Finding the Last Longhorns in the Badlands

Riding through Theodore Roosevelt National Park, I saw about a dozen cattle roaming free in an open field. Some of them were almost on the road, and picturing me on the losing end of a KLR vs. cow collision, I rolled off the throttle a bit, thinking; "Why are those cows running loose??"

Just past the cattle, I pulled off the road to stretch my legs. I parked the bike and wandered over to read a nearby sign (below) that provided some interesting background to these cows. I am not a rancher or cowboy, and have no particular interest in cows, but the junior historian in me found this to be interesting.  

In my mind, longhorn cattle are near to John Wayne as symbols of the "old west", especially since The Cowboys is one of my favorite movies. After reading these signs, I walked back down the road and took a couple of pics. The cattle paid no attention to me at all, unlike the wild horses I had seen earlier.

As I rode off again, it occurred to me that with only 25 steers in the park, I was fortunate to have come across them at all. It also amazed me how a little context can turn a mundane subject into something interesting. While I appreciate the history these animals represent, I have greater appreciation for a good steak!