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TRAILHEAD FOR THE GREAT MONTANA CENTENNIAL CATTLE DRIVE OF '89
The 1989 Centennial Cattle Drive was quite an event. The drive began on September 4, 1989 when 3 600 horses and riders and over 300 wagons of every description drove 3 000 head of cattle from Roundup to Billings. Betty Wetzel, author and former Roundup resident, stated in an article for the Roundup Record-Tribune, "this was more horses assembled in one place in Montana than the altercation between Custer and Sitting Bull at the Little Big Horn in 1876."
Beginning in the early morning hours east of Roundup, the drive paraded down Main Street to the delight of hundreds of spectators from all over the world. It took five days for the journey; the logistics of which were mind-boggling. A fleet of tanker trucks hauled 200 000 gallons of water and other trucks brought in 140 tons of hay per day for the livestock. Portable showers capable of cleaning up 300 people per hour were set up at the camp locations where a hot shower could be had for $3.00, and a towel was included. Both young and old cowhands felt as if they had died and gone to heaven!
It was such an enjoyable event that many of the participants are planning a tenth anniversary cattle drive reunion on September 4-6, 1999.
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