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Table of Contents

The Philmont Mountain Lion
The Dyin' Gunfighter
The Truth About Wild Horses
Bunc Bradshaw and the Mexican Captain
Cowboy Bob: Movie Star
The Cowboy's Wardrobe
Some Other Cowboy Paraphernalia
The First Bulldogger
God's Bit and Bridle
The Adventures of Cheyenne Dawson
Cowboy Bob and the Bunny Buckle

Louis Remme's Wild Ride

So you think you've done a lot of hard horseback riding, eh? Just be glad that your name isn't Louis Remme!

On February 21, 1855, Louis Remme was carrying a deposit certificate for $12,500 from the Adams & Co. bank in Sacramento, California. (To put things in perspective, $30 was a good month's pay back then.) A bank panic prevented him from redeeming his certificate in San Francisco, so he made a quick steamboat trip back to Sacramento.

When he arrived, he found that not only Sacramento but every other branch that could be contacted by telegraph was now closed.

Remme's only hope lay in the Portland, Oregon, branch. Any message to there would have to travel by ship -- the earliest it could arrive would be in seven days.

The French-Canadian cattle buyer decided on a marathon 700-mile horseback ride to beat the steamer to Portland. He took the boat as far as Knight's Landing, where Dr. Knight outfitted him for the first leg of the trip.

Day and night, through blinding snow and pouring rain, over hazardous mountain trails, Remme plunged ahead. He bought or swapped fresh mounts whenever possible and only grabbed a few hours of sleep when he simply couldn't ride any longer.

After six days in the saddle -- and only ten hours sleep -- Remme arrived in Portland and collected his gold.

Deducting the time spent sleeping, Remme had made the 665-mile trip in 143 hours. Because of mechanical trouble, the steamer didn't arrive for another week.

Some four years after his epic ride, Remme started to drive a herd of cattle from Oregon's Rogue River to Yreka, California.

He never made it.

Deep snowdrifts blocked his way and the storm's intensity increased. Remme froze to death with his cattle.

Remme's epic ride from Knight's Landing to Portland was used by Louis L'Amour as the basis for his short story "Home in the Valley" in the anthology Riding for the Brand as well as the ride in his novel Sitka.

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  COPYRIGHT © 1999 BOB LEMEN, GRAND RAPIDS, MINNESOTA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
  The contents of this document are not for reproduction.