Apr 19, 2014
Home| Tools| Events| Blogs| Discussions Sign UpLogin

Washington State Rancher Holds Cowboy Cattle Drive

February 5, 2014
cattle drive
An annual cattle drive through the Yakima River Canyon could be called the friendly roundup.  
 
 

By: MIKE JOHNSTON, Associated Press

Saturday's cattle drive through the Yakima River Canyon of Washington could be called the friendly roundup.

Each year, the Eaton family moves a herd of pregnant cattle from open range to ranch pasture in the canyon southeast of Ellensburg, Wash. The operation involves the help of many family and friends.

It was the same this year, said Ken Eaton, one of the sons of Jack and Beneitta Eaton, head of the longtime Kittitas County Eaton ranching family. "I guess to some it could be a little bit of an early rodeo parade," Ken Eaton said Sunday with the more than 170 cattle safe in the pastures of the family's Mount Baldy Ranch. "There's people who like to get out and ride, and mix that with helping us move cattle in the old-fashioned way."

The drive started Friday as grazing cattle were brought down from the slopes of Selah Butte to a corral area off Burbank Creek Road.

Riders, with pickups and horse trailers following behind, guided cattle slowly along Burbank Creek Road starting at 9 a.m. Saturday.

The drive comes on to state Route 821 about 11 a.m. and heads north on the Yakima River Canyon Highway. State Department of Transportation vehicles follow in front and behind to keep cattle and horse riders safe.

About 30 to 35 people helped out, which included 25 riding horseback to the move the cattle along and guide stray cows back to main herd, Ken Eaton said.

"Really, this is the only safe way to move them," he said. "They're close to calving, and trucking them, well, may not be the best thing for them."

After a short rest at the Big Pines Recreation Area, the group moves on to the ranch.

Longhorn Cattle Co.'s authentic circa-1870 chuck wagon was a new feature this year. Owner-operators Greg and Kristine Akehurst offered cookies, campfire coffee and other refreshments at the Big Pines campground. Don and Buttons Akehurst, last year's Kittitas County Cattlemen Association family of the year and Longhorn Cattle Co. family ranch owners, helped out with the chuck wagon.

Don said his son, Greg, and Ken Barnhart a long time ago helped with cattle on the Akehurst ranch, and the two as young men learned to cook over a campfire out of self-preservation.

"Let's just say they got real tired of weenies and beans all the time," Don said.

READ MORE
Previous 1 2 Next

See Comments

RELATED TOPICS: Livestock, Cattle, Fun, Beef News

 
Log In or Sign Up to comment

COMMENTS

No comments have been posted



Name:

Comments:

Receive the latest news, information and commentary customized for you. Sign up to receive the AgWeb Daily eNewsletter today!.

 
 
Enter Zip Code below to view live local results:
bayer
 
 
The Home Page of Agriculture
© 2014 Farm Journal, Inc. All Rights Reserved|Web site design and development by AmericanEagle.com|Site Map|Privacy Policy|Terms & Conditions