January 22, 2014



Yesterday, that would be Monday, was a windy son of a gun. The gusts were clocked over 60 mph in our corner of the state and down into Harding County in South Dakota. Now I like Harding County. But if you watch the weather, they usually have high wind warnings posted. And they mean it!  
I left Buffalo after dropping the kids at school. The drive up 85 is busier than it used to be, but still pretty darn quiet early in the morning. Now what are the chances of meeting a semi and having it blow over just as you meet it at 7:30 on Highway 85 north of Buffalo? I would guess it would be about as good as winning a football pool when your numbers are 8 and 2. North of Belfield would be a lot different.
I had to swerve to miss the back of the trailer and that tractor and trailer blew over and skidded down the highway for a long ways. The driver and passenger got banged up a little, but the Buffalo volunteers were there shortly. Another trucker and I got the guys out of the cab and delivered them to the clinic in Buffalo. Looked like nothing serious. But then it wasn’t me that was bleeding.
Anyway, that got me looking back for a column about the wind. And I found this from years back.
Because of high winds they had to cancel Evil Knievel’s son’s jump over the Grand Canyon. I was watching it with some very astute people over a pinochle game. The game of geniuses. The sport of kings. Actually, it is where lazy people meet. I go there a lot. Back to Evil Jr.’s jump. It was a blizzard. It looked like a winter scene in the Badlands. The snow was not falling. It was travelling horizontal to the ground. Or parallel. Whatever. It was going sideways.
While we were waiting for the dealer, whom we wait for a lot, an intelligent discussion began. Any discussion in our game, that doesn’t include four letter words, is deemed intelligent.
Norm. Not the Norm from Cheers, but I think they are related, began the discourse. He informed us that in Norway there was a counterpart to Evil Knievel. His name was, you guessed it, Evil Knutson. He was the daredevil champion of the country. His greatest fame was achieved when he attempted to jump over 18 barrels of lutefisk with a garden roto-tiller.
I know. I know. It wasn’t funny. We didn’t laugh either. But we told Norm it was delivery. I guess now we’ll find out.
 Meanwhile, back at the ranch. We spend a lot of days horseback. I guess that’s why they call it a ranch. Most days we ride on cows. Start colts. Leg-up barrel horses. Or just ride to get away from the phone.
I’m getting too old and fat to ride good. In fact, I always was. But in the wind, it’s darn right scary. Colts are scared of their tails. I’m scared of the colts. I’ve told you the story of Wayne Brown before. The one- eared guy. We were riding together on a high ridge in the Badlands. A hundred and fifty feet down either side. And the wind was blowing like it has this week. It started to rain a little. Wayne put on his slicker. I was scared to reach for mine. I was riding a green horse that had bucked me off before. Wayne kind of implied that I was scared. I told him I just like being wet.
He said he was riding a bronc one time in a storm like this and on a hill like this. He reached back to put on his slicker and his colt blew up and bucked over the edge of this cliff. I asked what happened. He said when he got to the bottom he was wearing his slicker and riding a slicker-broke horse!
He was a cowboy!