WHISKEY..........

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Seajay

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 7, 2011
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448
Me and  Whiskey had become inseparable.  Where I went she went and we were fast friends.  She was allowed inside the cabin and she would sit quietly beside me when we ate a meal.  She never bothered me about food but she would sit and ''look'' and let me know that she was ready for a ''soppie of biscuit and gravy'', a hunk of what every I was eating, or any little ''crumb'' that I might be willing to part with from my plate.  I know that they did not feed her from the table and I was careful to observe this rule.  I would save food on my plate and go over after the meal and scrape it into her food dish.  Whiskey was kinda the cabin disposal for left over food and everyone would give me their plate for ''Whiskey disposal''.  She had regular dog food also.  They kept it in an old iron frying pan with a iron lid on it to keep out the mice.
With the thought of our stay at Pie Plant coming to an end and all the wonderful memories I had made there I really wanted to just absorber the good times and fond memories from the place. 
You may not understand this but places have a cert in odor.  Yep, they all got their own smells that you associate with a place you have grown to love. 
Pie Plant cabin had the smell of friendship.  It was a log cabin and it was not lined with anything.  You could smell the logs in the walls and the smell of a thousand meals that had been shared in this line cabin during roundup.  You could smell the ciggies smoke that had permeated the walls and ceiling boards and the scent of the men that had been there.  None of this was a dominating odor but just a faint whiff of everything in different places.  The smell of the wood box with its split wood and the smell of the stove smoke and the occasional spill of grease or coffee on the top of the stove.  Each would leave a faint odor that seemed to always linger around the stove.  The smell of the warming closets on top of the stove where food was kept warm and the smell of the wood smoke from the cooking fire.  To me it all smelled like a friendship I had made and would never forget. 
I told Art that I was going to walk down to the corral for a few and then over to the ''rock pile'' one last time and I would be back directly.  When I hit the door Whiskey was hot on my heels. 
We walked out to the tack room and the corral for one last look around.  I climbed up on the corral fence and just sat there in the evening cool.  Everything there had its distinctive odor.  The smell of the tack in the tack room with its smell of leather and horses, the hay on the floor and the smell of oats permeating from the feed bins on the walls. 
I walked around the coral avoiding the ''horse droppings'' and just looked and burned into my mind the sight and smell of the place.  Yep, it smelled like horses for sure but that was what I had become use to during this visit.  I had ridden more in these few days than I had ever ridden a horse in my life.  I had learned about ''quarter horses'' and how literally smart they were.  How they could simply watch the cows and figure out what they were likely to do before they would do it.  I had learned how sure footed these horses were, how they could ''slide down a mountain side'' with more confidence than I would have had if I had climbed down these mountain sides on a rope.  I learned how they had a ''second sense'' of direction and seemingly knowing where you wanted to go without your input to them.  In most of my rides in handling the cows I figured that I was a simple ''lump'' on the back of the horse when we moved cattle.  The horse needed me like a dog needs a coller.  I learned how they could leave you ''sitting on air'' if you did not watch the cattle instead of watching the pretty mountains.
I walked and smelled and looked and touched and made memories of that corral.  Whiskey would walk behind me wondering exactly what I was doing just walking among the horse poop and the hay.  She finally just sat down and watched me because she figured I had lost my mind.

We headed out for the ''rock pile'' for one last look around and a sit down with the small critters that called the rock pile home.  We crossed the road and headed east across the pasture.  It was a familiar path across two small creeks and out thru the ''scrub''.  The pasture smell was different from anything else.  It smelled fresh, like fresh growing things.  The smell of the ''creosote bushes'' and the tall grass in places, and the smell of the fresh water in the creeks that we would cross.  The smell of ''clean air''.  Air that had never been breathed by any creature on earth, the freshness and the chill of it in your nose.  There is the smell of ''open country'', boundless space between two chains of snow capped mountains like the pillars of Hercules holding up the sky on each side.  We climbed the rock pile and sat down in our usual spot. 
The night critters were out in abundance.  They were storing up for the coming winter I guess.  The chipmonks were fascinating.  Bright beady eyes and a wonderful coat.They would stand on their hind feet and just stare at me.  Whiskey paid them no attention at all.  She was very content just to lay beside me with her shaggy head on my leg and doze.  I sat there while the sun crept down over the mountains and painted the sky one more time just for me.  I could hear the earth breathe and I tried to absorber the ambiance of the place.  At the edge of dark we picked our way down the rock pile and back toward the cabin.

 
I am not sure I have said this before but I want everyone to know that back in 1961 there were not a lot of people in Taylor Park like there is now.  It was all wide open spaces and the only two permanent cabins in the complete park was the one at Pie Plant and the other one at Union Cow Camp.  This is of course not counting the rental cabins at Shermans Store.  The roads were all dirt and kinda narrow without side ditches in many places.  There was  cattle guards across the road where there were fences but not many of them that I remember.  It was virtually open country with the occasional tent camper on the trail roads where you could get a four wheel drive vehicle.  One thing that seemed ever present was Poachers.  Guys with four wheel drive trucks with spot lights and they would go out at night and spotlight deer and elk.  They would shoot them and take the hind quarters and leave the rest of the meat to rot.  Art hated these people and when he would find a carcass of a deer or an elk he would blow his top. 
Up in the park there was virtually NO LAW.  There was no state patrol on the roads, no sheriff or deputy and about the only Law you ever seen was a game warden and he was only there in hunting season with a road block on the highway where he could check you kill. 
Like I said earlier, the roads up in the park were pretty good for dirt roads.  They were smooth in places and the turns were usually shallow and easy to negotiate if you were traveling at a reasonable speed.  The great problem was that some people like to use the roads like a race track, especially the poachers.  They were the worst.  They drove like there was no tomorrow without regard to the cows or anything else. 
With all that said, I can finish my story now.....
Me and Whiskey made our way down to the road just at the edge of dark.  As we neared the road we heard the roar of an engine and seen the ''blaze'' of spotlights on the top of the bar on the  of cab of the truck.  I seen that we could make it across the road without a problem but Whiskey was not sure so she stopped on the side of the road.  She was well out of the road beside the creosote bushes watching the truck approach.  I watched also and wished I had stayed over there with her.

.note....  amazingly it still hard  to  remember an incident  that happened to a kind loving friend,  over fifty years ago in Taylor Park, Colorado.   
I shall post the rest of this chapter a little later when I get my courage to do so.............cj
 
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