The Cowboy Way
Seasons of A Montana RanchBook - 1999
For twelve months, a grown man lived every young boy's dream.
David McCumber is a Westerner born and raised, reared like so many others on the great myths of the rugged individualists who braved a hard land and the elements to expand a nation. More than any other national icon, the American cowboy personifies our past- a lone figure venerated in literature and popular culture for his ability and stubbon courage, for his "quick draw" and purity of purpose, and for his unwavering ethics of simple honesty, loyalty and hard work. So in February of his forty-fourth year, McCumber went to work on rancher Bill Galt's expansive Birch Creek spread in Montana, to take a measure of himself by becoming-albeit for only four seaons-one of a fabled breed.
The Cowboy Way is an enthralling and intensely personal account of a year spent in open country that expertly weaves past and present into the vibrant and colorful tapestry of a vanishing way of life. At once a celebration of a breathtaking land both dangerous and nourishing, and clear-eyed appreciation of the men-and women-who work it, David McCumber's remarkable story forever alters our long-held perceptions of the "Roy Rogers" cowboy with real-life experiences and hard economic truths. What emerges is an unforgetable portrait of a uniquely American personality-one firmly tied to the romance of an earlier age while riding the modern range in pickups and 4X4s. Lyrical and compelling, McCumber's chronicle of his time spent at Birch Creek, is an exhilarating adventure of the body, spirit and senses-and it will boldly reshape every reader's vision of our heritage and our heroes. One man's journey into the heart of the American West.