[Just a reminder that your photo stories are due by this weekend! A custom celebration banner could be yours!]
A note: I panicked a little bit writing this. I mean, it’s about cows. And an auction. And Texas. Who cares? But then again, you can skip it if you want. I’ll never know. Or, you can read it. Maybe it’s a section of life you never get to see. Pretend we’re all sitting out back around the fire pit having smores and I’m telling you about my weekend. Tomorrow we’ll head over to your house and you can tell me about your Science Fair, or your photography, or your kiln, or your marathon, or your cakes, or the desert. That’s what I love about this blogging medium… we all get to go together. I love being together. Apple pie, anyone?
Today, we’re going to Cow Town.
We left last Wednesday at 5pm in a convoy of two Dodge Ram trucks each pulling a trailer with moos in them. We were hauling cows that were to be dropped off and picked up along the way. The great thing about the Michigan crew of longhorn breeders is that everyone works together. If someone is headed South, well… sure. Put your cow in the trailer. It’s a family.
Ellie, I waved to you at the I-44 interchange again in St. Louis. What I wouldn’t give to just pull into your driveway with a trailer full of longhorns one time. Some day.
We made two stops along the way: one in Illinios to pick up (thanks for the sandwhiches, Rosalee!) and one in Kansas to drop off (thanks for the steak and eggs, Ron!). After 19 hours of driving, we landed in Ardmore, Oklahoma (of 8 Seconds fame… bull riding… tornado alley) at the Loomis Ranch for visiting and Dale Hunt’s ranch for sleeping. Jami, you would have loved it. Pedigree talk, chicken fried steak, and NCAA basketball on the tv. Heaven, maybe?
Friday left us with only an hour and a half to go, Praise the Gracious Lord in Heaven above. We pulled into the Marriot across from Nascar’s Texas Motor Speedway. The sale, People, was IN the hotel. IN THE GRAND BALLROOM. All the longhorns were unloaded and set in pens outside… it looked like the state fair. This is my favorite part of all this cow business. Unloading the cows, getting their water, calming them down, talking to them, peeking at all the others, walking around. Love it. Love just being out there looking at everything. I got quite a ribbing for changing into my skirt and flip flops and then plopping down on the ground to take photos. They thought I was crazy… and maybe I am. I just kept yelling, “I’ve got to take this to the People!” That’s y’all, of course. Y’all are my people.
Friday night was a casual buffet dinner and then the Heifer Sale. Remember that heifers are young lady cows. Most were pregnant with their very first calves. They were brought in from outside, through the pens, into the ballroom, auctioned, and then out the other side. All while I was eating mashed potatoes. Awesome. The top heifer that night was Amy Jo, a Michigan cow from Dave’s Sundown Ranch, and she went for $18,000. Dave’s ranch is right across the highway from us, and he has been instrumental in us getting our bearings in the longhorn world. Congrats, Dave. She was a beauty.
I made a video of the auction so you could hear it. The auction part of Friday and Saturday night was so super fun. I mean, don’tcha just grin listening to it? I had to sit on my hands, I was so excited. We went into the weekend knowing that we would not buy anything (are you kidding me?)… but it was so hard in the middle of all the fun. Saturday (when the video was shot) was the black-tie optional dinner. The top cow that night was Outback Cherry, and she sold for $92,000. I know. Now, this is the Legacy Sale. It’s the only place you’ll see numbers like that. Curt just got back from a sale where the low price was $200 and the high was $5000. There’s a very wide range… but it’s very much like horses. You pay for pedigree and potential.
*sigh* It was a crazy weekend. Lots of driving and lots of talking and lots of food. I love these crazy people. They’re all in this for different reasons: some for history, some for competition and ribbons, some for beef, some for community. I think TexasNorth is all of that, but on a much muuuuuuuuch smaller scale. We’re going to take it slow, learn a lot, and build a farm in the process. It an amazing this for our family to do together and to share with others, and that’s what I am most excited about. Thanks for playing with us.
A full set of my Legacy Sale V photos are here for you.