Sunday, July 27, 2014

Week 29 Highlights

We picked up a new group of red wattle piglets on the weekend, enjoyed hanging out with them today.   I paid four hundred dollars for a registered gilt runt.  After driving a few hours to get there, I didn't feel like squabbling.  Plus I'm a horrible negotiator and anyway little Primrose is friendly, cute and feisty.  She is the one in the middle.  Also picked up a nice looking boar and 3 to grow into meat that were much less expensive. What was I thinking.  Four Hundred DOLLARS!  Yikes.  She better grow into something that produces, that is all I can say.   

Beautiful sky day.  Enjoyed cruising up to the cabin in our 1979 Land Cruiser.  Now that the Kubota is buried, this is my new ranch vehicle.  It is a bit harder to drive and it uses more fuel, but the views can't get any better with the top off.  Driving along my mind drifted back to my first visit to The Ranch in, well, I actually think it was 1979.  Weird.  Anyway.  There was an old codger up here living with the female caretaker.  Charlie was his name.  He was small and lean.  Probably 5 foot 5 and had skin hardened and creased by the sun and pointed features.  You could tell he knew how to work.  He took us kids on a drive up to the cabin as the sun began to make long shadows across the land.  I remember there was this one spot, where he slowed down, turned his cap on backwards and his eyes creased in a smile as he looked at us in the back of the jeep.  "Hold on," he said.  Around the next bend a big jack rabbit leaped onto the road and off we went at high speed chasing that rabbit.  Yee Haw!  It was fun and obviously a common occurrence for man and beast. 

There is a real living, tree that is hollowed out that stands by our delicious Chimney Tree restaurant.  We had a meal there today after dropping off pork and beef at Chautauqua, the local natural foods store.  Had a funny thing happen at the Chimney Tree.  Tourists are in line behind us.  One of them had been there before and was telling his friends how great the food was.  Going on and on about it while also fiddling with his phone.  "Yea," he says,  "It always seems like the best places have the worst service".  All sound ceased to exist.  You could have heard a pin drop.  Man notices and fumbles all over himself exclaiming how he meant phone service.  "Good thing" says the very large cook in the kitchen, "or I would have had to come out there and pummel you." 

Hay!  It is that time of year to fill the barn with some local, big bales of grass hay.  Last year we got about 111 bales, but we have a smaller herd this year, so I think we are shooting for about 88 bales. Eight loads and each load takes Mark about 3 hours minimum.  It's not easy living out in the boonies.  One year we got a truck and trailer load of alfalfa, but the truck couldn't make it to our place, so we off loaded at the highway and made multiple trips up the hill.   This year we will probably get about 200 bales of 3 twine alfalfa.  We use this stuff for getting the cows to follow us around like we are gods. 


We got invited by a friend and his buddy to go backpacking to Caribou Lakes in the Trinity Alps.  Left the ranch before dawn and after a lengthy drive and 8.5 mile hike we entered a gorgeous alpine wonderland.  We couldn't have been happier. 


This is our friend's buddy.  I fell in  love with this dog; super sweet, but no pushover.  Amazingly good at hiking for being 77 years old and he knew his way around the mountain better than us too. We hiked to the ridge above Caribou Lakes this morning and got off trail a couple times, but Boomer always found the way.  He really seemed to enjoy the views too.  (In this photo he is looking at Sapphire and Emerald lakes.)   Later, I found out that we shared a similar love of swimming in high mountain lakes.  I didn't quite get his stick gathering though, so maybe Mark doesn't have to worry too much about being replaced. 


Hiked out under some cloud cover today and it was a good thing too as we all swam in the sun a little too much the day before and had a bit of a sunburn.  Some of us more than others.  Thanks again Dave for inviting us.   (If you would like to see more photos of our hike, I'll be posting later in the week at our hiking blog:


  1. Wonderful post. Love the piglet - $400...

    1. I just found out I can reply to the comments. So Hi Dan and Betty!

  2. "Good thing" says the very large cook in the kitchen, "or I would have had to come out there and pummel you."

    I just can't stand it! That may be the funniest story I've heard in years! Thanks for sharing.

    Sorry about your pig...


    1. Great news about the runt. She is growing rapidly. Can't tell she is the runt anymore and it has only been 10 days here on the ranch. I guess she loves it like we do.

  3. Boomer and I had a great time up there in the Trinities with you two. We seem to be recovering quickly from sun burn and sore muscles.

    1. We are too, Dave and Boomer. Looking forward to a future hike with you two.


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