1. The Tourist: These people are always the most excited to see a herd of cattle sauntering down the pavement. Whether they’re out for a tour of the countryside or on their way somewhere specific, you will most likely be the highlight of their trip. They often pull over, jump out of their cars and snap as many pictures as they possibly can. The problem with this type of person is that they often have no concept of animal behavior and what might be spooky. As soon as they jump out of their car, as a rider you can almost see the nerves build up throughout the herd. Basically, with that many nervous cattle on a main road, these people are basically a wreck waiting to happen!
2. The Weekend Warrior: These are the people you see coming up the highway in their new shinny pickup trucks with the big old holiday trailer on the back. Usually there are two are three little kids in the back with the windows rolled down and big smiles on their faces. These people are usually fairly courteous and stop and wait for the herd to pass, with their cameras snapping pictures from the windows.
3. The Coal Roller: These are the guys driving the jacked up pickup trucks that have more money put into them than their initial cost. These guys come screaming around the corner, blowing past the “Cattle at Large” signs, and slamming on the breaks when they do actually come upon the herd. Sure enough, they’ll be friendly and congenial as they drive through the herd. They’ll smile and wave and do their best to be friendly but as soon as they clear the cattle, they absolutely pin it and leave you and your cows in a cloud of black smoke. Once again, a wreck waiting to happen!
4. The Sunday Cruiser: These are some of my favorite people you encounter while moving cows up the highway. They actually make me laugh! These are the people that are out for a leisurely drive in their shined up 1956 Oldsmobile and have absolutely no idea that a herd of manure spewing, clumsy cattle are just up around the bend. They come putt putt putting around the corner to find us heading towards them up the middle of the road. With fear in their hearts, they find the nearest laneway approach, flip a U-turn and high tail it in the other direction.
5. The Neighbor: These are the ranchers around the area that know exactly what’s happening when they see you coming down the road. They’ll follow up behind you nice and slow with their four-way flashers on until you get where you’re going or until they get where they’re going.
6. The Buckle Bunny: These are the girls that, at the sight of “real cowboys”, can’t help but stair
re. Sometimes they smile, sometimes they wave, and sometimes they cat call….. These are the girls that have Browning decals on the back window of their little grand prix, yet probably haven’t even looked at a hunter’s training manual.
7. The Vocal Powered: These are the tough guys behind the wheels of their vehicle. They’ll say absolutely anything as long as they have their door frame between themselves and whoever they’re barking at. With comments from “Could you maybe keep em in the ditch?” to flat out “F*** you buddy!,” they feel pretty darn tough hiding in their truck. Had they been on foot however, they probably would have swallowed their words. After all, whoever they’re barking at is usually over 6 foot and has been doing physical labour all their life… Hiding behind the truck door is probably a good decision on their part. These people are also sort of a wild card. They can be driving vehicle, any gender and any age. Their specs are all over the map
8. The Jogger: These people share similar mannerisms with the Vocal Powered but they tend to be a little more ballsy. These guys have been jogging the same route at five o’clock for five years and there is no way they’ll even slow down for a moment to let you get your cows by quietly as possible. I mean, people on foot are spooky enough for the poor bovine travellers. Seeing the two legged creatures run adds a whole new element of scary! Once again, a wreck waiting to happen. These are the type of people, standing 5 foot nothing tall, with shorts that would qualify as underwear in some cultures, who will bold face cuss someone out, who is sitting atop a horse with at least one knife and sixty foot of lariat, literally at their fingertips. These are the people that make you pray for the future of human kind.
9. The Acreage owner: These people usually live in the area on small plots of land, but don’t often own more than a horse or two to keep the grass mowed. They’re friendly and considerate but they also make me laugh. They are always a little too eager to roll down their windows and chat. They always seem to have some comment that they think completely applies to what you are doing but usually, they are marginally off base. Friendly people, but don’t really know what’s going on…
10. The Distracted Driver: These people often pose the greatest hazard to ranchers trailing their cattle down the highway. These are the ones with their noses buried in their cellphone in their lap and usually have no idea who or what is in front of them. Keep your eyes up friends; if you drive full speed in to a herd of cattle, no one wins.
11. The Wolf Handler: These people also make me laugh. These guys have to rapidly roll their windows up as soon as the herd comes into sight because an opinionated travel partner of theirs has something pretty important to say! Chances are, their drooling golden retriever was happily hanging its head out the window a few moments ago but now, it’s wildly barking like a rabid wolf at those large 4-legged animals that they have never seen the likes of before.
12. The Lead Foot: These are the people who do not slow down…. For anything… for anyone…. They’ll come barreling up the highway in their shiny red sports car and not even think about slowing down. These people are some of the greatest hazards on the highway, whether you’re chasing cows or not! I know more than a few guys that may or may not keep a pocket full of gravel for drivers just like these ones.
All in all, no one is out to ruin anyone’s day. Round ups around the countryside are in full swing so keep your eyes peeled for ranchers trailing their herds home! Slow down, enjoy the beautiful weather, and smile – you just might as well!
Have any of you seen any different personality types out there on the roads?