Tales from the O-NO Ranch | TheFencePost.com
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Tales from the O-NO Ranch

Mad Jack Hanks
Wellington, Colo.

As a young boy, gentle readers, I fancied myself as a cowboy ” a good one. I would be living in the mountains with the cows. That had been a boyhood dream since our first venture from hot, dry, dusty west Texas to the cool Colorado Rockies for a vacation.

Eventually, I made it happen. It took many years. Many years of dedication, hard work and determination. It didn’t all work out as I had planned; however, I got the experience of a lifetime, and memories that are forever.

I remember movin’ pairs off the mountain at the Sleeping Indian and Pleasant Valley ranches at Ridgway, Colo. I remember going with Wade and his crew to move his pairs, remuda of horses and chuckwagon across the divide. The trip was 60 to 70 miles. I couldn’t complete the trip because of business demands, but the three days were as western as they get.

I remember little bunches of cattle coming through Ridgway to their winter grounds with mom, dad, the kids and neighbors all a’horseback crossing the river there in town. What a memory! Americana at its best. The salt of the earth, the very heartbeat of what this country is supposed to be all about.

Given all the above, I penned the following poem:

The Drive

What is this thing that pleasures my eye?

This long moving caravan

Of sometimes trotting, bawlin’ cows

And lofty, mounted confident men.

It stirs my innards and soothes my soul

It quickens my heartbeat

And my spirit soars to a higher goal.

The sound of hoof beats

And good hoss ‘tween my thighs

We come from the mountain

Where the timber and oak brush lies.

The summer took to fleeting

Soon snow will arrive,

Where mind and muscle come meeting,

This the place and time to be alive!


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