Now there are five.
Yes, we came home from our trip owning another cow. Actually, this one is a calf, a heifer. She is about nine months old, born this past January.
She has a very long official name, but our granddaughter was thrilled with the shortened version we gave her-Star. This goes well with granddaughter’s name for her toy horses and cows, Rain, Sparkle, Mary and Glitter.
On the way to North Eastern Oklahoma, we spent a night in Kansas City to visit relatives, and a night near Branson MO, just to see what all of the fuss is about. It was a great trip. We left on Thursday morning and returned Monday evening. It was a lot to pack into five days. We traveled over a thousand miles. Thankfully, Husband likes to drive, as he did all of the driving.
Kansas City was a bit of a surprise. I don’t know why, but I had pictured it as being a dirty, dusty place, with a lot of run down commercial areas. Imagine how refreshing it was to see the Plaza area, a several block area of unique architecture and open space along a river. I tried to get some photos, but taking them from the back seat of a moving car didn’t do the area justice.
The area was built in the 1920′s and is full of shops and restaurants. It has very decorative features on some of the buildings.
The city has done a great job of protecting the area from modern “renovations”. Husband’s cousin told us of a large law firm which had intended to raze part of the area to build an office building. The city refused to permit this, so the building site is now adjacent, but not part of the Plaza. The Plaza has become a prime area for tourists and businesses. There is a Christmas lighting ceremony which draws tourists who reserve nearby hotel rooms a year in advance.
Kansas City also surprised us by the amount of public art that we saw on our driving tour. These were on the lawn of a museum.
There were also statues, fountains and beautifully designed bridges throughout the area.
After our quick trip to Kansas City, we headed out to Branson. We had reservations at a bed and breakfast outside of Branson, in the small town of Hollister. The place reminded us of being in Europe. It was above a pub/restaurant. The room was unique, the keys were of the old-fashioned variety, no electronic swipe cards here.
The front desk was extremely helpful. We were not interested in the shows or the country music scene. We wanted to see the Ozark Mountains. They were gorgeous.
Neither Husband or I had ever been to Arkansas. I had wanted to see Eureka Springs. We drove through the town (a bit of a disappointment, but interesting) and headed to a craft fair suggested by blogger Betty outside of town. It was at War Eagle Mill, in the wilds of Arkansas, but there were thousands of people there.
We did find a couple of things for Christmas gifts. It was hot and crowded, two of my least favorite things. But we actually enjoyed it the short time we spent there. Thanks for the tip Betty!
The last part of our trip was the actual cow sale in Oklahoma. This was at a ranch just outside of Tulsa, OK. It was an amazing place. It is a ranch just like you see in movies and television. The wind blew constantly. There was barely a tree in sight. The people working there are cowboys. They work hard and run a wonderful operation. The ranch is owned by a family, and run by folks who live at the ranch.
The sale itself was fascinating. Husband had sold things at sales in the past, but had never been on the buying side. There were hundreds of animals being sold. All were purebred Hereford cattle. This was the big time. This sale was for people who are into raising cattle for use in showing and/or selling bloodlines. The total sales on this afternoon were nearly $750,000.00. One of the calves that my husband liked sold for $57,000. There was a bull that was sold as a part ownership, with a one-quarter share selling for one price, and another share selling for three times that price. I may not be recalling accurately, but I think one share was approximately $25,000, and another share $60,000. Husband was even surprised by that. He quickly realized that his favorites were going to be way out of his price range. As he put it, he moved on to “plan Z” to have any possibility of bidding on anything. He bought embryos, and the heifer noted above. He was happy about these, especially in light of the prices the other animals garnered in the sale. Our calf is a sister to the one that sold for $57,000. We did not pay anywhere near that price, believe me!
Bidding itself was fun to watch. I found it exciting, rather than boring, as I had expected. The bidders were very discreet. A very subtle nod of the head, or shift of the body indicated a bid. No one got excited at all, even when the money was at very high levels. If you did not watch very carefully, you would not be able to tell who had made the bid. The auction was also being broadcast on the internet. There were bidders on the phone, and online. There were several “ring men” who were taking the bids at the sale. There were three different auctioneers who traded off as they tired. Some of them were easier to follow than others as they did their fast talking sale talk. There were cowboy hats galore.
We did get a chance to enjoy some quiet time. We drove out to a nature area and just enjoyed the scenery near Branson. There was a dam where we drove into an area that did not appear to be used very often. We felt as though we were exploring. This might have been one of my favorite parts of the trip.
We found several butterflies enjoying the flowers outside the visitor center at the dam.
The final day of the trip was a long day of traveling. We returned late in the evening, picked up our dog from our son and daughter-in-law, came home and fell into bed. I had to work the next day. Husband had another long (about 20 hours)day to drive to Iowa to pick up the calf, deliver it to her new home north of us, and return home.
Even though I hadn’t been convinced that this would be an enjoyable trip, I loved it. It was so nice to be on the road. I enjoyed seeing that area of the country. I really enjoyed the sale (I never would have guessed that). And Husband and I spent some time together.
Anniversary trips are good. No matter what you do.
Happy 32nd, dear.