Even though cattle drives have almost been entirely replaced by road and rail, and horses and covered wagons by pickup trucks, real, honest-to-goodness cowboys (and cowgirls) aren’t going away any time soon. They're still getting up before the sun even thinks about rising to knock out the day’s chores, care for their animals, and repair miles of fencing around whatever piece of the middle of nowhere they call home.
“It’s monotonous but I guarantee when you’re riding out there through the pasture, it’s God’s country,” says Lee Lowrey, the foreman of the Chisholm Ranch in Pampa, TX. “It’s peaceful and you don’t have to deal with the hustle and bustle. It’s a good deal.”
The life of the cowboy persists despite most people’s assumption that it’s been relegated to western films. It endures because it’s not just a job that rewards a lot of hard work. It’s a guide for living that’s learned from an early age and seared into the psyche like the brand on a cow’s hide. The calling teaches cowboys how to be self-sufficient, hard working, and appreciative for the things they have, and the things they can do for others. Spiritually speaking, “good deal” might be an understatement.