Friday, July 11, 2014

Spills, Thrills, and Wagon Trains!!!!

I must apologize.  This was a FABULOUS day and it took me over a year to share it with you.  I don't know why because I told it and re-told it in preson and on the phone. When I set down to write I just didn't know where to start.  Finally, I got the key pad moving! Hold on!  It is a wild ride!

Spills, Thrills, and Wagon Trains............

Grand Adventures…..that is the best way to sum up time with my father. 
You can almost guarantee…regardless of what he says…it will be an ALL DAY event.   Always dress for ANYTHING.  Protective clothing like boots and long sleeve shirts recommended. 

This very adventure would be right along those lines.  Dad stopped in at the house.  He was going to help some friends hook a team of horses…2 across and 2 deep.  (Keep in mind…he’d never done this before but he was going to help them) Now, Dad does have a lot of experience with teams.  He uses them to feed help every winter and now even as part of his summer employment. 

He offers the invitation to go and I accept.  Let the adventure begin.  I have a new big camera and this seems like a GREAT opportunity to use it. 

We arrive and I quickly notice that I am a party crasher : ) This is a “guys club” day.  I only know a few of the guys.  They are all so excited, conversing about the best ways to go about hooking the horses.  I sit back soaking it all in.

They were very kind and let me tag along…camera in tow.  (hahaha…I don’t think they knew what to think about me…especially when I jogged ahead of the team to get the shot I wanted)

Ok ok!  You know my Dad is notorious for wrecks and I know you are anxiously waiting to hear about the wreck the unfolded when they took off with the team.  I was too!!!  I walked a LONG ways away  to get starting pictures just so I didn’t get ran over.  (I didn’t get my “I survived the Hoggan Ranch t-shirt for nothing)   Well, much to my surprise…..they started off like seasoned professionals, not even a bobble!  Well broke horses and well mannered as could be. (No, I am not accustomed to this kind of horse ; )

Taking Off

That's right...they hooked 4 up and they started PERFECTLY!!!!  Drove out through the desert like they'd been doing it everyday. That's right....4 head of horses....5 cowboys...and 2 Wagons.......and it went smooth as can be!  See.....

About now you are wondering…..Mindy.....really….why are you wasting my time right now.  You had a great time with cool guys…..great but….really?!?!?  No, “Hoggan Wreck”??? 

Ok….you got me!     

Changing of the guard and heading home.  Drivers swapped around.  Everyone took a turn being part of the legendary day. 

The lead horses tuckered out from the jog out to open country.  They've made quite the trek today.  One minute we are cruising along like a Sunday Drive.....and seconds later we are messed up like seven days from sunday! 

Tangled in a mess of leather lines and horse flesh, the guys jump into action!  The paint is down and crushing the wagon tongue.  They work quickly to get everything up right and in working order.  (We are a LONG ways from home to have to walk ;)  I hop down to help also but before I do...I very carefully take off my fancy camera.  Incase, I get pawed in the head or something.....I don't want my camera to get hurt. 
Luckily, I'm with a very capable crew!  Horses are up right and safe in moments.  The tongue is bent back into shape and horses hooked again.  They switched the set of lead horses to the fresher set and once again we are headed home. 

As you can see, the lead horses are fresh and ready to go.  Dad and Pat are each driving a team at the lead wagon.  I am standing up at the front with them. The rest of the crew is sitting in the second covered wagon. Both wagons are equipped with brakes.  We cruising along at a decent pace across the desert road.  Pretty soon....we are gaining speed....and more speed and more speed.  Dad has me on the brake by us...soon I am full on standing on the brake, for all I'm worth.  Dad's eyes are getting bigger as he's hollering for the back wagon to give us some brake!  However, the guys in the back just think we are fine because Dad is still smiling and laughing.  (Yes, it was more of a scared Whoa....we are in trouble boys)
Soon we resemble an amusement park ride blazing across the rocky desert road!  The wagons are bouncing up and down wildly!  We are headed straight for a narrow steel post gateway.  (Sidenote...on the way out before...I thought...This is a narrow spot to get through with such a big set up. Increase are speed by ten fold....I was pretty sure it was going to be real bad!) Mach 9....wagons flailing through the air....we make it through the posts.  Our load of hay bales and passengers are being tossed about.  Hay bales bouncing higher than my head and off out through the brush behind us!  Out of the corner of my eye....I see MY CAMERA fly off the wagon with a load of hay!  I hop off the wagon at probably 35 mph chasing after it!  I find it lying back on the dusty trail.  The lens has came off and lying a ways away.  (I gathered it up and I'll tell you what I told the guys....I don't want to talk about it)

They got the team back under control and we continued our trip home.  By the time we got back to roads, everyone was being a model citizen.  Horses were tired and working like well mannered professionals again.

All's well that ends well right ;) ....such an amazing day!  A day spent with true LEGENDS!  So grateful for time spent.  Oh camera survived too!  Little dirt in my zoom of my fancy lends but the camera body was good!  So lucky and grateful!!!
Moral of the Story = Memories are PRICELESS.  That being said, whenever you are with Dad there WILL BE a good photo op.....and You should NEVER take your big is not safe!
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  1. Oh my...this story did not disappoint. I have only been on one Jay Hogan adventure and it contained all of the same elements PLUS a few!!! Sure wish this recent episode had included J2..that always adds another story angle. Loved this Mindy!! Keep them coming!! Cynthia Baldauf