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Annual Montana Downhill Dairy Cow Races

Updated on November 18, 2013

Here We Go

Our day starts early.

It really is an incredible sense of pride that one feels, when you look over at your 9 year old son sitting in the jump seat of your Kenworth. You watch him as he gazes out the window. You feel good inside!

This particular trip, Winter was all but over.

We leave Washington State. Idaho comes and goes in a flash, up in the Panhandle. Soon we are crossing State Line, into Montana. The sun is shining, the sky is blue, and the road is clear.

As soon as my son sees the sign for Missoula, it's lunchtime. We pull into a Truck Stop, and eat a nice lunch.

Not long after lunch, we are back out on the road. Listening to the stereo radio, and the c.b. radio. All of a sudden my son asks, "Dad, what are those black spots on the grass?"
My response was, those marks are from the downhill dairy cow races that they have every year!..My son says,"oh."

Before you know it, we are both yawning. It's time for supper, and a rest.

We find our way to Mitchell, South Dakota. Home of the Corn Palace, and McDonalds. We take in our supper at the truck stop, and go to the drivers lounge and watch a movie. After the movie, showers it is, then off to the rack! Tomorrow is another day.

After delicious stacks of pancakes in the morning, it's on the road again. It's not long before we are in Dakota City, Nebraska. We are at the plant, and this is where we will get our load.

While we are at the plant, this is a good time for paper work, and a quick nap. As I am doing paperwork a long never ending line of trucks, is entering and exiting the plant. After looking at, and answering questions about every truck rolling in and out of the gate, I realize this is not a good time for paperwork. There will be time for paperwork later!

The next day our trailer is ready, and it's out the gate we go! As always, I stop at the truck stop, and weigh our load. Everything is fine, we have 38,000 lbs. of Beef headed to the West Coast. Time to catch up on paperwork!

We head to the Interstate after another truck stop breakfast. Seems my co-driver, is really fond of pancakes. I kinda like them myself.

Not long after we hit the road, we are in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. This is where we will join I-90 and head West.

About 90 minutes later, we pull into Kadoka, South Dakota. They have a very cool Automobile Museum in Kadoka. I take my son to the museum, we have a good time. My son enjoys seeing all the Vintage and unique Autos, as do I.

After our tour of the museum, we head to yet again, another truck stop for lunch. Why not? It's right across the street. They have a really good chicken fried steak at the restaurant, as well as a pretty good selection of junk in the truckers store. My son and I marveled at all the chrome plated junk.

We hit the road again, as we need to make it all the way to Montana before nightfall, as that is when I will run out of hours to drive.

Soon darkness falls, and I am running out of hours fast! We decide to stop in Sheridan, Wyoming for the night. It has been a good day, we need to eat and get some rest.

Right about now, you might be asking yourself, "What's this have to do with Cows racing in the snow?" We are getting to that!

Morning comes fast when you live on the road!

Once again, we eat a hearty breakfast, and back on the road again. Not long after we start driving, we enter Montana. Right about as expected, my son asks, "dad, what are those black spots on the grass again?" Now it is time to reveal my secret to my son.

I begin by telling my son that the black spots on the grass, are burn marks from little grass fires, that sometimes occur during the cow races. My son says "oh!" Almost 10 minutes later, my son inquires, "But how do the cows race down the hill?" I tell him that the farmers put the cows on old truck hoods, and that's how the cows race down the hill. Once again, my son replies, "oh."

We travel for quite awhile before the inevitable question comes. "Dad, how do the farmers put the cows on the truck hoods?" I said, oh, that's easy! You see son, the farmers have another old truck they use. The other old truck has a hoist on the back! And the farmers put a belly strap on the cows, then they lift the cow and place them on the hoods. Once this is done, the farmers give a good push, and the cows go down the hill.

This time, I get a big "Ohhh!"

Soon it is time for another meal, and some quick showers. We stop at the Flying-J Truck Stop along the way, and do what we need to do.

After a good meal and showers, we once again, hit the road. We are getting very close to home now, and we are getting anxious to share our stories.

Right about the time we get to Idaho, my son asks me one more question about the cow races. He states, "I understand how the cows race, but I don't understand why the race causes fires in the grass!" I reply to my son, you mean the, Annual Montana Down Hill Dairy Cow Races? "Yup," is what I hear. I said son, that's easy! You see, when the farmers push the cows down the hill, sometimes the cows get going too fast! And when the cows get going too fast, sometimes they will hit a bump on the ground, right by the fence! When the cows go too fast and hit the bumps, sometimes they go up in the air, and right over the fence. When that happens, the old truck hoods hit the highway, and that makes a spark! The spark starts the grass on fire, and that is how the black spots get on the grass!

Now I am convinced, that my son knows the legend of the, "Annual Montana Down Hill Dairy Cow Races. I am quite pleased with myself, for having told such a wonderful tale, to my son.

Before we know it, we are in Washington State again. This is where we live. After we drop our trailer, we bob-tail home and greet the family.

About three weeks later, I am back on the road again, and my son calls me on the cell phone.

My son tells me what a fun time he had with dad out on the road. Then my son says, "Dad, I really enjoyed the story about the racing cows, but I don't think I will believe another one of those stories, ever again!"

Mom, must have set him straight!

© 2013 William W Whitten III


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