The Cowboy Way

by Jennifer on July 19, 2008

For selfish reasons, I’m digging out one of my favorite posts from my archives. It was somewhere around my 10th post–I had just started this blog–so a lot of you may not have read it. (As I mentioned in my last post, I could use a dose of open road and cowboy sighting.)

In it, I confess my love for cowboys. Well, you’ll see…

Originally posted on

I have a big weakness for cowboys. The kind of weakness that would make me swoon, if women still swooned. Pull up the fainting couch, and clear out. That kind of weakness.

On my drive up to Payson today, I noticed a horse and rider on the opposite side of the highway (4 lanes), escorted by two sheriff’s vehicles. Behind them, the traffic was slowed and pushed into just one lane. I was curious, of course. Cowboy sighting! I drove on to Payson, got a quick bite to eat, then turned around toward home. After quite a few miles, I looked ahead and spotted another rider, and then another. I passed a couple of horse trailers pulled by capable looking trucks, and driven by hot, strong-looking men capable looking drivers. It became evident that this was some sort of organized ride.

I began to feel a little giddy. Not 12 years old, first crush giddy, but giddy in a sort of Yeah, I’m almost 40, but I’m not dead, for the love of god kinda way.

There were old cowboys and young cowboys, and all sorts of cowboys in between. There were good looking ones, and ones whose looks were more rugged and bearded. But there was one undeniable thing about all of them: they were men.

Looking at them, it wasn’t hard to imagine how things on a ranch get done. My friends may laugh at me (go ahead, girls), but every now and then I just need to see a strong man driving a big pickup truck, hauling stuff. Maybe horses, maybe hay or some farm equipment. Doesn’t really matter what it is, as long as it looks useful. Who knows, in another life I may have been a pioneer woman. Or maybe someone just like Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, bringing my doctorin’ to an outpost town, where people would pay me in chickens. Or, maybe I was a barmaid in a saloon. (Well, someone had to be. Don’t judge.) In any case, the cowboys got my attention.

And, for reasons that escape me since I’m a soccer mom who drives an Altima, I got their attention. It might have had something to do with my being the only chick, and a blonde one, on the road at that time, but I got a few waves. Then, up ahead, I noticed that about 8 horse trailers were at the side of the road in a pull-off area. Riders milled about among the trailers and horses. And in the lane next to me, the guy in a truck (who had already waved at me twice) pointed ahead and motioned that he was pulling off there.

I can live on this next moment for a solid week, probably longer, because then he motioned for me to stop, too.

In case you all missed these important facts: There were cowboys, a couple dozen of them, wearing hats and chaps and boots. Some walking around, some on their horses, just up ahead, like a freaking supermarket of maleness and (in my book) hotness. And, because I know you’re dying to know, YES I was wearing my boots. And my great suede jacket.

I had a decision to make. I imagined what would happen if, I steered my car off the road, alighted from my car with all the confidence of Katharine Ross in any western, and walked–no, strode–over to one of those cowboys who sat atop his horse. Wordless, he looked down at me, gave me a little how-you-doin’ raise of the eyebrow, and reached down so I could grip his arm as he swung me up behind him (he was very, very strong.). We rode for two hours, talking of our dreams and how I would fit right in on his bit of land (which was no less than 4000 acres). Then, with deep sadness and regret, we rode back to the highway and he delivered me to my Altima (my Altima, for f’s sake). I never got his name. It seemed beside the point.

(Insert guitar music here, and a lonely harmonica.)

Alas, my car never even slowed down. I drove on, and called my friend Mrs. B and told her that she would need to watch my kids for a few days, since I’d be out on the trail for a while. I was joking, but she would do that. She knows about the cowboys, too. She knows, and she laughs. (Just to be clear, the trail ride never happened, except in my fertile little mind. But I’m thinking of getting in touch with Harlequin Books.)

Because I had to know what they were doing out on the trail Highway 87, I did some Googling when I got home. Turns out, these guys are the Hashknife Pony Express riders, making their yearly mail delivery ride from Holbrook AZ to Scottsdale. It’s very cool, if you ask me.

But then, I have a weakness for cowboys.

Edited: I just found out that this post was featured on Good Mom/Bad Mom Blog Share Sunday yesterday! And for that, I get to post this:


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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Madge July 19, 2008 at 12:24 pm

why are you rubbing this in our faces? that you get to see actual, real cowboys. you don’t really like us do you?

Madges last blog post..Quick!! Read this now!!!

McSwain July 19, 2008 at 12:27 pm

Excellent post! I love the pictures.

Pam Houston’s Cowboys are My Weakness is my favorite book. If I didn’t love her writing, I’d like the book just for the title.

McSwains last blog post..

Rhea July 19, 2008 at 1:05 pm

I have a weakness for cowboys also. And, those are great boots!

Rheas last blog post..Shoot for the moon

Jenn @ Juggling Life July 19, 2008 at 1:32 pm

So that must have been Cowboy Joey from Friends?!

Jenn @ Juggling Lifes last blog post..We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Overheard Post

Minnesota Matron July 19, 2008 at 1:33 pm

Do you listen to the cowboy riff on Prairie Home Companion. Maybe a couple of cowboys not to love :-).

Jennifer — my newly born Facebook account uses my other address so resend at

unless some tricky virus sent a message to everyone in your contact list. That happens, too!

Jennifer Harvey July 19, 2008 at 1:53 pm

Nope, it was me! I re-sent the invite just now.

Jennifer Harvey July 19, 2008 at 2:44 pm

Madge–I do it so that maybe you’ll come visit me. Don’t think I’m about to let up!

McSwain–I’ve heard about that book, and it’s on my list to read. Great title.

Rhea–I think I knew that about you. 😉 And I lusted after those boots for a long time before finally buying them. They make me happy every time I wear them.

Minnesota Matron–If it’s going to ruin my cowboy love, I might steer clear. (But I’m surprised I haven’t heard it.)

Jenn–Very funny! Except my cowboy guy was way hotter. But he probably doesn’t get a huge residual check in the mail, either.

jenrantsraves July 19, 2008 at 4:37 pm

Loved this!! The best line for me was “Yeah, I’m almost 40 and married, but I’m not dead, for the love of god kinda way.” I NEVER see cowboys where I live, but I can see the attraction. I’m looking forward to the Olympics because men’s swimming turns me on – yes, I know, it’s sick – those boys could be my kid. What-Ever!

phd in yogurtry July 19, 2008 at 4:54 pm

Hashknife Pony Express, huh? Never heard of it – but how cowboy cool to have seen it! I keep hearing there’s a dearth of women in west texas and other cowboy laden ranch areas. Lots of lonely cowboys out there. Just sayin.

phd in yogurtrys last blog post..has she lost her mind

Jennifer Harvey July 19, 2008 at 5:18 pm

Jenrantsraves–I know. Where are the 40 year old MALE Dana Torreses?

PhDinYogurtry–And me, an old married lady. Sigh.

Tina July 19, 2008 at 5:32 pm

Okay, from now on I’m living vicariously through you. No cowboys in the Philly burbs…

Tinas last blog post..Anatomy of a Healthy Dog

Ree July 19, 2008 at 6:39 pm

Yum. Cowboys. Horses. Cowboys on horses. Swoon. Is there room on that couch for me?

Rees last blog post..Random and That Whole Bullet Thing

Tracie July 19, 2008 at 8:30 pm

I love cowboys too.

If you don’t already know about it, I highly recommend this blog: written by a city girl who married a real life cowboy. I also recommend reading the story of how they got together. (It’s called Black Heels to Tractor Wheels and is linked in her sidebar) and is better than any Harlequin any day.

Mrs. G. July 19, 2008 at 9:11 pm

Have you seen 3:10 to Yuma? If you haven’t, do. Also, Open Range. Cowboys….mmmmmmm.

Mrs. G.s last blog post..Mrs. G’s Weekend Poll

Daryl July 20, 2008 at 7:47 am

Nice … and I would call Harlequinn (sp?) for sure ..

Daryls last blog post..creative photography #6

Kate July 20, 2008 at 11:54 am

That is so awsome! – and yes! You should contact harlequin. :op

Kates last blog post..Tag

natalie July 20, 2008 at 12:47 pm

this makes me think of the trail rides that they do in texas right before the houston livestock show and rodeo. i would love to participate in that one of these days. of course i might be walking kinda funny after that many days on a horse!

natalies last blog post..Blast from the past!

manager mom July 20, 2008 at 6:51 pm

Hey… you may be a Nissan-driving soccer mom, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t one righteous cowboy magnet. That’s so cool that you brought back a “vintage” post!

manager moms last blog post..Big Ben! Parliament!

Carolyn July 20, 2008 at 7:12 pm

Pull out the swooning couch for me too because my loins are on fire after reading that post. All that talk of strong, strong manly men wearing hats and chaps and boots? Well knock me over with feather and poke me with a fork because I’m done.

Carolyns last blog post..park bench.

Carolyn July 20, 2008 at 7:13 pm

I said LOINS. Giggle.

Carolyns last blog post..park bench.

david mcmahon July 20, 2008 at 8:23 pm

Amazing “chaps”!

RiverPoet July 21, 2008 at 5:24 am

Oh my…you know rock stars used to have that effect on me, till I got older and learned more about them. I guess they are really only meant to appeal to young girls or immature women with no self-esteem.

A cowboy, on the other hand, begs for a woman that can handle the real world – who can get a chicken from the barnyard to the plate in less than an hour, who can milk a cow, who can herd sheep. Mostly, though, they just look good, don’t they?

Peace – D

RiverPoets last blog post..Crap

anymommy July 21, 2008 at 9:55 am

I loved this. Loved it. So funny. And yeah, the cowboy thing I get it. Want to know a secret (um, sort of since I’m just about to publish it on the internet), I’ve written a really crappy screen play that revolves around my cowboy fantasies. We should talk, maybe we could turn it into a best selling romance novel together!

anymommys last blog post..The Adoption Option Response Letter

Coco July 22, 2008 at 1:03 pm

Oh, cowboys. Yum. My favorite. Score one for you for earning that “stop here with me” from one of the alpha male bretheren!

You need to come see me this December. Let me just tell you one thing: National. Finals. Rodeo. We don’t even have to go to the rodeo. We can just find a nearby bar and breathe in the testosterone fumes.

Hey, that reminds me. If I ever get this first project finalized, my next one involves a hot cowboy and a country doctor. Want to beta read for me? Rawr!

Cocos last blog post..A Single Simple Thing

Crazycath July 22, 2008 at 3:45 pm

And now you been featured on authorblog’s POST OF THE DAY!!

Just for the record, girl, you have ALWAYS known how to write.
Oh how you have known.
Just brilliant. (I was on the horse next to you behind a hunky cowboy)

Crazycaths last blog post..ABC Wednesday (round 3) – A

LinMN July 26, 2008 at 4:53 pm

I just HAD to come back to this post because I ran across the perfect song for you today when I was browsing on Playlist. Then. When I get to your blog after not visiting for a few days I see that you told people to keep sending you songs and knew I couldn’t back out of throwing this one your way.
Look up “Cowboys Are My Weakness” by Trisha Yearwood. ;o)

Cole Alford January 19, 2009 at 8:50 pm

Love the story, very random that I came across it. I am the rider at the top of the page and in the group photo I am in the middle with the red neckerchief on. I am on my 8th year of the pony express and my brothers 18th, our fathers 25th. The Hashknife Pony Express is the real deal, we are the only sanctioned horseback mail carriers, in the world. We are sworn in as mail carriers every year. I am leaving for this years ride next week, wish me luck. Cole Alford

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