Central South Dakota ‘Modern Day’ Cattle Drive
I remember as a kid trying to load Queenie in the back of a pickup. Dad backed up to the ditch to lessen the step up into the green chevy pickup. You might ask what's a stock rack in a pickup is, but this pickup had it. That little black pony was having none of it and I was almost in tears. It was the day we were going to move cattle from up north to over south and I was looking forward to playing cowboy for the day.
Times have changed, but I noticed on my cousin Evan Brakke's Facebook feed that they still do it the old fashioned way and drive 'em down the road to the homestead. The Brakke cattle drive starts up north of Presho near Lower Brule Reservation land. Their drive is a legit long haul. I think they two days to get them about 8 miles south of Presho.
As you can tell by some of the photos. Some things have changed. Instead of a chuckwagon, someone was probably driving a pickup with food and beverage. But if you look at this collection of storytelling pictures courtesy of Tyrelle Schweitzer you almost find yourself riding along in your mind.
Times have changed. Stock trailers and potbellied semi-trucks do most of the hauling nowadays. But when it comes to Brakke's, out west in central South Dakota, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
I'd bet there was talk of Andy (Evans Grandpa) and how he probably did it this way or that way years ago. You can bet that this year's riders exchanged stories as well. Stories most likely infused with colorful language and South Dakota-Lyman County Central Plains hyperbole.
Take a look at the pictures. They just about get your nose running as it does on a cold day. If you've ever been on a cattle drive, these photos will get you wishing you had a warm goose down jacket on and a good cow pony between your legs.
By the way, years ago, when uncle Tom suggested we not back the pickup against the road in the ditch, Queenie jumped right in. That was a cattle drive I'll never forget.
Thanks for sharing this story with your Facebook and Twitter friends who were also born 75 years too late and wish they could have done more things like this.