Wednesday, June 16, 2021

I Herd You're on Vacation

We are still on our road trip. Our long, long, long road trip. So far, we have seen every national park in the entire United States, and somehow, there are four more left on the schedule we haven’t been to yet.

Our family travel agent, aka my beautiful wife, is very good at her job. She is a master of finding us unique and interesting places to stay. With six of us (remember – try to curb your jealousy – my mother-in-law is with us), hotels are really not an option, financially. Also, our teenage boys, when confined together in small spaces, become feral beasts that can easily get us banned from entire hotel chains.

Thankfully, because of the existence of Airbnb and Vrbo, we are still able to travel. And as educational as our tour of the gas stations and national parks of the southwest has been for the boys, our Airbnb experiences have been even more so.

One case in point was the animal husbandry aspect of our rental property in Glendale, Utah. Our Airbnb was described as “a rustic farmhouse” on a ranch. Upon arrival, it became apparent that our accommodations were actually in a barn. The inside of the barn had been renovated to look and act just like a regular old house, complete with non-barn stuff like a working kitchen and bathroom and beds and such.

The outside of the barn, however, had not been moved from its original pasture-side barn location, so the twenty-five head of cattle (that’s ranch talk for a bunch of cows), would still instinctively come to our house every evening around dusk. And by “come to our house,” I mean walk up to the raised, covered concrete porch we were sitting on, and stand right next to it, so that, if there was no fence separating us, I would have been able to step off the porch and walk across their backs. (I was told that would not go well, so I did not attempt it, no matter how tempted I might have been.)

We would retreat into our housebarn at night, and the cows would sleep six feet from our front door. Literally six feet. You don’t get that at a major hotel chain. You also don’t get the chance to spend a late afternoon on the porch, smelling fresh cow poop and pondering with your family whether the cow that was continually mounting the other cows was in fact a cow (female) and not a bull (male), and if so, why a cow would do that.

Staying at the Hilton almost never presents the opportunity to Google “why would a female cow mount another cow?” and I would venture a guess that no one at a Marriott ever learned about the phenomenon of female cows “bulling” when one or more of them are in “oestrus,” or to use the technical scientific term, “ready for some action.”

I gotta tell you, if you are sitting around the pool at the Hyatt with your family, instead of counting how many times Mocha Latte Cow has mounted Dark Brown Cow versus how many times she has mounted Small Tan Cow, and theorizing why she is focusing so much of her energy on Dark Brown Cow, you are really missing out.

On something…

See you soon,



Copyright © 2021 Marc Schmatjen


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