Robin and Bass weren’t the easiest to find. Before I could track them down, I had to work my way through Robin’s shopping list:
- one headlamp
- 32 beers
- 2 boxes in a basement in Bozeman
- 8 iodine bottles
- sandwich bread
- one saddle + bridle
- vet supplies
- white gas
- two bags of alfalfa
- two bags of sweet feed
- a passle of pens
- oh, and hot chocolate please!!
After some odd hours of collecting items in Bozeman I followed Robin’s directions (which she left in a series of voice messages):
Voice mail 1: Head down Powder River Road
Voice mail 2 : Where are you?!
Voice mail 3 : Head down the Powder River Road, we’ll be there all day; it won’t be hard to find us! Just scan the old horizon!
Voice mail 4: I’ve been calling you from a satellite phone; we have no service!
A day later (after a stop-over in Billings) I saw two cowboy hats bobbing in the distance. I offered the travelers a lift, but hell, they had a lot of baggage, four horses and a mule. Two of the horses had packs rising over their backs like camel humps; are you sure we can fit the beers Robin?!
It seems that I had both good timing (for Robin and Sebastian) and bad timing (for me), arriving with the coldest days of fall. We had all heard reports of a storm rolling in and hunkered down in a bull pasture to weather it. Those bulls looked fierce indeed! But we were brave and cold and made a nice little fire on the Powder. I even played Robin and Bass “Silent Night” on the harmonica.
Since I joined the team, Pearl, the mule, and I have developed a deep understanding.Two local farriers, Bill and Ward, put new shoes on the horses today. Bill was getting a little irritated with Pearl, huffing, “Quit it donkey!” and I politely corrected him, “She’s a mule.”’ I’ve secretly been looking into livestock trucking rates to get her to California while Robin takes her pee breaks.
Now, we are in another meadow, although Robin laughs at me calling it a meadow, just outside of Broadus. Last night we rode the horses right through town and grazed them in front of the Sleepy Motel before we found a home for the night. Just another day on the trail with Rob and Bass. Full of thrills, grass identifying lessons, and lots and lots of laughing.