Living the Cowboy Way in Kansas
The cowboy rhythm
In a day, the sounds grow familiar. Meadowlark music riding a prairie breeze. Massive horns clacking together like baseball bats when the cattle bunch up in ravines. Horses sleepily snorting in the corral as they doze on three legs.
Out here, the stiff morning coffee is more than a pick-me-up. It's a steaming antidote to chills lingering before sunrise. Joe slips on leather gloves to pick up the blue enamel pot and pour me a cup.
He stares at an expanse of grass bending before the breeze rising with the morning and says, "That wind's gonna' help us today. It's blowing the right direction to keep the cattle moving." I squint through the steam rising to my hat brim and say, "Yep," just like a cowboy who has the faintest idea what the boss is talking about.
This story appeared in Midwest Living® May/June 2011. Click to the next page for a Trip Guide.