For this week’s football piece I’ve decided to go a slightly different direction in that it’s not going to have a whole lot of actual ‘football’ in it. Or any, really. You see, by the time this piece gets posted I’ll be somewhere in big sky country. On a horse.
That’s right, my friends and I are abandoning our families in order to play cowboy for a week.
Like this, except we’ll be hunched over, white knuckled on the reins, and with a look of pants-shitting terror on our faces.
Here’s the description of the trip we got from the ranch:
You guys will be working with 140-150 heads of cattle and will be doing vaccinations on this trip. Mills says this trip is actually his favorite and he thinks this is the best season for you guys to be going so it sounds like it will be amazing.
The weather is getting quite chilly at night. Down into the 30s. Daytime temps are in the upper 60s to about 70. Pack layers for sure. There will be a heater in your tent, but you’ll have to leave the tent to use the outhouse so be prepared to bundle up.
The ranch does not serve alcohol, but you guys are welcome to bring your own if you think you’ll want to do some drinking.
Cell phone reception — it is spotty and at points non-existent when you’re out in the forest. Mills’ phone always works in case of emergency, though.
Wifi — there is one location with wifi and it is in the main room of the lodge. Mills can show you where to go if you need to get online. You’ll only be in the lodge on Day 1.
The cabin you guys will be crashing in when on the ranch is a “family cabin” and it does not have wifi or a landline or a TV or a bathroom.
The tent has a heater? Yes! Right away I’ll be able to check “3rd degree burns from midnight tent fire” off my bucket list. Also checked: vaccinating anything. That’s been a lifelong dream of mine since I found out we were going to be forced to do that.
Now, I’ll be honest…this was not my idea. It’s a 40th birthday party for our friend who is one of the least outdoorsy people I’ve ever met and is basically the modern equivalent of the Dauphin. I’m not 100 percent sure he doesn’t wear eyeliner. But somehow, this is his dream.
I suggested Maui, but alas, less cowboy culture there. So we’re packed and ready. All of us flying into Montana with luggage full of approximated cowboy apparel.
The toughest thing about the packing has been this direction:
“boots with a heel…NO RUBBER SOLES!!!!”
I could have gone out and purchased new cowboy boots for $140. I’d wear them for all of six days and never lay eyes on them again, and spend the following week introducing my children to the wonder meal that is ramen, or I could search the skeletal back-closet land of retired shoes in our house to find something — anything — that fits that description. Something with a heel but not made of rubber.
Nothing. I had nothing. Not a single pair of shoes or boots that didn’t have a rubber sole. So I ended up biting the bullet and buying a pair of ankle high boots that make me look like an Argentinian gigolo. They’re kind of like this but without any knurling on the sole. Yeah, that’s a real word.
And of course they say for us to pack a wide brimmed hat. So, like Richie Sambora’s hat, or…?
Of course not! I wouldn’t be caught in something that Richie Sambora would wear. I actually do have a cowboy hat that Lady Castleton bought for me in Sedona before we had kids. She was all fired up to show me Sedona because it’s supposed to have these intersections of energy called vortices and certain people can feel them. Lady Castleton was basically levitating in Sedona and I stood next to her blinking stupidly like Homer Simpson. But my consolation prize was that I noticed a hat in a store that looked like Kevin Kline’s character ‘Paden’ in Silverado and it fit me perfectly.
Since then I’ve worn it every winter religiously because it keeps the snow off your neck. Here’s my hat, packed and ready to go.
And here’s Richie Sambora in the same hat, basically. Awesome.
So yeah, I’m going to spend all this week as a wannabe Richie Sambora gigolo on a horse, except when I’m freezing my testes off trying to coax a wolf away from the outhouse. It’s OK because at least it’ll help scratch the travel itch I was mentioning a couple of weeks back.
Here are a few pictures from the ranch’s website. I’m curious to see if you have the same response I did:
Okay, huh. Is that a white squaw? I swear I saw that somewhere. Wasn’t that a Ridley Scott picture?
Ah yes, the School Ties of the sea. Okay, not sure what to think yet…next slide…
Wow. What a view! There’s no way I’m going within fifty-eight feet of that view. I have a thing about edges. I better pack another coat. Still not sold…
Ah! We have a winner! Okay, maybe I can do this after all. I’ll just remember that I’m in the state where the McClain boys shot the chutes together and that should get me through it.
As for football, well, I barely caught any of it, but there’s one important thing that every football fan, no matter your interest level, should know: The Lambeau Leap.
Lambeau Field is where the Green Bay Packers play football, and when a Packer scores a touchdown he leaps backwards into the stands and is greeted by the adoring local populace.
Green Bay: White People? We got ‘em!
But here’s the most important part:
I have become aware that there is a fake Lambeau Leap wall statue somewhere in the Lambeau Field environs, where any asshole can just pose with bronze slightly-too-large Packers fans and chronicle that for all eternity.
Look ma! No shame!
I’m not sure if this is the greatest thing I’ve ever seen or the saddest, but I’ll leave that for you to decide.
I’ll be back next week with Sir W (possibly) to regale you with actual football from the bosom of the NFL, from whence all happiness doth spring. Until then, I leave you with a picture of Rex Ryan in his postgame press conference. There’s no better Rex than angry confused post game Rex.
Well pards, it’s time for me to hit the dusty trail. Don’t break anything while I’m gone.