Garth Was Right…

…I AM much too young to feel this damn old.  Three weeks of travel in a row have taken their toll, and returning to my below-zero zip code was just a cherry on top.  This morning we had -26, and -44 with the wind chill.  And, as I saw posted on Facebook and tweeted on Twitter today, “THIS JUST IN! No farming or ranching was cancelled today due to weather!”
Last week was a busy one for the Asphalt Cowgirl – here’s a little recap.
·         Monday:  I traveled to Roundup for a program featuring several of my USDA-ARS colleagues from Fort Keogh and myself.  It was very well-attended and we had a great steak sandwich for lunch, thanks to the local CattleWomen group!  Several members of the local Hutterite colony attended, and had great questions and discussion.  I’ve had more than one person (all men, by the way) in the industry tell me that they wouldn’t be able to hire women sales reps for areas where there were Hutterite colonies because they wouldn’t work with women, but I haven’t had that experience at all.  Those nice folks dutifully write down my number and call me on my cell with all sorts of questions and I’m grateful for their support of my Extension program. 
·         Tuesday:  Since I had a program in Fort Benton scheduled for Wednesday, I spent Tuesday in Lewistown, holed up in my hotel room, trying to get some work done.  It was marginally successful.  Now we’ll see if anyone from the Lewistown country reads this blog and yells at me for not telling them I was in town…
·         Wednesday:  Program in Fort Benton. My favorite part?  The directions to get to the venue.  Take Main Street all the way to the north side of town, and keep driving until you run out of road.  The building is a bunker built into the side of a hill.  Yep, it was.  No fancy façade out front, either.  But we didn’t have to worry about too much light coming in from the windows during the slide presentations!
·         Thursday:  Programs in Helmville and Hall.  Great questions and discussion in Helmville, at the community center where the gym is also attached.  We had to move our start time an hour earlier so we didn’t interfere with junior high basketball practice!  Then off to Drummond for supper and an evening program in Hall, at the Hall School.  Home of approximately 15 K-8 students during the day, and we filled the lunchroom with inquisitive ranchers that evening.
·         Friday/Saturday/Sunday:  4-H Horse and Livestock Leaders Forum in Helena.  Along with seeing some of my Extension agent pals, I also got to spend some time with my good friend Ariel Overstreet and then feed her horses while she was out of town.  A win-win situation, in my opinion.  Her horses get fed, I get therapy.  Plus she and her boyfriend Zac cooked a fabulous dinner one night!  I spent Sunday night at the ranch with my folks and it was wonderful to visit them before I headed back to the frozen tundra of the east.
Here are a couple of pictures from my trip – does anybody know these locations?  Feel free to leave your guesses in the Comments section.

This week brings one of my favorite winter events – the annual Beef Breeders Bull Show in downtown Miles City on Friday, February 4.  Purebred breeders from all over the state and region bring their sale bulls to town, where they spend the afternoon in pens on Main Street.  Look for a new blog post this weekend with details and photos!

Yours in travel,
Lots and lots of travel,
–The Asphalt Cowgirl

“Now our windshield’s a painting that hangs in our room, It changes each mile like the radio tune…”  Rodeo Moon, Chris LeDoux

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