Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Ranch

So, it has been two weeks of "flash flood watch" for, well, most of this state. The temperature has been downright winter-like, if you consider 68F winter, which is pretty close to the truth here, but I digress, this isn't about the weather, this is about my trip to my Dad's ranch this weekend.

The Ranch, which is located about 25 miles south of Tucumcari, NM, has been dry as a bone this year, as well as last year. Most of the people around there don't remember when it was ever drier in that area (hint, it was the dust bowl), but the drought has been pretty bad. I think it is over.

I got to the ranch on Friday, after they recieved 3" of rain, filling up a lot of dirt tanks and muddying up the road. The whole way, all 6 hours of driving, the grass was green, and I saw several herds of antilope, the first I had seen so many since I was about 9. All of the cattle seemed to be pretty happy about the rain and the cool weather, since they were pretty frisky and eating as much of the green grassy stubble as they could get into their mouth.

Well, come Saturday, I woke up to a nice drizzle, which is very rare in NM. Dad and I went to the part of the ranch located on the mesa (which they live at the base) to see their "lake". Turns out that about 25 acres of the ranch is covered with water, making a small lake that is about 15' deep in the middle!!!

They were pretty happy about it, the fact that they aren't going to burn up in a fire caused by a random lightening strike, so I am happy for them. I really wish I could spend more time up there, since I am sure they need help with random crap (building fence, ripping those damn cacti out of the ground, etc.), but I don't have the time to go up there, not now, but hey, that is the price I pay to become an Engineer.

Along those lines, school starts this Thrusday, and I am looking foward to it. I am not looking foward to some of the dumb-asses that I have to put up with in those classes, but definatly looking foward to the classes themselves, which can be interesting, if a little easy.


Blogger reddog said...

Hey Lazarus,

I hope I didn't offend you the other morning. The Gipsons really didn't have six toes.

The old man who founded the ranch, had to be a hundred, lived out in a cabin he had built probably eighty years before with his wife, who had to be in her eighties. He was so cool. He had no memories of childhood or family. His earliest memories were of working cattle in the late 1880's. His wife was no slouch either. She could still shoot porqupines out of the pickup window, while driving!

I guess his son and his family, who lived at the main station, suffered by comparison for me. I think that ranch etiquitte grated on me, but after all, the hired man who lives in a shack out back is not a member of the family. To their credit, not every ranch family would hire a long haired,wandering freak brother and let him pretend he was a real cowboy for a little while.

I hope the drought is over for your parents sake. That area never gets a lot of rain but why am I telling you that.

Lazarus Long is one of my favorite Heinlien characters. I always thought his prototype was the sidekick in Glory Road, who was the most interesting thing in that book. His name escapes me at the moment. It's probably thirty years since I read those books.

Anyway, I'm putting up a link to you, if that's all right. Tear'em up at the State U.

11:38 AM  
Blogger lazlong said...

Oh, no offence taken, I didn't know the Gipsons...maybe the Gibsons, but not the Gipsons. I bet it was interesting working there for a while, at least for someone who didn't grow up around stuff like that, that is (it can be so boring to me sometimes, I heard all about the "old timers" while I was a kid).

So many people ask me why I use lazlong as a handle, most of them have never read Heinlein, so I couldn't explain it to them. I think that the old man in Glory Road was called Rufo, son of the Queen. He is still one of my favorite authors, even though I have read all of his books a dozen times, and have had to branch out to other authors, but they are not the same...oh well.

Feel free to post a link, by all means!

1:50 PM  

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