Sunday, April 6, 2008

Bull Sales and Anniversaries

It's 7 A.M., Kansas time, on Saturday morning and I am sitting in a really cold sale arena with a scrapbook magazine in my lap and 2 hours until sale time. We've been up since 4:30 and drove just over an hour to get here (That doesn't include driving to Kansas yesterday).

Yesterday we left the dirt road before dawn but the sun soon caught up with us. 450 miles separated us from our destination. That looks like a sunset, but it's actually a sunrise:
We were headed to Kansas for the 3rd consecutive year for the Gardiner Angus Production Sale. We actually stayed in Dodge City where we left a trailer for Clint's Dad to pick up. We then stopped in at Boot Hill but unfortunately, it was closed :

What was once known as the wildest town in the West was pretty quiet so we checked in at the Dodge House Hotel ~ very nice accommodations:

before enjoying a delicious supper of Prime Rib and Fillet Mignon at Casey's Steakhouse. DH doesn't sleep well when he hasn't done anything physical all day. He's restless when he's in a vehicle for extended periods of time so we were up early. Well, actually, he's always up early. We headed out of Dodge early the next morning:


This morning I have been designated as the seat keeper. As DH registers and walks through the pens with a keen eye focused on potential additions to our bovine family, I am warming his seat. We know from experience that a good seat is hard to come by at this sale. 600+ people will be juggling for seats in a few hours. When DH returns, I will move over and give him the warm seat. He will tell me to sit still, but I'll move anyway. It's just a small gesture that shows him how much I love him. Yes, sitting in a cold seat is a sign of love.

Yesterday was our 21st anniversary and we are attending a bull sale. As I reflect on the sights and smells that surround me, I smile. There is nowhere else I had rather be. 21 years of blessings has cumulated and now finds me surrounded by eager cattle buyers. I am happy in this place, with DH by my side.

The anticipation of sale day is almost palatable. It's staggering to think about the amount of work that precedes this day. The catalog that lists each of the 1346 head of cattle that are for sale along with their pedigrees and a slew of other numbers such as birth weight, weaning weight and their avg. weight gain per day. DH has poured over the catalog since it arrived in the mail 6 weeks ago. The amount of shuffling that takes place to herd the correct bovine in it's proper pen. The record keeping. The food that must be prepared for supper the evening before sale day, breakfast in the morning, and dinner on the day of the sale. Pie anyone? Someone's been busy baking. If you hurry, you may be able to grab that last brownie. Most of the cowboys I know are die hard pie connoisseurs, but for me, it's all about the chocolate!
This is an amazing production and it's all put together by this neat family. Need to add some top notch genetics to your herd? Look into Gardiner Angus. Quality cattle raised by quality people. Very impressive.

Time stands still when you are swept up in the middle of the auction. The bulls are only in the sale arena for 10 seconds before they are herded out the other side. They sold 439 bulls in just over 3 hours. The 1st bull sold for $70,000 for 1/2 interest! How about one for $100,000? It was a long while before the bulls that were within our budget came up! We ended up with 10 bulls and the pace was fast and furious. I don't think I even took a breath between the first 6 bulls we bought. I ducked in later to take a picture but it was standing room only.

I really enjoy listening to the steady cadence of the auctioneer's voice. Two auctioneers actually shared the job. After about 200 lots, they switched off. I'll bet they're both exhausted today! Looks like it's been a long day for everyone:

Filling up with diesel on this trip was not a pleasant experience:

The kids are fending for themselves this weekend. It's the 1st time we've left them alone overnight. The mom in me was worried since they had to drive into town for a 4-H meeting on Friday, but so far I've done well and haven't plagued them with phone calls and DH and I enjoyed our time together immensely.

We took an alternate route on our way home to see some different country. I thought these windmills were neat and thought my scrapbooking and photography readers would enjoy them. See, I think of y'all even when I'm driving down the road.

DH just shook his head and said that I couldn't drive anymore because I was always wanting to stop and take pictures. Grin! He said it's a wonder we even made it home on the same day. He is generally a "from point A to point B" kind of traveler. We balance each other out well. So, at times, I have become quite adept at shooting photos from a moving car.

Lots of grain elevators in this neck of the woods. I took this one in honor of Donna. Those of you who are my scrapping buddies know she loved them. She is thought of often.

Yep. We went to a bull sale for our anniversary. How many people can say they got 10 Angus Bulls for their anniversary? Lucky? You bet! I spent an incredibly,wonderful weekend with DH! We ate like kings, visited with lots of new people from all over the country, bought 10 new bulls, and had time to catch up with each other. It was a perfect weekend. I feel so blessed!

11 comments:

Shelljo said...

Hey Karin, you were in MY territory! I grew up near the Gardiner Ranch--went to school with the Gardiner "boys". And, I now live only 30 miles from there AND I work in Dodge. So, seeing your photos and your take is real nice!

Karin said...

Well gosh darn it! I just KNEW I should have posted on SS before making this trip! Shoot! We weren't in Dodge City very long (fast and furious trip), but I would have LOVED to have met up with you! Darn! Darn! Darn! You can bet I'll be hollering at you next year!

Rhonda said...

You and I are 2 peas in a pod! Only I'm married to a farmer rather than a cowboy. Every single day I'm in awe of God's goodness to me and His constant provisions. I love, love, love life in the country and am, too, perfectly happy spending an anniversay working in the barn or on the combine by DH's side--and it's a good thing since our anniv. is in Oct., smack dab harvest time.
Your photograpy amazes me, and I wonder if I might ask a question?
On the stunning silhouette/sunsets are you exposing for the sky only? I'm also referring to another post with horses.
I'd really like to be able to share some recipes with you but am not sure how to contact you.
I get great enjoyment reading your blog.
Rhonda

Karin said...

Rhonda ~ awww, thanks! So good to find another like-minded pea!I'll e-mail you in a bit (about recipes and more)~ hopefully this afternoon before we leave for Bible Study! I take my hat off to you and your husband ~ farming is hard work!

In answer to the exposure on those photos, I took those really quickly because I was losing the light. I didn't think the camera could possible capture those amazing colors, but I was ecstatic when it did! I am an amateur in the photography field and have so much to learn! I did expose these for the sky on landscape mode. The fact that they turned out was simply a gift from God. I will remember that moment forever!

Karin said...

Rhonda ~ I don't have an e-mail from you so you can contact me at

khebbert@hotmail.com

Look forward to hearing from you!

agent713 said...

I think that sounds like a great anniversary weekend. I got a taste of steer auctions when I was at the Fort Worth Stockyards a year ago but it was all televised. Being there live must have been pretty cool.

That shot of your DH in the truck is so cool!!!

Paula Yaussi said...

Welcome to Kansas! I have been to a bull sale - McCurry Brothers Angus Ranch near Mt. Hope. Not as large as this production, but the sights, sounds, smells, and overall environment are something you don't want to miss!

Paula in Kansas

PS - My husband's idea of a romantic date is cleaning horse stalls together after we have put the kids to bed! It does give us good talking time and . . . you never know what might happen in the hay!

Bobbie said...

Hey Karin! Let's put this in the small world category - Garth's wife is a fellow Miss Rodeo Kansas alumni. ;) They have a great place, and it was so fun to watch Garth and Amanda win the Superhorse award at this year's AQHA World Show (via the net - what a WONDERFUL thing!).

You MUST start to market your photography. It is AMAZING!

~ Bobbie

Karin said...

Paula ~ Grin!

Bobbie ~ Wow, it is a small world! Amanda checks us out every year when make payment and delivery arrangements and we usually talk to Garth when we visit via phone. They seem like a neat family and yes, that was awesome that they won the Superhorse Award at the World Show! DH was on the horse judging team at A&M and they judged at the World (and won!). DD judges in 4-H and hopes to attend in the next few years.

Thanks for the compliment on my photography! I'm glad you enjoy it but I wouldn't even know where to start and I really am just an amateur. I have so much to learn!

Le@nne said...

You take awesome photos!! Love the perception pics :)
Thanks for sharing your farm life with us all.

Karin said...

Le@nne~ Thank you ~ you are too kind!

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