Weekly Posting of the Conservative Cow Doctor


It’s the Water

During the spring run-off of 1965, my family moved from our ranch east of Ingomar, Montana, to East Pass Creek at the foot of Wyoming’s Big Horn Mountains. While exploring the new outbuildings, my brothers and I found an old flat-bottomed, plywood boat in the barn loft and we figured we should float it in the creek. Lowering the boat out of the loft was simple; gravity did the hard work, but dragging it to the creek depleted the sweat equity of us three skinny Kerns boys. We knew shooting the rapids of Pass Creek might be dangerous, but we weren’t nearly as fearful of drowning as we were of losing our boat. If dragging the craft the 200 yards across the yard was so taxing, imagine the effort it would take to drag our boat home if it beached a half-mile down the creek. As a safety measure, we borrowed a lariat off Dad’s saddle to tether the boat to a tree. Using the word “borrowed” implies our intention of returning the rope. Someday we will. A 30 foot rope effectively becomes 26 feet after allowing four feet for the knots at each end, so by tying it to a tree downstream of the launch its thrill length doubles to 52 feet before we hit the end of our slack. Youngsters addicted to video games probably can’t follow my calculations, so I will translate using Common Core math. Round the 26 foot lariat to the friendlier number of 50 and add 2 representing the number of butts in the boat—the third brother always stays on the bank to explain the senselessness of waiting dinner for the return of the two who had floated out of sight. See, that was easy…52 feet of whitewater.

We launched into the rapids and bounced along for exactly 52 feet before the unforgiving tug of the lariat swamped us under the current. God was with us, as he is with all country kids, and the raging waters spit us into the shallows where we could boy handle the boat ashore. None of us were interested in a re-ride, so we decided to find a friendlier body of water to float our new John boat.

Across the county road hidden by willows was a shallow pond built by my great-great-grandfather in the late 1800s. Over the years it filled with cattails and turtles, but looked more inviting than another 52 foot run down the creek. Dragging our boat across the road and pasture was labor intensive, but was worth it as the boat and pond became the center of our entertainment for the next four years. We sank the old boat repeatedly and it always magically floated to the surface until one afternoon when it slipped into the mud to never rise again. The pond chapter of my childhood came to an abrupt and disappointing close.

Thirty-four years later, I am back in Montana and have built a small holding pond from which I pump irrigation water. Over the years it has filled with cattails, frogs, minnows and grand kids. Last weekend, my seven mini-Kimmels and two mini-Kernses visited and the older kids spent all day playing around the pond. It was too cold for kayaking, their favorite pond sport, so they borrowed a couple minnow traps from their great-grandfather and caught a bucket full of squiggly minnows. Sarah, the four-year-old, was disappointed Nana would not fix minnows for dinner—had she served them, no doubt Sarah would have eaten them. She is a country kid to the core and this brings me to my point. Water occupies position number three as the most critical element for human life on the arid western plains—God being first and oxygen number two. It is entirely logical leftists target water as the tool by which to control the unwashed masses.

Rather than limiting their reach to navigable waters, the EPA now interprets the Clean Water Act as being applicable to all surface waters in these United States. This was the loose interpretation the EPA used to redraw Wyoming reservation boundaries to place the town of Riverton under tribal control. Here in Montana, I expect the EPA to be a major player in the Confederated Salish-Kootenai Water Compact. Even you left-wingers making a living farming the mailbox have to be nervous how the EPA is aggressively regulating our lives. Who will you call when the big government gun created by your voting history is suddenly pointed at you?

Home     |     Products     |    Copyright (c) 2009 Krayton Kerns  All rights reserved.