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Life on a Cattle Ranch

By David Hill, 9 / November 14, 1983



Westfall, Oregon

I spent my summer on a cattle ranch in Eastern Oregon. It was high desert country and very different from the Willamette Valley where I live. It was windy , hot, and had thunderstorms.

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I saw badgers, rabbits, antelope, coyotes, rattlesnakes, deer and bullsnakes when I walked or went for rides through the sagebrush. I found lots of interesting rocks like obsidian and chalk.

Riding a horse was great fun. I liked to fish and swim too. We went to a branding where the baby calves got our -M- brand. The calf I liked best was a cute white one with brown spots.

We also went on a picnic and saw wagon ruts in rocks that were made a long time ago by wagons on the Oregon Trail.

On the Fourth of July, our ranch had a big celebration. There was a roast pig on a spit and lots of other food. The children ate first. In the afternoon my older brother set off home-made rockets. At night we watched fireworks. Our best friend gave us some firecrackers, and we could hardly wait to light them!

My twin brother and I slept in bunk beds. Sometimes at night we looked for stars, because on the desert they are so bright.

We got our mail at a ghost town called Westfall, Oregon. It is the only place in the United States where there is a Post Office, but nobody lives there. We had to travel one-and-one-half hours just to buy our groceries!

I really liked my summer on the ranch.