Horse Tradin’ With Siri

Every spring, we embark on long, arduous adventures crammed in a truck in search of replacement horses and mules for the ranch.  This is a family tradition, and one we ALL do  together. It’s an opportunity to shake off the winter blues and pass along a little knowledge to the next generation; even if that only means knowing what kind of licorice to buy Grandpa at the one convenient store stop we get along the way.  This spring was no different, as my folks ventured east of the divide to Havre, thanks to a promising horse for sale Craig’s List ad my mom came across in Glasgow, Montana.  Horse trailer in tow, they headed east.

One small factoid that shouldn’t be overlooked, is that my dad recently became a “smart” phone owner of the iPhone variety at the ripe, young age of 69.  May. the. good. Lord. help. us. all.  Now, I’ve always looked up to my dad.  The man is a wealth of knowledge on vehicles, tractors, chainsaws, horses, cattle, the mountain terrain, and the Bible. But when it comes to him sorting out technology, it’s about like trying to pick up a horse turd by the clean end. It’s darn near impossible.  So, needless to say, it’s been a steeper-than-a-cow’s-face learning curve.  That is, until a new woman came into his life…THE Mistress Siri.

Now, Dad is about as old-fashioned as any man can be in this day and age.  The kind where the men are the head of the household, and all decisions and consultations on such decisions, are run by Dad first. Then Mom usually does it how she darn well wants to after she fluffs Pop’s feathers with said consultation.   Anywhooo…back to Siri. I have never seen my Dad consult with a woman for directions of any sort, until this satellite wonder. Surely, Siri had to be invented by a feminist woman, just to get men like my father to actually have to consult a female on something as important as say….directions; directions to the said Craig’s List ad destination in Big Flat Eastern Montana.  BFE for short. (If you want the real definition for BFE, consult Siri)

So, with Siri in tow, perched on her fancy dashboard holder as if she were Dad’s new right hand man, we set east in search of horses. Somehow, Dad and Siri had managed, without too much assistance, to strike up quite the relationship, because anytime one of us piped up from the passenger seat about the distance to our destination stating it should only be about 2 and 1/2 hours, Dad informed us that according to Siri, it was in fact 2 hours, 43 minutes and 12 seconds to our final destination. He’s always been one for the meticulous details. Great. There we had it. Captain Auto Correct and his Co-Pilot, Ms. Siri.  The epitome of knowledge at the helm headed east on Highway 2.

We laughed and shared stories along the drive, discussing weather and upcoming plans for summer, until Siri piped up about needing to make an upcoming left turn.  According to the man’s directions from the Craig’s List ad, Siri had to be off a road, but when it came down to choosing between my Mom’s hand-scribbled directions on a post it note, or the smooth, cooing of Siri caressing my Dad’s ears with her lies, Dad chose Siri.

Siri took us on a detour. A teeth-jarring, in need of a new sports bra, jaunt across eastern Montana.  The truck and horse trailer rattled and clamored over the dirt road as my mom and I exchanged eye rolls.  We rolled along until we came to a crossroads waiting for Siri to steer us in the right direction.  But, Siri went haywire and lost all signal.  Siri got us lost somewhere between Hiway 2 north of Glasgow and the Canadian border.

To say Siri lost all rights as co-pilot that day is being nice.  We did make it to our destination, which was about like you’d expect from a horse for sale craig’s list ad.  Nothing there was worth a plug nickel, no matter how much Cowboy Bob tried to convince us otherwise. We left with an empty horse trailer, and headed back home.  A different route.

As for Siri, I hope to all that is holy and good she is never consulted with for directions through the mountains with my Dad.  May he rely on his own instinct and knowledge….or at least learn to listen to my mother now and then.


Happy Trails,




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