Whether is dark or light, day or night, cowboys have an unerring sense of direction.
Seldom will you find them walking but their inner GPS serves them well as they navigate by horse or by pickup.
Not long ago, a cowboy was set to go to a roping in a town about 400 miles from home. He called a friend in that same town to get directions to the arena.
“No problem,” was the response, “You just take one of them roads just outside of town, go down couple miles, and it’s right there. You cain’t miss it.”
There is no telling how many miles, for decades, have been traveled on that very same reliable information. The topography of the land is always figured into the information given and is clearly thought to be helpful.
In the flatland farm country where there are miles and miles of wheat, the driving instruction will almost always include: “You just go down to that wheat field, turn west, and it’s right there. You cain’t miss it.”
In that same part of the world, directions could include “You go down past the elevator, down to where that feller was changing a tire last time I was down that way, and take a hard left. You cain’t miss it.”
Rodeo cowboys are no exception to this phenomenon. One set of ropers had a plan to go to the million-dollar roping in Las Vegas. Their directions were to head to El Paso and take a right, with the guarantee they couldn’t miss Las Vegas.
Another likely pair went to a roping down the road a ways. They had gotten safely to the correct town but had no clue as to the whereabouts of the arena. They, collectively, as it took both of them to form a reasonably intelligent thought, hit on the idea of just finding a pickup and horse trailer on the move and follow that rig to the arena.
It wasn’t long until a suspiciously authentic looking rig with just the right specifications came by. The semi-lost duo pulled out from the local Dairy Queen parking lot and fell in behind the authentic looking cowboy rig.
The targeted rig stopped at the Quik Stop, stopped at the tire store, stopped at the feed store, the bank, the Co-op, and then finally headed out of town. The trailing ropers were quite relieved because it was nearing time for the roping to start. They followed him along until he pulled off the highway and up to a ranch gate.
When they walked up to his truck and asked him if he was headed to the roping, the man advised them he had just taken his horse to the vet and was now on his way home.
However, he did give them directions to the arena. “You just go on back up this here road a ways, take that left by that big oak tree and go on down a couple miles. You cain’t miss it.”
Do you think the fellas at NASA in Houston told the astronauts something similar?
“You just strap this rocket to the backside of your spacecraft, and just point that sucker toward Mars. It’s right up there a ways. You cain’t miss it.”