Livestock

MONDAY

We started the day early for us.  The other day Bonnie said she wanted to go to the Amarillo Livestock Auction.  In fact its one of the reasons why we decided to stay longer.  We decided that we would eat at the attached Stockyard Cafe.

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Breakfast with real cowboys and ranchers.  They were definitely there and and we really enjoyed our breakfast.  Then we walked into the action hall and were greeted by this old dusty guy.

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We found some seats for the next few hours.

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People drifted in and out and some like us just stayed put.  They sold a lot of cattle today.  Bulls, steers, breeding stock, cows, and heifers.  Young and old they all sold.  Some one at a time.

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Some two at a time.

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Sometimes it was mother and calf and sometimes a small herd.  Thats the auction owner working the gate.

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The auctioneer and his staff work for 4 hours with one 5 minute break near the end.

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So the cattle come in on the left, they get paraded around a little, sold normally by the hundred weight, then exit to the right where they are weighed to determine their cost.  If its multiple cows say 10 they are weighed before they come in but still sold by weight.  So if the 10 cows weighed 6000lbs and they sold for $145 the total cost would be $8700.00.  Calfs and some young cows are sold by the head.  So if you bid $400 on one thats what it costs.  There was at least one group of cattle that sold for close to $30,000, one happy seller.

We sat next to a nice Rancher from Canyon.  He answered my questions on pricing and procedure.  Turns out he has about 2500 acres and had a hear transplant a few years ago, its was nice to talk to him and he was very helpful.

The auction was over by around 3pm.  Bonnie decided she wanted to buy a cowhide so we looked at Tandy Leather that the Rancher suggested.  They were huge and not really the color Bonnie was looking for.  So we are still thinking about it.  Almost 90 here today but thankfully a bit of a breeze.  Hopefully we can open the windows again when the sun sets.

TUESDAY

Well the alarm woke us at 8 this morning and as soon as I washed my face and could focus I called the National Monument and signed Bonnie up for the Ranger led hike this morning.  Since they wanted us there at 9:30 we were out the door and headed to the North-East.  Not much traffic here this morning and we made it to the Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument right on time.

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We met the Rangers and watched the 9 minute movie about the flint and the area.

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A family and a couple other couples showed up right at 10 as they were leaving and they were able to join the tour.  It was about a 2 hour hike lots of stairs so I opted to stay and relax.  I also needed to drive to the top of the Mesa and call to make reservations for tomorrows activities.  I was able to take a few pictures around the visitors center.

There is a lake bed out this direction but due to the drought the lake is only half full.  It supplies water for 9 cities so its important.  This is the Canada river and so is the same river that is damed up to make Lake Eufaula.

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This is looking up towards the top of the mesa.

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There was also a group of summer interns here today and the rangers did a friction fire demonstration for them.  It was pretty interesting and the ranger was able to make fire quickly.

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I had a nice chat with the rangers and also made a new friend with Oscar.  He is a 13 year old dog on a cross-country trip with his owner.  They are on their way by car and tent camping to North Carolina from California.

Bonnie got back just after noon, she looked hot and tired.  But she had a lot of nice pictures.  They saw several of the Flint Quarries that the Indians used.  The flint they found was used for their own tools but also traded for other things they needed and is often found thousands of miles away.  Lots of cactus blooming around here.

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Ranger Andrew is a geologist, trained in Buffalo, NY.  So he was perfect to lead this hike.

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Since it was early we headed for the airport to visit the Texas Air and Space Museum.  But first lunch.  We stopped at the English Field House Restaurant next to the FPO for lunch.  Wow was it every good, plus they had Buffalo size portions and great prices.  While we ate I watch a Female pilot and male co-polot preflight there business jet.  As we finished a husband and wife boarded and off they went.  BTW I had the burrito supreme for lunch.

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Then I toured the Air Museum while Bonnie cleaned out her purse.  It was a quick tour and they have a lot here.  They need a lot more room to display all that they have.  All they need is 1.6 million, they own land and buildings but need to finish them and set up the displays.  Here are a few pictures.

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This is a 1946 Ercoupe.  The plane is build without rudder pedals.  The rudders are connecter to the aileron controls.  It makes it easier to fly and helped an armless woman get her airman’s certificate.

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This is the inside of a DC-3 that was used by the CCA to check and verify navigation systems at airports.

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DC-3 cockpit

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Korean War era Bell Helicopter made famous by the TV show MASH.  Bell helicopter is next door to the facility and assembles the Osprey aircraft there now.

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This is a C-11 called a Shuttle Training Aircraft.  Its one of 4 such planes, all retired now.  This one last flew 3 years ago and is on permanent display here now.

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I climbed up the stairs

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Open this small rear hatch and crawled into the rear of the plane.

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The plane would carry several shuttle pilots and they were rotated through the cockpit to practice landings.

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Notice the right side is a conventional cockpit.  The left side has the shuttle fly by wire controls for training.

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This small transport plane was the last display.

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By now it was in the upper 80s so we headed back to the coach.  I dumped the grey tanks and relaxed with the AC on.  Its quite windy and rocks the coach from time to time.

Wednesday

Today we plan to take it easy for most of the day and then head out this evening for dinner and a show.  It is to be 92 today so it will be hot for us.

We decided to take a ride over to the Gander Mountain Store.  What a disappointment everything we were interested in sun hats and Keen sandals had to be ordered online.  But I did end up getting a Columbia shirt for in the sun and a fleece for the cool evenings.  We also looked at Big 5 Sports but nothing there either.  There is an REI in Albuquerque so we will check there next week.  Nice and hot so its back to the coach.

Since we will be out late tonight and this post is already pretty long I am going to go ahead and post it before we leave.  Its been a fun week and more to come this evening.

Thanks For Checking In!