Welcome To The Juniper Joust….

 

Welcome To The Juniper Joust In Juniper Canyon!

The Juniper Joust Rodeo was formed in the 1940’s by two like-minded neighbors and friends, my Dad and Fred Hill…who invited their friends to come out to Juniper Canyon to the ranch for a fun rodeo play day….you can click on the photos and they will enlarge!


Horseback games, like the boot race and musical ropes, figure eight race, pole bending and barrel racing, along with lots of visiting, lots of good eating and lots of good times!  Not only were they making memories out here in Juniper Canyon…they were making history and heritage to pass on.

And they did, as the Juniper Joust was born before I was born, and here I am all these years later, sharing the stories and memories of two great friends living the cowboy life in the mid 1940’s.

Can you believe a local rodeo began across from our house…in the middle of my horse pasture?

Yet, here is the proof, it’s rodeo day and people were showing up…some of them rode their horses out from Pendleton to the rodeo…about 20 miles away…while some trailered their horses to the ranch. Our house is on the very far right of the photo, you can see just a small corner of it…note the dirt/gravel road…no paved road in those days!

The Juniper Joust program above dated April 28, 1946, included the Mustanger’s (Saddle Club) as joint sponsors with the Joust…I’m not sure how many years the Juniper Joust continued…

I would love to go back in time to see the rodeo across from our house…right there where Buck is munching away…

The day before the rodeo, the cooking crew dug a b-q pit in the ground to cook a whole beef…they had 200-300 people show up for the rodeo and lunch…its amazing no one from the cooking crew fell into the pit, with the beef, from some stories I was told!

Old days and good times were had by all, eating mouth-watering b-q beef on a bun with barbecue sauce for lunch and visiting…the old way of relationship and connection that we have lost today, which makes me sad…I miss those old days!

My beautiful classy Mom, with her long hair up in braids, wearing her well known smile!

And my Dad roping on “Jingo” at the rodeo…

I’m not sure if they are doing the stake race or the bending race…

Old-time stories are still here, with the good times of community and family coming together. Above photo was taken in the early 60’s in Dad’s roping arena, my Dad is on the far left, my uncles and his brothers Tom, Jens, Ralph in the back row and brother Ron far left on the bottom, cousins Gerald and Steve, with Ron’s twin brother Rich. My two younger cousins, Steve and Gunder were with their Dad, Uncle Ralph.


The old roping arena is still here today…its gone through many stages from roping to barrel racing to working cattle to training young horses and adding a round corral a few years back…

Between cowboy stories…

Hot Rods with cool horsepower…

History and heritage with horses and cows…

 How can you ever be bored out here in the North Country or as we call it Juniper Canyon!

Happy Thanksgiving From…

Hot Rod Cowgirl and Her Gang!

Remembering My Dad…

Happy Birthday Dad! I love you and miss you!

Hot Rod Cowgirl

Remembering my Dad!

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I’m a bit late in posting this, as I was nursing WB last September with his recovery from surgery a few days before the article below was in our local paper…read the 50 Years Ago in the Days Gone By below.

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50 years ago may seem like a long time ago but, vivid memories rush back to me of Round Up and my Dad!

Dad's 50th

Dad was the President of the Round Up when he turned 50 on September 17, 1964 during the second day of the rodeo…and he was pleasantly surprised with a birthday cake in the picture above.

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He loved Round Up week as it was the one week a year he took for his vacation from the cattle ranch…

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Dad was inducted into the Hall Of Fame in 1990…he was known by the cowboys as the “Cowboy President”…

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Dad lived with a fused knee or…

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Every Once In A While….

You hear a song or a sound that takes you back in time…maybe its a visual image that takes you back to the memories you hold dear in your heart…

Not long ago, I was looking out my kitchen window…

doing lunch dishes and I saw a pick up and stock trailer go by…

Wondered who it was and if they were moving cows…

And then I saw something big come around what we call the big corner, about a half of mile from our house, and another something big followed it around the corner and another and another and another…five semi cattle trucks!

Oh be still my heart…

I was immediately transported back in time…old memories of cattle trucks on their way here, either delivering cows or picking them up…and I so miss it!

I have not seen five cattle trucks come rumbling around that corner since the old Juniper T days when my dad and his brothers ran 800 head of Black Angus mama cows…and it took my mind back to old sounds and good memories…

When I lived on the winter cattle ranch…as June 1st dawned, the first truck came over the first hill with full lights on and dip down into the next hill while the second truck bobbed into sight on the first hill and so on until they all lined up in front of my house.

Lined up and ready to load in the early morning dawn, as one by one they left loaded full of cows, heading for the summer range in the Blue Mountains of Eastern Oregon…

I grew up in those mountains gathering cattle with my dad and also on the winter ranch. We had around 25,000 acres on each ranch…the last summer we were on the big ranch was 1979. In 1980 we began raising 200 head of steers on mountain pasture that we kept until 1992.

That’s when Wild Bill and I hired out to manage cattle ranches with many an adventure on the two large cattle ranches we managed…going from Central Oregon, 35 miles out of Prineville, on the Crooked River. close to Post, Oregon. Draw an X through Oregon and the middle of it is Post, Oregon….post office, store and bar.

And then on to Pinedale, Wyoming where we ran cattle on the high desert close to South Pass during spring months and then moved them to the summer range up behind Yellowstone.

I was one lucky cowgirl that I was an only child as Dad took me everywhere with him to work cows, gather cows, salt cows, fence and develop mountain springs…we often traveled 20 to 30 miles horseback gathering cattle and moving them to new pastures all summer long…we would leave at first light, with frosty dew still on the ground, riding out a few crow hops to wake us up and return home at dusk…horses were tired and we were tired…mom was waiting with a hot meal and a hug…it was a life not many know.

We lived on the outside of civilization…no electricity, no telephone, no people, no TV or radio, no newspapers or mail delivered, no running water…our life was simple. During the busy times, we had lots of help with dad’s family, my uncles and cousins would come to help gather cows or in the early years help fence those 25,000 acres as it was not fenced…the first ten years dad had a fencing crew busy fencing, while we rode for cows…I think we had the better deal:)

I miss riding and gathering cows with my dad and our dogs, the one in the picture is Blue…Dad’s on Bucky, she was one of my high school horses and she loved to crow hop first thing…then she settled and all was fine. Every day we had a new adventure riding out early to check cows and babies, making sure the springs were all working and moving cattle to new areas with better grass…we both loved the cattle and the horses…our hearts beat the same with the cowboy life, loving what we were doing!

Seeing those cattle trucks brought tears to my heart as I remembered the old days…where time stands still.

I watched each truck drive by the ranch…disappearing down the canyon…as those old memories flashed in my mind.

I wanted to walk down to the barn and see the brand inspector, the cattle buyer, if we were selling and most importantly my dad…waiting on me to grab my horse, to help him sort cows.

By the time we had kids, the big cattle ranch I grew up on was gone…unfortunately, our kids did not learn to ride horseback or to gather cattle on the mountain or winter ranch.

Funny how those trucks took me back to old times…back to good memories…how I remember and how I miss it…be still my heart!

Now where is my kleenex! Darn It!

In A Nano Second, A Blink Of Life Evaporates…

In a nano second, a blink of life evaporates…

as it trickles through the hourglass of time.

Sunday dawned a typical day for us..

Wild Bill and I had a list of stuff we wanted to do around the ranch…weekends are our only time to catch up on ranch stuff since we run the shop Monday through Friday…

Summers here are my time to shine outdoors….I love working in the yard, watering, spraying weeds and planting more and more flowers…as well as messing with my horses and of course my camera:)

I love being outdoors every chance I get, carrying my camera along to grab photos during magic time light…

Early Sunday afternoon we were formulating our plan of attack, when I noted I felt light headed…and I noticed life around me was spinning out of control…

I told WB that something was wrong and I needed to sit down…aa I sat, I grabbed pictures of our very loved dogs:) From the far left Dasher, the only boy…then Dottie, Fly Bear and Ellie Belle. Fly and Ellie are full sisters…a year a part. We love our dogs, they are protective, ferocious and loyal…and lots of fun…so full of love for us, as we are their family..and they are ours too!

As much as I tried to shrug it off, I felt sick to my stomach…breaking into a clammy sweat, WB called for help as he thought I was having a heart attack or a stroke.

The paramedics arrived shortly and each one of them took extremely good care of me and also took good care of WB. Once Life Flight landed down at the end of our horse arena, I was loaded into the helicopter, WB was already on the road to the hospital to meet us when we landed. My biggest grief was that the dogs did not know what happened and were scared…I tried to get them in the helicopter with me but…that was not gonna fly so to speak!

The rest is history…lots of tests and luckily for me it was not a heart attack or stroke…instead I was diagnosed with severe vertigo. I saw my Dr. Monday morning, she noted how severe the vertigo was and again she thought I was having a cerebral stroke. She sent me back to the ER for another MRI and more tests, it was vertigo but an intense vertigo…it began Sunday afternoon and as of today it is still going…life continues to spin and I am hanging on tight.

I am very thankful it was not a heart attack or stroke…and very thankful for my Dr., our paramedics, the doctors and nurses who took care of us. And all of our sweet dogs are fine too…just glad to have us home. Ellie is glued to my side:)

As life slowly trickles through the hands of time…

it trickles with prayers of thanksgiving for my life!

“Gwen Shoemaker captured the professional photos of us and Ellie…

 With Lola, our red 1955 Ford T-Bird for our article in the Oregon magazine “1859.”

May you be blessed with a wonderful weekend! As always…Ellie and I will be back…so hang on!

 

 

Its Coming…Warm Days And Crazy Summer Nights!

It’s coming…

Warm days and crazy summer nights!

We are popping green here!

With more rain than usual…and weird to see moss growing on top of the soil under my log fence and moss on the trunks of trees…

This is Eastern Oregon…we are always dry here except for the last few years…crazy!

Dasher agrees…its time for crazy warmer days…

With green hills of wheat and incredible sunsets!

I Miss My Sweet Kiah…she would have loved both Ellie and Fly Bear!

An Aunt to one and a Great Aunt to the other…I miss you so much girl!

For now we have warmer spring days…

And my smart alack horse smiling at me as I snap her picture:)

Love you My Sweet Melody…you are a song to my heart!

Summer nights are coming….

With Doves sitting on top of my house looking at me as I snap a picture…hmmmm?

Its coming soon…warm days and crazy summer nights!

Our Ms. Tucker Girl…

Our Ms. Tucker Girl crossed the rainbow bridge to heaven 9-1-2016…

We worried about her over the summer as she ate lots and kept loosing weight…but she was still our Tucker girl, full of life and heart. And on that early September morning we knew something was very wrong, off to the vet we went…hoping her to be ok.

Instead, we had to make a very hard decision, she was bleeding internally…options were, we could try invasive tests/exams etc…but we knew it was time to let our girl go and our vet agreed. When you love your animals…you know in your gut when its time to help them cross the rainbow bridge…even though it is hard.

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Tucker was one of those heart dogs, anointed by God to immediately land in your heart and be full of love for you…

I loved her deep brown eyes…like golden pools of light from her heart and soul!

Tucker was a camera dog as she loved to pose for you…

Cowboy son Curt, captured a sequence of photos below of Tucker, showing her personality and her heart…and her comments.

I hope you enjoy them as much as we have.

“Sun feels doggie dang good!”

“Huh..uhhh, what are you looking at cowboy?”

“I’m basking in the morning sun and ahhhh, feels so good!”

“I’ll pose for you but don’t bug me too long”

“I feel a yawn coming on”

“And a nap is in order”

“I’m almost asleep!”

“You still here?”

“Hmmmm…”

“Maybe I’ll rest my eyes for a bit”

“Or maybe I’ll keep my eye on you!”

You Will Forever Be In Our Hearts Sweet Tucker Girl…

5-23-2003 to 9-1-2016

 

God Bless Small Town America…God Bless Their Native Son!

Last weekend, we traveled to a small community to attend the funeral of a young man who died too young.

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The graveside service was packed with all ages of the community where he was born and raised…

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They came to pay their respects and to remember this bright young man, who touched their lives with his can do spirit, his fight and determination to live and his heart of gold.

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He was an intense part of their lives, as he belonged to the community and they claimed him as theirs, with open hearts of love and compassion for his family and for those of us who knew him.

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In a time when America is struggling with civility, honor and respect for their fellow-man, we stood together as a community, remembering and sharing our thoughts while we celebrated his young life.

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America whispered hope to me that somber day…there’s still places in America where people are united with honor, truth, civility and respect with Almighty God involved in their lives!

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We are one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

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I saw it first hand in the heart of a small community burying its young and I saw it in the eyes of my fellow Americans, as we struggled to understand why his young life was cut short.

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As we came together that day, no one said anything about republicans or democrats or Obama or Trump or war or retaliation. Instead we stood together, like Americans do, when we’re faced with something we do not understand.

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I pray and hope this young man’s family knows how much they’re loved and their son, grandson, brother, uncle, brother in-law, best friend and friend was very much loved…as we grieve with them.

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God Bless Small Town America…God Bless Their Native Son!

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