Thursday, May 6, 2010

Fixing Fence and the Emigrant Trail

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.]

Emigrant Trail
California Trail (Applegate Trail)
Branding Calves and the California Outback


  1. Not sure what happened, but my comment disappeared...please disregard if this is a repeat! I have seen pictures of the Emigrant Trail and some of the hills remind me of the rolling hills here in N. W. Iowa and other photos remind me of the back drop in Western movies. I can imagine you have seen a lot of pretty country in your hitchhiking adventures. I am sure your friends in California appreciate you helping them with branding calves - it is always great when you can get a little help with that. Sounds like you get to be a cowboy for a few days! California is pretty dry I hear - hopefully they will get some much needed rain soon. We are dry here in Iowa also - large cracks in the ground on the gravel roads and in people's yards. So hopefully this spring we will catch up.
    May God bless you in your travels Tim...
    - Lori

  2. I haven't been in northern California since July of last year. It has been dry there for at least a few years. Cedarville is a nice town; it is right next to the Warner Mountains and several miles from the Nevada border.