In the summer of 1960, when he was 17, Dan McLachlan rode 1,700 miles across the open range and high mountains of western Montana with a saddle horse and pack horse in search of the cowboy way of life.Now 73, the Genesee author’s book “Green and Roughshod, I Should’ve Stayed a Montana Cowboy,” (Aventine Press, 313 pgs.) recounts the beauty, joy and danger he encountered as recorded in his journals and letters from the trip.
McLachlan decided he wanted to be a cowboy after reading Will James’ “All in the Day’s Riding” when he was a 13 and living in Palo Alto, Calif. From that moment on he worked to earn enough money to buy two horses, saddles and a bridle. He befriended local ranchers to learn the skills he needed. After his high school graduation, his father drove him to Montana and dropped him and his horses off near the Canadian border. The experience that followed became the most meaningful influence in his life, which is why he wrote the book, he writes, so that some other young person might be encouraged to follow their dream.
McLachlan is the author of “Fieldbook of Pacific Northwest Sea Creatures,” “Macavity’s Pub” and other books and short stories. He will sign copies of “Green and Roughshod” from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 23 at the Brass Lantern Restaurant, 103 E. Walnut Ave., in Genesee. The book is $14.