Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Am I Dreaming?

It is the culmination of most of a lifetime with dogs.  1562 miles over 3 days with overnight stops in Nevada and Wyoming at Rodeo Grounds find me here.
Layover in Kaycee WY
 I had dreamt of a day that would find me here, but in all honesty thought it would only ever be a dream.  Not that dreams in themselves are bad, quite the opposite.  Without dreams we would never achieve such fantastic accomplishments as Flight or a Man stepping on the moon.  We likely wouldn't be typing blogs and uploading content from distant locations without the dreams of some teenage entrepreneurs carrying the monikers of  Jobs and Gates.  Dreams are what drive us, give us hope and sometimes a reason to simply keep going. 

This dream of mine is of insignificance to the world at large, but it is a dream becoming realized, nonetheless.  I find myself sitting in a small house on the Prairies of North Central South Dakota.  The homestead the last vestiges of a community long since departed.   A dog lies beneath the small table holding the computer, it's head resting peacefully - content - atop my foot.  Outside there are 8 more resting quietly after a day of running hills, seeking and pointing and yes, even chasing young and old wild pheasant and Grouse.  To be here, experiencing what I read as a youth is beyond my capacity to describe. 
Sharptail Grouse Departing
It is both exhausting and re-juvenating.  The days are long, the tasks many.  The views are open ground for miles and the ever present Prairie winds seem to pull the stresses of life out of the body, casting them to distant horizons.  This place, so distant and basic holds not only the lure of bird dogs coursing over Prairie grasses, it has also become a cure for finding one's soul that was lost - the result of being a seed in the Corporate grist mill.

Wake up is 4:30 a.m.  Coffee is prepped for the road the night before.  Dogs are exercised before I pull out for the lease by 5:15 with two horses and 8 dogs currently in tow behind the Cummings Diesel engine drumming steadily down the 3 miles of paved road and 12 miles of dirt to the lease.  6,000 acres of big country.  Which piece to work today? 
 The goal is to have the first dogs on the ground by 6:00 a.m.    They are in varying degrees of condition so the least conditioned go first out, the dogs in the best shape running last. It's been hot this past week and by 11:00 it's time to shut it down for fear of heat stroking the dogs.  It's possible to get turned around on country like this, and I did.  I used up every drop of my saddle water to cool the last dog and was about to pull him up with me to save him when we both spotted the rig in the distance. He bore for it and the water tank filled beside it like it was his first cast.   10 minutes later he was smiling, still lying in the tub with a foot dangling over the edge like a guest poolside at a Vegas Hotel.  I've added to my habit of marking the truck with the Garmin Astro, something I'd never felt a need to do before.

It's getting on in the Evening now, and it's time to prep coffee and give the dogs their last exercise break before bed.  4:30 comes early, but I can't hardly wait to hear that alarm. 
Kona and a South Dakota Sunset


  1. Ken,
    That was a fantastic read. I can feel the wind and sun on my face from your description.
    Dreams can come true for those of independent enough minds to forget the safety of normal and stretch themselves like you have.
    Good luck. Hope to see you when you return to Davis before your next session.

  2. Loving this, and loving the thought of all the good energy, excitement, anticipation, hard work and accomplishment emanating from that little house, filled to bursting with new dreams and fresh hopes for good life with good dogs and plentiful game out there in all that beautiful wind, sun, grass and sky. My heart was always in that country!