From City Slicker to Cowboy

My hats off to Billy Crystal and cast for making such an enjoyable and enlightening movie. I want you all to know how important the time I spent watching  the movie ‘City Slickers’ was for me. As the movie was ending, Billy and friends were saying their goodbyes, each promising to have a ‘do over’  look at life because of their game changing Cattle Drive.

For me an ‘Ah Ha’ moment happened that would set the stage for an opportunity that pre City Slickers, I don’t think would have crossed my mind.

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I looked over at Zee and said,

“We can do this. We’ve got the ranch, the horses, the cattle and our family with all their ranch and people skills, we can do this.”

Zee replied, “I never thought that I would be going back to my roots. Remember, I was raised at my family’s riding stable in Culver City California? So matching a guest with a horse that fit his or her riding skills is something I can do.”

” YES”, Zee said, “Let’s try it, I know there are people in our cities that would love to go on a Cattle Drive.”

What did we want the Cattle Drive to look like? Zee and I both agreed that we would have our guests help us move our cattle when we would be doing it anyway, as a part of our grazing management program. We wanted everybody to camp out, and meals to be cooked over a wood fire on the back of our Chuck Wagon. Bathrooms would not be out houses. After our first drive with out houses,  in order for me to do drive number two, flush toilets were mandatory.

Winter months at the V6 are the time to build things that will be needed around the ranch. 1992 was a drought-ending year, and a feeling of prosperity permeated the air. So a lot of projects that had been put on hold during the drought years could now be built.
With the advent of the Goose Neck trailer, our Bobtail cattle/horse truck was no longer needed, and so it was put out to pasture in my Salvage/Museum/Garden/junk Yard, (take your choice) to wait for a possible recall to duty.

It was a hard decision to make, but there came that day when I only needed the cattle rack and not the truck. So now these many years later when I’m rummaging around in the Salvage Yard looking for that special something, I see my reliable old friend still waiting patiently for a chance to go down the road again. To feel the excitement of cattle, or some horses pressing his springs down and saying, “Let’s go!” But reality says that’s not going to happen. I’m sorry old friend.
But my trucks bull strong cattle rack has found a new life as a Bath House. It’s now a place to wash up before meals. It has two hot showers standing at the ready, to accommodate those that at the end of the day need to rub their skin with soap and water.  For me, I like to give my skin a three-day vacation away from mans quest for satisfaction, by using chemistry to create a dearth of deodorants, soaps, shaving creams, etc. But for me the most treasured part of this conglomeration of tires and steel are the two flushing toilets that will provide to all, a comfortable experience.
It’s time to gather some cattle. We take 25 guests on our drives, but we have lots of rangeland to get over so we break up into three groups  of eight guests and two wranglers. Pack yourself a lunch, tie it behind your saddle and you’re ready to head out. Sometimes cattle are moved from pasture to pasture and sometimes we’re moving the herd to our headquarters to sell their years work. But whatever we’re doing it’s always important, and nobody has ever told me they didn’t get enough horseback time.

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If a cattle drive is on your bucket list, or your thinking of a mid – life career change, or you want to feel a little pain and a lot of joy, then come join us for a magical experience.

See Ya,
Jack