For selfish reasons, I’m digging out one of my favorite posts from my archives. It was somewhere around my 10th post–I had just started this blog–so a lot of you may not have read it. (As I mentioned in my last post, I could use a dose of open road and cowboy sighting.)
In it, I confess my love for cowboys. Well, you’ll see…
Originally posted on February 1st, 2008
I have a big weakness for cowboys. The kind of weakness that would make me swoon, if women still swooned. Pull up the fainting couch, and clear out. That kind of weakness.
On my drive up to Payson today, I noticed a horse and rider on the opposite side of the highway (4 lanes), escorted by two sheriff’s vehicles. Behind them, the traffic was slowed and pushed into just one lane. I was curious, of course. Cowboy sighting! I drove on to Payson, got a quick bite to eat, then turned around toward home. After quite a few miles, I looked ahead and spotted another rider, and then another. I passed a couple of horse trailers pulled by capable looking trucks, and driven by hot, strong-looking men capable looking drivers. It became evident that this was some sort of organized ride.
I began to feel a little giddy. Not 12 years old, first crush giddy, but giddy in a sort of Yeah, I’m almost 40, but I’m not dead, for the love of god kinda way.
There were old cowboys and young cowboys, and all sorts of cowboys in between. There were good looking ones, and ones whose looks were more rugged and bearded. But there was one undeniable thing about all of them: they were men.
Looking at them, it wasn’t hard to imagine how things on a ranch get done. My friends may laugh at me (go ahead, girls), but every now and then I just need to see a strong man driving a big pickup truck, hauling stuff. Maybe horses, maybe hay or some farm equipment. Doesn’t really matter what it is, as long as it looks useful. Who knows, in another life I may have been a pioneer woman. Or maybe someone just like Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, bringing my doctorin’ to an outpost town, where people would pay me in chickens. Or, maybe I was a barmaid in a saloon. (Well, someone had to be. Don’t judge.) In any case, the cowboys got my attention.
And, for reasons that escape me since I’m a soccer mom who drives an Altima, I got their attention. It might have had something to do with my being the only chick, and a blonde one, on the road at that time, but I got a few waves. Then, up ahead, I noticed that about 8 horse trailers were at the side of the road in a pull-off area. Riders milled about among the trailers and horses. And in the lane next to me, the guy in a truck (who had already waved at me twice) pointed ahead and motioned that he was pulling off there.
I can live on this next moment for a solid week, probably longer, because then he motioned for me to stop, too.
In case you all missed these important facts: There were cowboys, a couple dozen of them, wearing hats and chaps and boots. Some walking around, some on their horses, just up ahead, like a freaking supermarket of maleness and (in my book) hotness. And, because I know you’re dying to know, YES I was wearing my boots. And my great suede jacket.
I had a decision to make. I imagined what would happen if I steered my car off the road, alighted from my car with all the confidence of Katherine Ross in any western, and walked–no, strode–over to one of those cowboys who sat atop his horse. Wordless, he looked down at me, gave me a little how-you-doin’ raise of the eyebrow, and reached down so I could grip his arm as he swung me up behind him (he was very, very strong.). We rode for two hours, talking of our dreams and how I would fit right in on his bit of land (which was no less than 4000 acres). Then, with deep sadness and regret, we rode back to the highway and he delivered me to my Altima (my Altima, for f’s sake). I never got his name. It seemed beside the point.
(Insert guitar music here, and a lonely harmonica.)
Alas, my car never even slowed down. I drove on, and called my friend Mrs. B and told her that she would need to watch my kids for a few days, since I’d be out on the trail for a while. I was joking, but she would do that. She knows about the cowboys, too. She knows, and she laughs. (Just to be clear, the trail ride never happened, except in my fertile little mind. But I’m thinking of getting in touch with Harlequin Books.)
Because I had to know what they were doing out on the trail Highway 87, I did some Googling when I got home. Turns out, these guys are the Hashknife Pony Express riders, making their yearly mail delivery ride from Holbrook AZ to Scottsdale. It’s very cool, if you ask me.
But then, I have a weakness for cowboys.
Edited: I just found out that this post was featured on Good Mom/Bad Mom Blog Share Sunday yesterday! And for that, I get to post this: