It was a beautiful January day. Oh, it wasn't seventy degrees, or sixty, or even fifty, but the sun was shining and it was forty degrees, and no wind. If a person was active they could get by with a light jacket. Elaine and I had plans for the day and we wasted it. Not the plans, just the day.
Starting at the beginning, our plans started last year with the death of our last llama. After a couple of months of thought and watching Mac the Yak, looking lonely, Elaine and I decided that Mac needed a friend to share his pasture. Yaks aren't typically herd animals but Mac was raised with a geriatric herd of llamas and he got used to having them around. (Or so he told me.) He has spent the last couple of months standing at the fence looking into the windows of the house. He seems to like it when the television is on. (he hasn't said that, but you can tell.)
The biggest part of the decision Elaine and I had to make was whether we get another llama or two or would we just get another yak. Mac suggested a yak. (Not surprisingly.)
I became interested in yaks about twenty years ago at the National Western Stock Show (NWSS). I became interested in the National Western Stock Show about forty years ago while I was building a convenience store next door to the NWSS complex. Every day, I would watch cowboys and cowgirls, ranchers and farmers, bringing livestock to the complex. First, I was intrigued and finally, I was hooked. Elaine and I became yearly visitors and Elaine was a sometime participant with her spinning wheel.
It took a few years but I finally convinced myself to buy yaks at NWSS. As time went on, Mac's friends/brothers found themselves in the land of "butcher paper". Construction took too much of my time, and the yaks had to go. How Mac survived is a mystery. Nonetheless, he survived and here we are.
Some of you probably thought this was a story about a beautiful January day. Well, it is and I'm going to get to it.
Yaks are shown and sold during the last week of NWSS. Yaks are brought in from across the United States. Elaine and I decided to go get one (or two). Boy Twin decided to go with us and possibly get one for himself. You probably agree that every twenty-ish male in America needs his own yak. I would include girls, but the two girls run from Mac if I'm not there.
Elaine checked and rechecked the "yak" schedule at NWSS. It worked perfectly for us, plus it was forecasted to be a beautiful day. (Get excited, the story is coming together) Elaine and I, and Boy Twin were headed to go yak shopping at NWSS.
It's more than one hundred miles from our home to NWSS. We bought a tank of gas and some fast-food chicken sandwiches and headed to NWSS. Now full disclosure, we haven't been to NWSS in quite a few years. With nasty January weather, beervirus, back injuries, and complications to back injuries we just didn't get to NWSS for a few years.
The cards were lined up and we were going. Elaine used her tablet (computer thing) to check the schedule while I drove. Boy Twin is talking about his week from the backseat.
Arriving at NWSS, I was amazed at how much the facility had changed. My convenience store has been torn down and is now a parking lot. (Did I mention in the earlier part of my construction career, that I dug up old leaky gas tanks and replaced them with new fiberglass tanks and pumps? Sorry, that's a story for another day.)
We purchased tickets to enter the facility. Twenty-five dollars each. We proceeded to walk to where the stockyards previously were. The area was full of empty corrals. Elaine, Boy Twin, and I walked over four miles through those empty corrals looking for yaks. I know it was over four miles because my watch tells me those things. There was not a yak on the complex. It seems the early snowstorm and cold snap prevented yak ranchers from making the trip to NWSS.
I could have bought an American bison calf, a Texas or Mexican Longhorn calf, (there is a difference), or a Scottish Highlander calf, but who wants one of them?
We spent seventy-five dollars and drove over a hundred miles one way to NOT see or buy a yak. That my friends is a waste of a beautiful day.
Love ya, God Bless, Buy yarn
Our crazy lives!