Thursday, June 25, 2015

On the Road to...

Checking the rise on the Madison

Did I say this trip was going to be a 3,022 mile Adventure? Yes, I did and so far it has been.  We have been on the road for four days and have seen a grand total of: 1 chipmunk, 4 deer, and 7 buffalo... but, lots & lots of our beautiful, beautiful country.
Course I'm kinda busy driving and my co-pilot (Dad), is half blind and deaf as a post. So, when the TomTom GPS says turn right in 250 ft & stay left... he is busy yelling at it to repeat.  This would even work, if I weren't going a tad over the speed limit.  Then Dad grabs the TomTom and says he will fix it, cause he's sure we are going the wrong way. He thumps on it and presto-chango it thinks we are in the middle of Kansas and is telling us how to get home to N California! 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Head'n out...

Dad & I are ready to hit the road for a family gathering with the ranch and rough stock side... 
Cole on Wild Thing

I've made as many fruit leathers, snacks, jerky, trail mix as I'm going to. Water jugs are full. Go bag is full, first aid kit is current, breakdown tool box is current. I have the Garmin dialed in. Kindle is loaded, bags are packed, boots are polished...
Dad is really look'n forward to this trip, as he will be seeing some old stomp'n grounds & family that he hasn't seen in many years.
It's An Adventure, besides what could go sideways with my driving through seven states for 3,022+ miles with a 91 year old co-pilot...  


Friday, June 19, 2015

Guns, Gals and Great Butts...

My gunny mentor is in the wilds of Canada on his way to fly, fish, hunt in Alaska for the summer, so I figured I wouldn't hear from him for a few months.  Ha, he has been sending texts on which places have the best parts/up grades for my guns. As well as large hints about my getting into Front Sight.
The Ruger 10.22 is home. Sweet little rifle, fits me to a T. Hot Lips mags are working it. Varmints beware...

The local range has had a lot of little ol jingle worms about lately.  A few days ago, one of the guys got this one: 
(notice he is wearing SoCal snake boots, a'la LL)
range rattler

Meanwhile, LG and I went North to pickup a mare & filly of hers that had been at Gail's ranch for AI.

LG raises some of the best ranch & rope horse prospects around.

Gail has had her share of jingle worms lately, with one getting her favorite hen in the foot. The hen is going to make it, not sure if her toes will though.

After a ranch Gals discussion on irrigating pastures,

Gail's cows shaded up

 snakes, breeding mares, chickens, and the weather we loaded up Opal and Biscuit for the trip home.

Bloodlines will tell.  What a great Butt on the little filly, Biscuit. 


Monday, June 15, 2015

Constant Delight...

Have you ever had that feeling that something is going to happen shortly, but you can't discern what, and it's mak'n you twitchy as all get out?  The only thing you do know is that ol berserker shield maiden cowgirls don't heal up as quick as they used to. 
Has it been more than a week since some lawyer or self-righteous relative has visited trouble on you?
Did you ever have one of those days where you can't decide whether you are running the show or just along for the ride?

 Are you just plum tired of all the stuff being put out there...

 I work at being a Constant Delight...  It puts the sparkle back in Dad's eyes, and he gets exercise from all that head shaking and laughter.  At this point that's what matters most.

Saturday, June 13, 2015


Mid week I got the neighbors to keep an eye on Dad & Willie so I could test out the little SUV on a mountain drive. With the 1,500 mi road trip coming up I thought it might be wise to shakedown my setup beforehand.  Loaded up my boots, guns, flying things, and headed out.  I made good time, and was happy with all systems on the Rav4. It corners well, has the power to pass easily, and hill climbs with little effort. (Still getting used to the fact that I have a/c after many years without it in the ol Explorer.)

High Sierra meadow

 Got up to the high country and flew the PJI Phantom. (a big thank you to LL for that recommendation.) 

 Flew it, and flew it, and flew it, til a big thunderstorm and darkness shut me down.  It's a hoot to fly that thing. 
Up early the next morning, coffeed up, and was on the road again.  Northern California is incredibly beautiful, there is so much to see and experience. 

Lake Almanor and Mt Lassen

 After a stop for more coffee, a bagel, and to stroll through a garden nursery in Chester, I decided to take a little side trip into Lassen Park. Lassen is one of those under appreciated by the masses national parks, which is fine by me.  I used my national parks senior lifetime pass to enter the park.  The one time $10 fee for a lifetime senior pass is a bargain, and good in all national parks and many other federal places. 

You can get an idea of the height of the trees by comparing them to the woman in the bottom left corner of the pic.
As I was driving into the park I almost got hit by a big doe that jumped off the side hill onto the road.  My brakes work fine. Check.
Drove out of the park, and followed the creeks and canyons down the mountain to home.
A nice couple of days, though I do think a couple more shakedown trips will be needed before the big trip with Dad. 

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Road Tripp'n...

Saturday I loaded Dad and his walker in the SUV and drove an hour South to see Marymine and two of my granddaughters at their fair's Jr Livestock Auction.

Dad and his great granddaughter Ali

I hadn't received the passes from Marymine to get Dad and I in the gate or the SUV on the grounds. There were others ahead of me being turned away because they didn't have the requisite passes. So I went with my access strategy... and we were through with no problems.  It always amazes me that if you act like you are supposed to be somewhere and exude quiet confidence, others will assume you are supposed to be there.

no speeding allowed in the livestock barns area

We didn't get to visit with Marymine other than brief hugs as she was very busy working the sale. 

When Lauren got in the sale ring with her steer the auctioneer said, "OMG, The girl with the Million dollar smile!"  She sold her 1,100lb steer for $4.75/lb.  Not nearly matching that smile, but it will pay the bills and boost her college fund.

 After making the rounds of old friends and gathering as many hugs as possible, I loaded Dad back up and we headed to the Steelhead Lodge for lunch on the river. 

 It was HOT, humid, and the cottonwood duff was thick and flying everywhere. The food was well worth a few  minor inconveniences.

When we finished lunch we loaded up again and I took the long way home so Dad could see some country that he hadn't seen in years.  

It was a good day...

Friday, June 5, 2015

Daniel's Home...

Daniel loved his Superheros. He was flown Home from the hospital in LA last week. He hated hospitals, he had seen the inside of too damn many of them. He just wanted to come Home.
Daniel, my friend, my next door neighbor turned seventeen on Friday, May 29th. He died Monday, June 1st, at Home with his mom & dad & sisters by his side. His heart was too big for this world alone.  He is Home with The Father. 
Peace be with you, Daniel.

Monday, June 1, 2015


Dang it, I don't appear to have mellowed quite as much as I thought I had...

The Administrator of mom's will roared into town, to meet with lawyers & open mom's safe deposit box.  I explained to the Admin, there is no key here, so you will most likely have to have it drilled (see locksmith, see $$$). "Tisk, the bank will open it for me,"  said the Administrator. Apparently they wouldn't.
 Dad was really looking forward to having the Administrator spend a few days here fishing with him. "Tisk, my schedule is too busy for that!" said the Administrator.  Looks at me: "You aren't doing anything, bring him up and I'll take him fishing."  Dad's face fell, he wanted to fish in his home waters. So, I told the Administrator, "I'm sorry, Dad's schedule is too damn busy to accommodate you."  The Administrator did not appreciate my remark, but Dad got the sparkle back in his eyes and a shit kicker grin on his face!
As the Administrator roared out of town, I loaded up Dad and took him out to the golf course for an afternoon of BBQ and cards with his cronies. 
While Dad was at the golf course I went to my favorite local gunny shop for ammo.   Mentioned to the guys that I might be in the market for a 22 rifle for varmints and Project Appleseed, if I got a good deal on it. I now have a ten day wait for a barely used 10/22 Ruger with a good scope, and they threw in some Hot Lips mags, and a sling.
In comparing the work order quote from my auto dealer, I saved enough ordering the replacement part for the SUV and installing it myself to pay for the Ruger. In fact, I had enough left over to order a second hand copy of  "Farm Recipes and Food Secrets from the Norske Nook".  Who the heck knows, I might just learn about cook'n!