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Recon pics and the old corral

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leanin' H

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Went looking for one last dry cow and one pair my cousin is still out. Lots of country and a pretty November day made for a great time for me. I went high on the wheeler to check troughs for tracks while my daughter and Phil rode some juniper country doing the same thing. This old trough has watered its fair share of cows. Installed in June of 1934
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We replaced it with a fancy new aluminum one. Waters more cows than the old cement one could. The spring that was developed has a slight sulfur taste. Cows like it fine. Cowboys not so much
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The leaves are gone and if there were cows coming to water they didn’t leave tracks. Glassed the tops of all the ridges I could see and nary a bovine. They’ll turn up
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Went back down the canyon to meet up with the rest of the crew. They had picked up the dry cow so I ran up to an old corral and set it up to load her from. It’s been here my whole life. A few wire patches and she still gets it done. Weaned calves and hauled them three weeks ago out of here.
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Old stockade cedar post style. Jody had a thread about an old cedar post. Here is another one with a bunch of takes to tell. Lots of calves have been snubbed and thrown fight here. Long before Nord forks or tables or Soap’s gizmo, a snubbing post was the ticket
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And one last pic of an old ranch built wooden chute. Powder River eat your heart out! When I see the way things used to be I can almost hear them old timers looking down and sneering at us a little. We have fancy stock trailers and hydraulic chutes. Loading alleys make for easy work and fancy steel corrals last forever and make working cattle simple. Even the new water trough is strong and lightweight and much easier than packing in cement and building one. We are surely spoiled to be sure.
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But I have also lived enough to know even with all the modern amenities, some folks still have little skill or ability to efficiently work cattle. Maybe it’s not the chute or trailer after all. Maybe it’s the learning from another good hand and it’s the pride in working cattle right. Maybe a little of it is even at the DNA level. I miss the old days and but I sure enjoy the things that make life easier in a lot of ways. I hope I can always keep learning from people who know cattle and horses.
 

Mountain Cowgirl

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Awesome photos and a great story. Reminds me of our old corral with a snubbing post. Corral roping and getting a wrap on the post was one of my favorite things to do. Your cedar post stockade photo reminds me of my Arizona family's stockades.
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webfoot

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H you have to watch it when making comments about Powder River.Our resident Powder River rep might take offense.
When I moved here I had to rebuild the corral. My broker doing the sale said that he had loaded out cows from corrals in worse shape. I though gentle cows and everyone move real slow. I figured out that the poles were 40 years old. And things needed to be reconfigured too. I posted pictures on facebook of the progress. Good old PR rep commented that it would be easier to just buy panels. I replied that the poles and RR ties were a lot cheaper. He said I could sit back in the shade and drink ice tea. I said that I am retired and having something to do is a good thing. When I finished the job he said it is a classic Baker County corral.
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leanin' H

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No running her through the chute BMR. She was number 283 and has been around for more than a few years. Red brockle faced cow. But I appreciate the long distance brand inspection sir 😁
Webfoot I have built a few pine pole corrals as well. They are pretty to look at and quieter than metal. But a good set of steel corrals built right last forever
 

webfoot

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Webfoot I have built a few pine pole corrals as well. They are pretty to look at and quieter than metal. But a good set of steel corrals built right last forever
True that steel will last longer but two points. I am a poor old retired guy on a limited income and steel does cost a whole lot more. Also I am 70 years old now. Will I be around long enough to recoup my investment in steel. The next person here can put up steel or get new poles in about 30 years.
It is kind of interesting looking back at how many people have been on this ranch over the years. The irrigation rights go back to 1873. Nearly 150 years. How many different people toiled away here. What was life like for them and what did they experience?
 

leanin' H

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I’m always amazed at the history of ranches wherever they happen to be. Like Webfoot, I wonder about the work it took to start and maintain them. In the 1800’s it was all done with sweat and blood and tears. Building a corral like the one I took pictures of was a serious chore. Cutting posts with an axe, hand digging the trench and holes. Even hanging a gate meant hand cranking a brace and bit. I’ve even seen old posts that had a hole burned through them with a hot iron rod. Something like a cordless drill would of been amazing to those folks. I am in awe at their work ethic and their determination. Amazing people!!!
 

webfoot

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I have no idea when the corral was originally built but based on some of the other structures around it a lot of time has passed since then. When I rebuilt things I utilized RR ties which were solid and replaced others. But in re-configuring things I had to dig 36 post holes. I rented a mini excavator to do that. There was rocks that wouldn't fit in a 20 inch bucket. The old timers dug their post holes by hand. I tried digging a few by hand. I can't imagine digging all those holes by hand in this old river bed rock patch. That is why I rented the mini. That also might explain the odd distances between posts. Some are 10 feet, some 11, some 12, and a few 9.
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