Minnesota Cowboy Ministries has produced our first new video. The photos and video portions were taken on a trip back to my hometown of Bay City, Texas in December, 2008.
One day mom and I decided to do a bit of sightseeing. Neither of us had been to the beach in several years so we decided that would be a great place to start. After crossing the Intercoastal Canal, we followed the Colorado River as it made its way to Matagorda Beach and the Gulf of Mexico. When we were within a couple of miles of the mouth, we came across a cattle drive.
Each year a local rancher moves his cattle to winter grazing on Matagorda Island. It takes up to a week to move the cattle into position before he swims the herd across the river. This is something the ranchers never advertise. If they did, the road would be lined with folks and the whole thing would end up in a mess.
What an event as Mom and I watched something I've wanted to experience since a boy. We watched the cattle swim the Colorado, barely a quarter of a mile from the Gulf of Mexico.
This event has happened each year in some form or another since the middle 1800s, and probably longer than that. For several years my dad, Alfred Schaal, accompanied the cowboys for several days to make sure the windmills that powered the watering tanks were working.
As the video starts you will see the cowboys gather the cattle and prepare to push for the river. (Of course, real Texans say "fixin' to push, but you get the picture.) At his signal, the trail boss ordered the cowboys to rally the herd and put them in a fast walk, if not a trot.
As they got to the river's edge, the cattle turned back and started to mill. The cowboys cut the herd into three pots and pushed the first into the river. The other two groups went across with little to no argument.
In one of the last photos, you can see a single cow along side a "john boat." She decided this was not fun and just short of the other side, she turned around and started back. Had the cowboys not turned her again and pulled her to the shore, she would have drowned. There's a word from the Father in that, isn't there?
The music that accompanies the video was written and recorded by a supporter of Minnesota Cowboy Ministries. The chorus captures what we stand for. I am pleased that we will be able to use this as a theme for our ministry.
We remember the Father wants each of us to be "Riding For The Brand."