Two years ago I did a cover story about Springville cowboy Mike Bartlett called True Grit. He had lost the love of his life, the spring-to-autumn care of cattle in Hobble Creek canyon for a local cattlemen's association, to a Mexican rider.---
In the three years since he and the Springville Livestock Association parted ways, he found work "scratching to make a living," shoeing horses, breaking them, even working for another local association. But his heart never left the beautiful canyons at the back of Springville where for so many springs he laid out salt trails for cows and calves to follow up and down the wooded slopes.
This spring the livestock association re-hired 51-year-old Bartlett. "I'm happy to be back," he says, his lower lip as ever stained with tobacco juice. "My heart's always been in Hobble Creek."
He says when the association's George Hutchings, to whom Bartlett will be reporting, asked him, "Is this for the long haul?", he replied, "I intend on dying up there in 30 years."
His family and many friends in Springville are ecstatic that Bartlett is returning to Hobble Creek. His son Tyson, Springville's water master puts it simply: "You don't make a ton of money but if you're happy it's just enough."