

It’s been a week of sorting, working, moving, chasing, yelling, hollering, running and kicking, all in the name of ranching.

South Dakota cattle
I got roped in to one of these ‘ing’ things: driving.

Yes, driving the pickup and pulling a trailer behind, in case any of the smaller calves tired out. Every year since we’ve been married, I take the longest drive known to a gal, because while it’s only seven miles in theory, pushing the pedal at two miles an hour makes for a very long ride … and I forget each time and say yes.

South Dakota cattle drive

Half the mommas and their babes are being relocated to another pasture for the summer, while the rest will stay in a pasture near the homestead.

The bulls don’t have to do anything besides follow me around the garden.

South Dakota cattle move

Yes, let’s do this thing!

South Dakota cattle drive

As the men rode four-wheeler in the chilly, rainy weather, I sat in a warm pickup listening to CCR and  Johnny Paycheck’s “Take This Job and Shove It.”

South Dakota cattle drive

For over an hour, it was just me and my thoughts, me and my thoughts. When I worked, or attended college, I had plenty of time on the road alone, me in my sweet little blue car.

Toward the end, the journey included a traveling companion, Tobi. She made a wonderful driving buddy, except for when it rained. She has major anger issues with those windshield wipers. Or maybe the windshield wipers bring up some repressed memories she’s been containing. Not sure.

South Dakota cattle drive

It’s been a while since it was just me, alone in a transportation device, for longer than twenty minutes at a time. I rolled the window down, relaxed my head on my arm, and kept the steady pace at under five mph. Ready to be alone with my thoughts, slipping into serene relaxation…

South Dakota cattle drive

Always prone to wander

Yep, that lasted about two minutes. Too much me.

Husband! Come talk with me, sil vous plais! (I think that’s “please” in French. It’s been a while).

South Dakota cattle drive

South Dakota cattle move

Needless to say, even pleas in French don’t work with Country Man. So I am here to tell you, it was unromantic drive in every sense.

South Dakota cattle drive

This usually means it’s time for us to get away for a bit. Country livin’ is good, but it can enslave you with the numerous amounts of responsibilities. After a while, it’s easy for a man to look at his calling as a consuming burden.

Our anniversary is coming up soon. Any suggestions for a good place to visit? Wyoming has been one of our favorite places to retreat, but we sure are open to some hidden gems you might be willing to share.

South Dakota hills

Happy Memorial weekend, all!


31 thoughts on “The long drive toward snoozeville

  1. Gotta love CCR for a road trip!!! Sounds like your road trip was tedious, to say the least.

    You could always come to Virginia for your anniversary! We’re just around the corner (wink, wink).

    Loved your post today. Were you composing it in your head during that long, slow drive?!

    • I was really hoping to share what moving cattle is like, part of the day-to-day life of ranchers and farmers. I sat down at the computer, and had nothing wonderful to write about. I had to be honest and say it’s not always fun and exciting, like my job of following behind the cattle. When it starts to feel like that, it’s time to head out for a few days!

  2. “and I forget each time and say yes.”
    Love that line! Well, at least you had a few bried minutes of contemplation. Sounds peaceful (can you send some of that feeling my way, please?) 😉

    I hope you two have a great anniversary get-away whever you end up. (Maine sure is pretty this time of year, come on over!)

    By the way, that last photo is gorgeous (I am running out of ways to describe your amazing photos as you can see…)

    • haha, you make me laugh! We would love to visit Maine sometime, for sure! It looks so beautiful. Went for our run/walk this morning… without even realizing it, we went further and longer than last time. Will be patiently waiting for the time to come when I can say I “love” to run. 🙂

      • Yes, come to Maine, the coast is amazing, you could get some great shots with your camera. And good for you on your run/walk today. I went out for a slog too and I almost came close to actually “loving” it at the end (but maybe that was more of a relieved feeling that it was almost over?)

  3. I wish I had any suggestions, but I haven’t done much destination traveling. :/ I’ll be curious to see where you guys do end up traveling!

    Looking at these pictures makes me wonder how my son would see this. He was so delighted to see a single cow and calf, I can only imagine his delight at this!

  4. I had to laugh when I saw the “modern cowboys” riding the 4 wheelers. Have you ever been to see Devils Tower near Gillette, Wyoming? Its pretty cool. We are fans of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” so naturally it was on our stop one time (a long time ago) when we traveled through Wyoming. We were recently traveling through North Dakota and Minnesota in our motorhome. The Peace Gardens on the border of North Dakota and Manitoba, Canada is breathtaking. You would love it!!!! You can even camp at the campground there.

    Michigan on the other hand has lots of beautiful lakes. I’m sure if you looked into it you could rent a cabin by the lake somewhere there. The Chippewa National Forest is beautiful and Cass Lake, Lake Winnibigoshish or Leech Lake. Of course we had to stop in Bemidji to see the giant Paul Bunyon and Babe the Blue Ox. LOL
    check out my blog of our travels,

    • haha, modern cowboys with old cowboy souls, indeed! We would also love to checkout Canada sometime, and the Peace Gardens sound just lovely! I have been to Devil’s Tower as a kid, but so far we haven’t went just the two of us. Every state offers its own unique beauty; so much to choose from on God’s green earth! Will check out your visit to Minnesota.

  5. I loved this post! Your photos are wonderful. I’d like to say I would love to “hug that mug” as you do for Miss Stella, but I have spent much time on a cattle farm and learned at a very young age that bulls are not for hugging! Celebrate wherever…just celebrate!

  6. Atlanta! The honeysuckle and confederate jasmine are still blooming and it smells wonderful down here! Plus, there’s a lot to do and see. History buff? We’ve got museums a plenty! How about the world’s largest aquarium? A tour of Coca-Cola? Wanna take in a Braves game? Fresh, local peaches!


    There’s always Savannah! Since moving here 11 months ago, I’ve been told that Savannah is the MUST see, bucket list place for the South. I haven’t made it there, yet, as it’s 5 hours away. But, you’re more likely to see Antebellum mansions down there as Sherman kinda gave up burning everything on his march to the sea. There’s Tybee Island, just outside of Savannah, where wild horses still roam. And the beach! And carriage rides! And Paula Deen!

    Seriously, Georgia seems to just be steeped in history and tradition. It would be a great place to visit.

    • Mansions – heck yes! A friend of mine was telling me about those southern state mansions, and how during a war they had build secret rooms in them. I would like to learn more about that, as it sounds much like reoccurring dreams I have! Savannah sounds like a place we’d both really enjoy, as my husband loves history. It will be on our list of places to mosey over to.

    • As I write this, the guys are loading up the rest of the cattle to bring to another pasture further away. The mooing is incessant! Would make for an interesting short story. I just looked up the word fodder, and it’s meaning includes: raw experience or material or bulk feed for livestock, esp hay, straw, etc . Good word!

  7. Would you be interested in a city trip? Chicago is so much fun with the beautiful lake and great food.

    Just curious, is there a reason that Country Man doesn’t use horses? Is it just easier to use the ATV?

  8. Gorgeous pictures! I can’t imagine all the work that you and your husband do…at least you had CCR!!

    For a getaway, how about Brown County, Indiana? Beautiful, hilly countryside with trees all over the place. A nice inn to stay, lots of quaint shops and restaurants, a lovely state park right down the road, a lot of artists reside there…must be something that feeds the muse!

  9. Great post! For a getaway, I don’t know mouch about things close to where you are, but if you’re willing to go far, a cruise can be a lot of fun! So was Key West. Myrtle Beach is nice, and so are the beaches on the gulf coast in northern Florida and southern Alabama. Our personal favorite is Destin, Florida. Good luck in finding a great get-away, and let us know about the trip after you get back!

  10. ahh, it’s been too long! Sorry I’ve been so out of touch! I have hardly been in the blogging world lately…too much going on here and too much craziness in my head, don’t even know what to write about. But I think I’m coming back around. Anyway, I run by a field of cows just sitting there chewing the cud and every time I do I think of you and your cows! 🙂 They are such funny animals. They follow me with their eyes (and heads) the whole way. And I even get some “moos” which I try not to be offended by 😉 Anyway, also came across a snake the other day. Yikes! And made me also think of those snakes that were in your basement. You should visit Nappa Valley for your anniversary! We’ll meet you there! 🙂 Keep writing and I’ll keep reading 🙂

    • You’ve been a busy lady! And your cow/snake comments made me laugh. The other day a youth group girl said I was like Snow White surrounded by all the animals. She thought I should get them to help me clean my house. 🙂 I just pretended she was referring to my Snow White-like qualities.

      I hear of Nappa Valley often; isn’t it often a prize vacation with lots of wineries or something? If my sister stays in Oregon, we’d love to visit over that way!

      • Haha! Yes, a princess of the animals 🙂 Yes, Nappa Valley is wine country, at least I hear. I still haven’t been there yet, but it’s only an hour from us! If you are ever out this way, let me know! I hope you guys do something wonderful for your anniversary, truly is a special day!!

  11. Pingback: The last to go « The Simple Life of a Country Man's Wife

  12. Pingback: All Is Quiet | The Simple Life of a Country Man's Wife

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