The past couple of days John and I have been fixing some fence and rigging up a water-collecting system for his cow-calf herd. John has some leased ground 35 miles east of Cedarville, California in northwest Nevada.
A year ago I helped John and his wife, Susie, brand over a hundred calves. I have helped work thousands of cattle back in Iowa (I was raised on a cattle farm), but never by roping the calves--we would always run the cattle down a chute. I was glad to have helped John and Susie last year. We should be branding again in a week or so.
This afternoon, after we checked to make sure we had enough water running into two tanks and double-checked the corral fence that we mended, we drove back to the Surprise Valley on the old Emigrant Trail [Applegate Trail].
I believe the Emigrant Trail was first blazed in the 1840s. This was one of America's first interstate highways. I asked John about the Trail and he said it originally went through Winnemucca and Gerlach, Nevada and then through northwest California and probably into Oregon.
Now that I have ridden down the Emigrant Trail in a rancher's pickup, I can die happy.
[After looking up Emigrant Trail on Wikipedia, I believe I traveled on the California Trail and not the Emigrant Trail.]
California Trail (Applegate Trail)
Branding Calves and the California Outback