Weird chores get in the way of fishing and shooting

Among the honey-dos I had to get done this weekend before I could go to the shooting range was one I never thought I’d hear. But on Sunday, my wife asked me to go mow the arena.

I wanted to spend a little time practicing my shooting last weekend, but I had a list of chores to do before I could go to the range. There were the usual ones, like getting hay, filling the horse tanks, and cleaning out the chicken coop. But there was another one that was a little weird. I had to mow the arena.

We live east of Cheyenne, out on the prairie. We don’t even have a lawn. But just because we can’t get grass to grow where we want it doesn’t mean it won’t grow where we don’t want it. And the arena’s the place it seems to grow best.

That’s a real bummer, because it’s the one place we absolutely don’t want any grass at all. We don’t have a tractor, so we have to pull an old, broken-down spring drag behind the pickup in order to break up the dirt in the arena. Since it’s such a chore to hook up the drag, thread the truck through the gates, and putter around the arena, it doesn’t get done as often as it should. That gives the grass plenty of time to get a firm hold between arena plowings.

With the weird weather we got at the end of the summer and through the winter, that grass just kept growing, and it invited a bunch of its weed friends to come live with it. The result was an overgrown jungle inside the fences of the arena. When I tried to drag it with that spring drag, the weeds just clogged up the tines. The drag didn’t do any good for the dirt – it just scooted along over the top of the vegetation.

That meant I had to spend about eight hours mowing the darn arena. I wonder if that’s how Pendleton started? Maybe it got overgrown, and somebody just said, “aw, heck with it. Let’s just mow it and rodeo on the grass.” Unfortunately, my wife doesn’t like that idea, so next weekend, I get to take the drag back in there and try to break up that dirt again.