There is a quote by Coretta Scott King, “the greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” I am sure this quote is true to many communities but throughout my life it has shown more than true, time and time again, for the ranching/cowboy community.
Tuesday, Oct. 27 had been booked weeks in advance for us to haul cattle from a ranch a few hours west of Williams Lake into BC Livestock, which had been the same scenario as the last handful of years. My dad and Tim stayed out close to the ranch Monday night to get an early start Tuesday and got the first two loads of calves into BC Livestock around noon.
They were supposed to both go back out for another load each, but the ranch only had one more load of calves to come in, so they jumped in together and went out for the third load.
I expected to hear from them around 8 p.m., maybe 8:30 p.m. at the latest and was starting to get worried when I still had not heard anything by 9 p.m. Shortly after 9 p.m., I received a text from our neighbour, whose dad lives out west of Williams Lake, saying she hoped everyone was OK as one of our trucks with a liner tipped. This is something you never want to hear and feels like a surreal nightmare. This nightmare could have ended so much worse.
Apparently, the roads were not good all day, but within 15 minutes it was a white out with about four inches of slushy slick snow on the road. It was slippery, even with brand new tires on the truck, and visibility was bad.
As they slowly came to Cowboy Corners the truck just slid, it would not turn in the slick road conditions. I can only imagine, which I do not want to, what they went through next as the liner and truck tipped. Thankfully, they both only had minor injuries.
This is where the amazing ranching/cowboy community comes in.
Tim, along with Evan Fuller and Mike Dorion started getting calves, one by one, out of the liner. It was exhausting.
Close by, ranching families and neighbours; Bryan and Raylene Poffenroth, Virgil Poffenroth, James, Kaitlyn and Len McClure, Rykayla Reeves, Hugh, Shelly, Brandon and Tanner Loring, Leland Jasper, Mike and Connie Jasper, Harold Reay, Pat and Lorraine Jasper, Kayla Jasper, James Stafford, Ed and Noreen McDonald, Jordan and Justin Grier, Renee Macdonald all came to help gather the calves and get them into a pasture close by, flagging and traffic control and gathering/loading the next morning.
A thank you goes out to Fred Stafford and OII for coming out and helping manage the scene and cattle recovery.
First on the scene was a Dawson Road Maintenance driver, Keith Jeff, who helped us get the doors open in the liner and called for help, thank you.
The amount of help that showed up is so appreciated and just heartwarming. This is the ranching/cowboy community, and we want to thank you all from the bottom of our hearts. You all made a very terrible situation, manageable.
To the ranch whose calves were on that load, we are so sorry and devastated that we lost some of your calves, our thoughts are with you.
We understand the blood, sweat and tears that are put into raising these calves and can only imagine the unease you are experiencing.
You should all be so proud of your community and please do not take anything for granted as things can happen or change in a heartbeat.
Tim and Laura
TnL Cattle & Contracting