Roaring Springs Ranch


Two days spent with the cowboys at this ranch that lies at the furthest point from any American interstate showed me that some jobs you don't put on at 9 in the morning, but you live day and night. Dirt, blood, sweat, mud, muck and gore. Loving what you do most days, hating it a few others. Subject to the seasons. Taming wild animals with other, less wild animals: this is the life of a cowboy.

There’s more going on here than I can wrap my head around. Well, not necessarily at this branding, but the enterprise of the entire ranch. Types of cows. Ages of cows. Cows that leave for the winter. Cows that stay. Endless parcels of land that each have their own cows and the cowboys know what’s where and why. Corralling these cows here and then letting them loose there. Maybe it’s for new feeding ground, letting the grass replenish where a herd has just been. Or maybe they’re separating yearlings from their mothers, since they won’t be able to survive the winter here. Or they could be wrangling up steers to get ready to ship to a feed lot, where they cows will gain significant mass before processing.