Thunder Butte

July 28, 2005

The Big Drought: The Day the Sun Took its Toll

One day during the drought, I came across the Briscoe kids, who were neighbors, swimming in a hole not much larger than a pool table. They wanted me to join them, and I thought they were nuts. The water looked like mud. That was a sorry day for me as I started for home, about ten miles back to where we lived, east of Thunder Butte.

During the trip, I started to get a headache. I dismissed it as being caused by hunger because I hadn’t eaten that day. However, after trudging along in the intense heat, I passed out and fell off my horse. I woke up sometime later with the horse nuzzling me with his wet nose. Somehow, I managed to crawl back in the saddle. I didn’t remember anything else, though, until my horse walked up to the water trough at our ranch. When he dropped his head to drink, I slid off his neck into the water. After a few minutes, I felt revived enough to crawl and stumble the several hundred yards to the house. I kept feeling as though I was alternately losing consciousness and then groggily reawakening.

At the house, I found some water and put wet towels on my head only to pass out again. When I woke up, it was getting dark and had cooled a little. Needless to say, there was no one else at home that day. Aside from having headaches for awhile, I seemed to suffer no lasting effects from what was probably “heat stoke.”

--John Crowley
Mike Crowley Thursday, July 28, 2005


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