Started out for the finals yesterday, and stopped in at Shawna and Doug Burton in Claresholm. They were kind enough to set some cattle for me and the dogs (Fly and Gin) to get them tuned up some. The wind was howling, but the girls tried to listen, and I was pleased. Left this morning and made it to Buffalo, Wyoming - only 5 more hours to go to get to Gering, Nebraska. I would love to put the pictures up I took today, and promise to do so when I can. Left Shawna and Doug's at 8 am, and the weather got worse and worse as we went south - Chris mentioned the other day that he started wearing his long underwear in October 2009 - at this rate, he will still have them on by June (and if there is a God, please don't let this happen - he must take them off at some time to put them in the wash).
As we went through Montana, there was whiteout conditions, then there were brownout conditions - the wind was as high as 110 KM/hour, and any field that was capable of being blown around was done so. At least the wind was at my back - don't think my Jeep ever made 25 miles to the gallon before in it's life. Saw a few overturned truck/trailer units and a poor camper with a canopy misadventure. I do not think I will be wearing any shorts on this trip. Perhaps I should have brought Chris's long underwear.
There will be a handler's supper tomorrow night, and then the open starts on Thursday. We will see if Fly knows the program this year - last year she couldn't figure out where the sheep were (how embarassing). This can be such a humbling sport at times.
And - I may go to hell. I stopped at a Jehovah Witness's parking lot to let the dogs out - I had brought Artie, Lizzie, Cliff and Billie the Jack Russells, as well as Tim (to get him used to travelling). At this stop there was a death - Artie dug up a gopher, and a little tug-o-war ensued. The gopher did not win. His housemates have decided there is 6 more weeks of winter - even though Artie tried his darnest to convince them otherwise.
2 years ago