Saturday, October 13, 2007

Wranglers wrangle a Wrangler

Nice day, nice ride!  We headed for FR 225 again this morning. We'd been there before but turned back when the going got a bit rough. This time we took the road to where it ended at a natural spring near a cattle tank. The road was a bit tippy and a challenge, but we had no problems. On the way out, we came across some cowboys on horseback, wrangling a herd of cattle up into the mountains. It was the highlight of our trip as they stopped to chat with us and fill us in on the woes of the modern day rancher. It seems the Forest Service is pretty strict on how many head of cattle can be grazed on Forest Service land. They've really tied the hands of the smaller western ranchers by eliminating much of their grazing land. We've always enjoyed seeing free range cattle while we're out on our excursions, it's a shame to see such an All-American industry becoming a thing of the past. Ah well, I suppose we can always buy our beef from China, maybe the Chinese have found a way to recycle the lead from children's toys and add it to cattle feed.  
The cowboys also told us about another trail, so after passing some exceptionally pleasant time with them, we headed for the trail they told us about.  It was a treat seeing the cowboys on horses checking out our Jeeps. Wranglers checking out the Wranglers ... The wild west still lives in Arizona!  
The trail the cowboys told us about began in a dry riverbed and then headed upward. We traveled up the bumpy, rocky road for a couple of miles before we stopped at the ruins of what appeared to be the foundation of an old house. Whoever lived there must have enjoyed extreme isolation because the place was on a road that was little more than a cow path.  The road appeared to go futher, but we were running short on time, so we'll go back another day to see where it winds up.