Thursday, March 11, 2010

And the winner is.......

Some days I cannot seem to make anything from the day really come together for this blog. Other days I could write ten blogs from a single day. Today was one of the latter. I really debated which topic to approach tonight since I had a flood of ideas today. The first thing I decided was I would lean towards the non serious and humorous today. Tomorrow is the second anniversary of Dads passing so seriousness and a somber mood will certainly be the main components of the blog post.

There are many things in life that give me a bit of heartburn and things that can sometimes make me shake my head in disgust. The one thing though that truly is unacceptable to me is boredom. Luckily with a twisted mind such as mine boredom is usually a very rapid passing moment. The trip to the auction in Toppenish had massive potential to be boring. The trip is 80 miles of desert scenery with two long hills to climb. Sure, this time of year I can cuss the federal government as I drive across the Hanford Reach National Monument for the first 40 miles. I can also covet the Anderson family’s grass as I slowly climb the ridge separating the Columbia valley from the Yakima valley but both of these only can occupy a small amount of time. Today I was able to find something that made the trip seem much more rapid and tolerable.

I am publically admitting I am a NASCAR fan. The difference between me and many other NASCAR fans is I have been a fan for a long time. I was a NASCAR fan back before it was hip to be a NASCAR fan. I was a fan back when Donnie Allison and Cale Yarborough were bouncing off each other in Daytona and Cale and Bobby Allison had their fistfight on television back in 1979. Anyway, the NASCAR of today sometimes leaves a lot to be desired but if you Google “Edwards flips Keselowski” and watch the video from last week you will see why I am still a fan.

Today as I approached the Vernita Bridge I saw another cattle hauler headed to Toppenish. I will refer to her as “Lady A”. Lady A was going to beat me to the bridge and since I had to pee anyway I resigned myself to being behind her in the unloading line at the auction. As we crossed the bridge she turned on her turn signal to enter the rest area. That’s when I saw my chance to “beat” her in the stocktrailer NASCAR race in my mind. I chuckled as she turned because as a man I did not need any building to relieve myself as she did. I decided I would stop at the intersection of highway 24 and 241, take a quick pee and then beat her to Toppenish and the checkered flag. That’s just what I did and as I climbed the hill to the Yakima valley I was sure I was going to be the winner.

I was about to the top of the pass when I noticed the black Dodge was running a bit hot. I had about 3 ounces of water with me and two warm beers that could be used for extra coolant. I found a wide spot in the road, popped the hood, poured in the 27 ounces of liquid and prepared to complete the ascent. Just as I was about to reenter the highway Lady A rolled by me! Oh no, now I had to have some strategy to win the race. I decided my only chance was to take the Vanbelle cutoff and hope Lady A used the freeway. The cutoff is about a mile shorter but it also is a county road with a 50 mph speed limit and the freeway route has two traffic lights but has a 70 mph speed limit. As I turned on Vanbelle road Lady A continued south to the freeway.

The speed limit may have been 50 mph but this was a race so 75 mph seemed the appropriate speed for me. I was about 2 miles from the Granger turnoff and feeling pretty good about my chances of winning when I came upon another cattle truck. I knew the truck I was behind belonged to “Rick B” and my chances for victory were slipping away. Rick B always drives at least 5 mph under the speed limit. I so wanted to bump draft Rick and send him into the infield but I knew that would just be plain rude. I also knew there was little chance I could get enough steam to pass him. I slammed my hands on the steering wheel, cussed at Festus and sulked in a third place finish, but wait……

Just as we got close to Granger Rick B blew a trailer tire sending him to the shoulder. I shoved my foot into the throttle and flew towards the meeting point. As I approached the final intersection I saw Lady A exiting the freeway. My chances to beat her now seemed extremely remote but another lucky thing happened. The car that was in front of her stalled at the intersection and as she waited for 3 migrant workers to push start their car I crossed the intersection ahead of her. When I arrived at the sale yard there was no line and I was able to pull in and unload without any wait. As I shut the trailer door I chuckled as Lady A pulled in behind me. It is not easy being a stock trailer race champion but once the imaginary trophy girls kissed my cheek I was happy to be the winner. I was even happier that I did not have a boring trip. The calves sold really well today by the way.

Today’s real environmentalist species sadly found on the ranch is yellow star thistle aka Centaurea solstialis.

Today’s picture is of 5 alien eye baby calves I took this evening right before dark.