Outside Circle by Jan Swan Wood: Rain and mud, Steele’s hosting rancher relief roping, PRS World Finals and NIRA alumni gathering | TSLN.com

Outside Circle by Jan Swan Wood: Rain and mud, Steele’s hosting rancher relief roping, PRS World Finals and NIRA alumni gathering

The sun finally appeared again. The long siege of rain, wind and cold was not the fix anyone needed after the storm. I think it would be safe to stop praying for rain now. The post blizzard rain brought a historical first though. For the first time in recorded history western South Dakota ranchers didn't want any rain. It says in the Good Book to be thankful in all things. I think we can be thankful that it's not dusty. I'm also thankful for the meadowlark's song.

We still haven't pre-conditioned our calves. The idea of plowing our corrals to a hock deep loblolly just before it freezes up for the winter isn't very appealing. I remember, as a kid, that Dad would have me bring the sheep in and we'd moved them around and into the pens and alleys. Their little feet just ironed those cow tracks out smooth. I don't have any sheep, so don't have that course of action at my disposal. Perhaps by the weekend it will firm up a little more and we can get it done. It doesn't seem like that big of a problem compared to what other folks are enduring, so, mind you, I'm not complaining.

A cow came down the creek west of the house yesterday, carried by the rising water. The creek flooded big when the snow went off with all the rain, and the cow was probably hung up along the way and floated free yesterday. She was hung up on a bend of the creek with the flood water running all around her. I looked her over as well as possible, worrying that one of ours might have blundered into the flood after surviving the storm. Of course, the head and left ear tag was submerged and she was laying on her left side so our brand wasn't visible. I went back over this morning after the creek had gone down overnight and got a good look at her. I was very happy to see that she wasn't ours, then a pang of guilt hit me for feeling that way. Someone lost her and I feel bad for them. I feel bad for her too.

I probably ought to saddle a horse and go ride that creek to see if there are any others showing. It's hard to talk myself into riding a horse into the ground in this gumbo to look for dead cattle, so I'm going to wait a day or so to see if it will firm up a little. If they were alive, I'd go do it in a heartbeat, but other than documentation, what more can be done?

On a brighter note, Steele Roping is having a Sunday Fun Days series team roping at the Event Center at the Central States Fairgrounds, Rapid City, S.D. The dates are Dec. 15, Jan. 12, Feb. 16 and March 9. Enter at 11, rope at noon.

A special Rancher Relief roping will be held on Nov. 10 to benefit the folks who lost so much in the storm. Enter at 11, rope at noon, at the Event Center. The Steeles are working to get a matching fund deal set up, so it could really help. For more information, call 307-290-0743 or go to http://www.steeleroping.com.

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The Professional Rough Stock (PRS) World Finals will be held in Rapid City on Nov. 15-17 at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. The top 12 rough stock riders and the top stock will be there, with the cowboys vying for over $60,000 in prize money. The event will be broadcast on RFD-TV. For further info, go to http://www.proroughstock.com and for tickets, call the Civic Center box office or 1-800-GOT-MINE or go to http://www.prsticket.com.

The National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Alumni will once again be hosting a "Winter Gathering" during the WNFR in Las Vegas. The get-together will be held on Thursday, Dec. 12, at the Monterrey Bay room, 1-5 p.m., at the South Point Hotel and Casino. All current and former NIRA members, parents, faculty, sponsors, and fans are invited. Refreshments and a no-host bar will be provided. For more information, contact Sharon Adams at 602-268-5874 or Butch Bratsky at 406-855-1542. The website is http://www.collegerodeoalumni.com.

That's my circle for this week. If you have a benefit, fundraiser, event coming up, please send me the particulars and I'll talk it up right here. Always glad to help someone who is trying to help someone. My prayers are still with all of you that are in recovery mode.