We’re back in the wilderness, in between Grants and Cuba, and we’re both a little tired, both a little worn down. Nothing special, just miles and some monotony catching up with us. We’re three weeks in and the day to day of the trail life is really real now, the good and the bad. Tent setup, food schedule, and bathroom routines, while we are still fine tuning, are pretty established. And as a long day is winding down, we get invited to stay in a cabin with some real cowboys.
I was a bit gunshy to accept at first. I was actually picking up a head cold, they had driven up while I was literally wiping my butt behind a small bush, and I could smell a little alcohol when we met. But they seemed like genuinely good guys and were quick to share what they had with us. Plus, they were definitely real cowboys with hats and belt buckles to prove it. How could we refuse?
We met them at their cabin a couple miles up the trail shortly before dark and proceeded to share dinner and stories until almost 11 pm. We didn’t eat the same food – I had granola while they had steak and potatoes, and we didn’t have the same background, but we all had a good time learning about each other’s lives.
We were very interested in learning about the ranching life as we’d been walking with cows for the entire trail. They were impressed with our walk and asked loads of questions. They offered to have us hang around a few days to live the cowboy life but we needed to hike on.
We went to bed that night in our little bunk listening to Mark and Cody talk about shoeing horses, breaking them in, and even about their days on the high school rodeo team. Everyone hikes their own hike, but ours feels special because of all the great and unique people we’ve met, especially cowboys.