Posts Tagged ‘Outlaw horse’

We spent part of the summer at Mahoney Ranger Station and part at Pole Creek RS.  I have almost as many memories of Pole Creek as I do Mahoney and Jarbidge, but they are more scattered. The palomino was at Pole Creek, as was my father’s favorite horse, the outlaw named Smokey. Smokey stood an easy 17 hands, a blue roan with a wicked temper. Legend had it that you couldn’t hobble him – my dad would double hobble him and he’d still be a long way off from camp come morning. He was everything Mustang and everything that Will James wrote about in his own memoir of a similar horse, Smoky the Cowhorse.

It was the palomino I was drawn to. The flies got to it and he had a huge sore where the throat latch on his bridle had rubbed him raw. He was a miserable horse and it was left to my mother to doctor him when the fire crews and my father were away from the Ranger Station

My mother hated horses. She was afraid of them and she truly disliked the animal. The only way she survived the doctoring of the palomino was that she could do it over the fence and he was a willing patient. She lured him close with treats and then applied salve to the sore that protected it from the flies and helped the horse heal. She was completely baffled by my love of the animal and my insistence on being under her feet or hanging on the fence when the horse came over for his treatments. She never did understand my love for horses.

She rode a friend’s horse. It was a barn-sour old nag and as soon as they were turned back to the barn, it bolted and took the bit in its teeth. It felt like she was going a hundred miles an hour – straight for the clothesline where she would surely be decapitated. She managed to survive – maybe she bailed or maybe she ducked – I’ve lost that part of the story now. She never liked another horse. Ever. Nasty, conniving, half-ton animals with a hate for human beings.


My brother ran into a moose at Pole Creek. He was five years old and going to the dump? He’ll have to correct me on that. I just remember he rocketed into the house with more ADHD energy than normal, babbling about the moose. It stood on the path, and he wasn’t going to argue with it.


Granny and Gramps came to visit at the same time the Eastern Idaho State Fair was taking place in Buel. ROAD TRIP! Cotton candy! Carnival Rides! Yowza!!

002(Granny Wilcox, Terry, Me. Don’t know the dog’s name, but it belonged to Granny.)

Oh-my-gosh! I remember only one thing from the Eastern Idaho State Fair and that was the Kiddy Ferris Wheel. No kidding – they had a pint-sized Ferris Wheel for tots. It probably went 20 feet in the air and each basket held one child. I begged. I pleaded. I groveled.

Dad relented.

It was The.Best.Ride.Ever. I felt like I was flying! I didn’t get sick! I wasn’t scared! I could see the whole fair! (Well, it seemed like it).

I’m pretty sure there was a melt-down on the way home or two, but since I don’t remember that…

001I had a cool new pirate sword that my big brother drooled over. Yeah, baby.

(I like that photo because Gramps and Dad are in the background, under the hood of the car. I could have been Vinnie’s girlfriend from My Cousin Vinny, if only I had paid attention…)


Read Full Post »