Oral Histories

Jim & Nellie McPherson

One night we heard the horses leave. They knocked down the gate on the trail. Only Isac the pack mule stayed. Jim got up and got on Isac bareback, thinking he could catch them before they got too far. Well it was 3:00 a.m. when he got them back and hobbled them. But he was so “bottom sore” we didn’t ride the next day.

One time when Jim went down, the tent had blown down. The wind could be strong coming down the canyon.

I’m getting ahead of myself, but we decided to build a little cabin at the head of Cow Skin Canyon. By being a careful driver, we could drive 50 yards up the canyon to the little house, dodging rocks. Otherwise, we’d park up on the hill.

George and Claron helped. They didn’t take a level, so used a pie pan of water and Jim lay down corner across to corner and said it was level. Later we took a level. None could have done better. We built a corral and could pond up the water for house and horses. It was good in winter. In the spring, we hauled the water in a garbage can. By putting a clean board on the top, it kept the water from sloshing out a lot. We dug a hole under the floor, put a garbage can down, where we could keep pancake flour, coffee, syrup and some canned goods, corn (Jim’s favorite vegetable). We built in a three-quarter bunk bed. It was quite a comfortable camp.

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