Columbus, NB Here I Came.
Another week is in the books, the fall weather is holding so far, no snow, yet. The ranches are bringing their critters in from the summer pastures. It is getting close to shipping time for most. I've noticed more and more cattle trucks on the interstates of late. Taking our very sought after commodity, beef, to the feedlots of the Midwest.
I can't help but have a flashback to the year I actually rode to Columbus, Nebraska with 50,000 pounds of my calves in the pot, cattle trailer, behind the semi truck. I climbed in the truck with some truck driver I didn't know from Adam. He was the new guy on the Selden Trucking Company crew. The low man gets the "Dump of the Fleet" and believe me it was a wreck. We got on Mt Highway 1 at about 2:30 p.m. to begin the 1107 mile journey. The other 3 trucks in our caravan, the new trucks, left us in a pile of dust. We made a couple stops along the way to rewire the trailer because the lights didn't work. God only knows what else was wrong with that rig.
At Crow agency, 6 hours into the trip, we left the safety of Interstate 90 and headed east on MT Hwy 212, the two lane shortcut to Rapid City. The road is quite famous for deer on the road, especially at dusk. I kept hearing thunks as we barreled along, I asked the driver what it was, "just hit another deer" was his reply.
Finally we made back to Interstate 90 at Spearfish, SD, already a good 11 hours into the trip, we dead headed East. I remember looking at the speed-o-meter somewhere along the way, it read 100, I once again spoke, "are we really going that fast", "yup" was Mr. friendly drivers reply. I remember being horrified, after all there was around $48,000.00 worth of live cargo, most of it mine, behind us in the trash heap trailer. I climbed into the sleeper, I was tired and a little scared, fortunately I went to sleep and woke as we were backing into the loading chute at the Columbus Sales Pavilion.
Everyone was pretty happy to see me, the rookie cattle truck driver got out of the truck and said "I quit" and walked away with beat up thermous bottle in hand.
I lived for another day, until next time. McPatty