5 Things I Miss About Cow Camp
- May 30, 2019
- Jolyn Young
We live 8 miles from the small agricultural town of Fallon, Nevada. It’s a big change from our standard living arrangement, which had been roughly 2 hours from town for the past 7 years. My most favorite place we lived was the Triangle N camp of the O RO Ranch in northern Arizona. Here are 5 things I miss about cow camp life.
- Animal tracks
One of my favorite things to do with the kids was go for nature walks and look for sign. I taught my kids to look for bird tracks, cow poop, and broken branches as evidence that animals had previously passed through the area. They learned that horse tracks point toward the direction the animal walked, and nail holes mean the horse was shod.
I love reading sign so much that I previously blogged about it here. In some alternate universe, I am an ancient tracker who could tell what color a person’s eyes were from studying half a day-old track. Or maybe I am a top-secret spy collecting intel from the Russian government. Or maybe I am a housewife who walks around looking at the ground too much.
Hmmmm….what in the world kind of critter left a track like this?!
2. The drive to town
Our drive from the Triangle N to Prescott, the nearest town, took 2 1/2 hours. It was “only” 65 miles, but most of it was primitive dirt road. The road crossed several creeks with no bridges, and a person had to open and close 6 gates each way. The going was slow, but the wildlife sightings were amazing! My kids and I were liable to see javelinas, elk, massive mule deer, bull snakes, road runners, jack rabbits, and more each time we left the house. In my Jeep Cherokee, it felt like a real safari. Super bummed that I never saw an elephant, though.
‘Tis a glorious day when a ranch kid grows big enough to open gates.
3. Natural playgrounds
My kids rarely went to a city park or McDonald’s PlayPlace, but they could walk out our door and stack rocks in the bottom of a wash, play “George of the jungle” in a fallen-down tree, or slide down a sandy hill on an old cookie sheet for hours on end. We hiked hills, threw rocks in the creek, built tree forts and ran barefoot down the dirt road.
4. Cows in the yard
The worst part about having cows in the yard was that a person couldn’t keep the yard nice. The best part about having cows in the yard was a person had a valid excuse to not keep the yard nice. I hate mowing the lawn, so I put this one in the “win” column. There was one Hereford bull who munched leaves from the tree by our bedroom window every night. His chewing was methodical and predictable. Very soothing, really.
5. Our tiny house
When we first moved our family of 4 to a 700-square foot house, I thought “Holy moly, where are we going to put all our stuff?!” Then I gave away almost all our stuff and was much happier. Not even kidding; I deeply culled the kitchenware, kids’ toys, my book collection, my husband’s sock drawer (which was out of con-freaking-trol), and everything else that wasn’t nailed down or sucking oxygen. A small house is so easy to clean. Now we live in a 1,400-square foot house as a family of 5, and I wouldn’t go a single square foot bigger. I’m not saying less is more, but less is definitely easier to clean and maintain.
About Jolyn Young
Jolyn Young lives near Montello, NV with her cowboy husband and 3 small kids. For more, visit www.jolynyoung.com....