The Rider #15336

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The Story

Against the late evening sky, a mounted American cowboy with his rifle at the ready rides out through the sagebrush looking for stray horses from the herd. He and other cowboys have spent several days gathering bands of horses off the winter range to bring back to the main ranch. The horses have lived through the winter in small bands out through the high desert, eating the long thin grass that grows under the endless sagebrush. The horses know to get water at the few watering holes out in the rough, treeless country of the northwestern Colorado sagebrush country.

This American cowboy carries his rifle at the ready, riding and watching through the dusk. There might be coyotes around that could spook the herd which would scatter away into the night. As well, in this remote natural place where it is mostly just you, God, and your wits, you also have to be ready for anything and everything.

The wind is cold and strong, ripping the sky that is turning a deeper blue just before the even deeper darkness of night. The sage softly rattles like a sigh and the hoof falls into the soft dirt can still be heard along with the squeak of good riding leather. Many stars large and small, far more than any town or city person could ever imagine, will soon be overhead.

Soon This American cowboy will return to his small camp with the other cowboys to warm himself by the fire and have something to eat from the wagon. Then with his saddle for a pillow and thick wool blanket, he’ll get some rest before dawn arrives bringing yet another day in the saddle working, driving the horse herd southward another thirty miles to the main ranch.

Location: Near Craig, Moffat County, Colorado.

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