For many of the readers of “The Cow Docs”, last week was challenging. The 1000 mile blizzard that dumped snow from Nebraska to Maine was a real pain the in hind end. You would think my parents would’ve been quite busy with the cattle in this storm. Well, they were busy walking the beach and touring the Parker Ranch, because they were on vacation in Hawaii. This left my brother Joe Bob and your’s truly to do chores in Snowmaggedon.
Not that this is is problem. They needed a break, and I don’t think they had gone on vacation with just the two of them since the Reagan administration. However, it’s hard not to be bitter when you get a text message with a picture like this when you’re digging snow out of feed bunks.
So through the wind, snowdrifts, and cold Joe and I feed the cattle. We counted them to make sure they were all there and checked fences to make sure they hadn’t been drifted over so cattle could get out. It was more fun than a barrel of monkeys.
Carolyn had come back for the weekend to help out as well (and so we could spend some quality time together). This was great, except when she had to leave to go back to school on Monday. Sunday the wind was so bad the drifts kept us from getting to church or watching the Super Bowl at my uncle’s, so getting back to Ames was impossible. Monday morning at 3:00 a.m. we got up and I dug her car out of the snow. It took us 30 minutes to get it out of the driveway. The gravel road is just over a mile from the highway, and it was covered in drifts. I took my pickup out first and busted a trail through them so she could get through. It was white-knuckle driving, but she made it to the highway and then safely to Ames by ten o’clock in the morning.
Of course, I needed to go back to work on Monday as well, leaving Joe to do the chores for the weekdays. My adventures didn’t stop after that. I was coming back from replacing a uterine prolapse in a ewe when I got stuck in a traffic jam. You may ask, “How is there a traffic jam on a gravel road in South Dakota?”. Well, because this happens.
Meanwhile back at the ranch, my brother kept up with the chores as the snow started to melt. When Mom and Dad finally got home, the weather had become nice again. I don’t think they are allowed to leave in the winter anymore–it brings back luck.