I honestly thought we were not going to get winter this year. It happens. When February 2nd rolled around and the ranch still looked like this–
I had a bad feeling that it was not going to be a good water year. And then we had our first winter storm–three days before we were supposed to drive to Nevada for the Ranch Hand Rodeo, where I have a vendor booth. The highway was closed for two days, but when it opened we assumed the worst was over and headed south. While we were gone, the cold snap hit, and it was much colder than anticipated, or we would not have left. My mom texted on our first day at the rodeo to tell me that when they fed the cattle that morning, it was -38 degrees F. Cue really bad feelings.
When we got back to Montana, the first big question was, could we get to the ranch. My folks spent hours on the tractor to open up a road across a field to give us access. The official driveway was too drifted to tackle.
We made it home and took over feeding. It was still well below zero and we had to suit up.
There was a lot of snow. We’re supposed to give vaccinations soon, but with the condition of the chute, that isn’t going to happen for a while.
We spread straw so that the cows had a comfy place to cozy up together and weather out the temperatures.
My husband and stepdad worked for days to open up the driveway, working against time because once the melt started, the field would turn into a bog and we would have no way out of the place. Finally they broke through and we had an escape route.
Today’s temperature, 25 days after our first storm? Almost 50 degrees F. The cows, and the feed crew, are very happy.