Sunday, January 8, 2012

Lumbering into the New Year

What better thing to do when you aren't feeling too well on a Sunday but catch up on your blogging? It's a new year, and we are hoping for fun new adventures with Ursula in the year to come! We are also hoping for fewer broken or recalcitrant components, so that perhaps that "carefree RV lifestyle" will come true at some point.

As for our New Year's travels, we were invited to visit Wild Type Ranch again to celebrate the coming of 2012 (ah, a year I can easily pronounce). We left Saturday morning (New Year's Eve). We had fun giving our little neighbor a tour of Ursula. He had been wanting to test drive her for quite some time. Note that we did NOT let him know where the air horn was!
Tate is ready to embark
After waving goodbye to Tate very vigorously, we headed off to Milam County. We were surprised that the traffic wasn't as bad as we'd expected. As you can see, nothing was happening in Yarrellton, one of the tiny towns we go through.
Nothing to see here. Keep driving.
We made it before dark, which is always a goal, and because of all the recent rains we parked next to the barn rather than in the pasture. The advantage to that was that we got to use the electricity. We did fine on low amps, since we were not using the air conditioner.

The last sunset of 2011

We had a delicious meal and then hung around with Sara, Ralph and nephew Justin, who was quite nice and interesting. I got to help move the horses to a different area so falconry could happen the next day. That was fun. We rang in the new year very accurately, since we were all staring at our cell phones. We spent a lot of time discussing music and watching some of Ralph's immense collection of rock concert DVDs.

New Years was a ranch holiday, so the team took the day off. We did a lot of fun stuff. I took one walk by myself and saw some cool ducks in the big tank, and bluebirds and a flicker flying around. Lee and I walked a lot around our future grounds, and marveled at the fact that there is water in the creek, spring and even our future little tank. It's nice to see some green grass around.

Heinrich's gravesite is looking much greener. 

This is the spring. Still not very scenic, but at least wet

The cattle dogs enjoyed exploring the creek with us. Much nicer with water.

The little tank doesn't have much water, but at leas there is some! It should be lovely in the spring.

Later, after we checked out the progress on the new house, and as Sara was riding around on Alladin, we got the call that it was time for the big falconry moment.

Nice calm riding before the dog came up and scared the bejeezus out of both of them.

The falconry guy had spotted ducks landing in the big tank, so we all very quietly went over to the driveway, and with great silence and no slamming of car doors approached the tank from the rear. At the appropriate time, everyone yelled and ran, and the falcon was set loose.

Ready to fly!

That glob in the sky is the falcon

He (different falcon from last time) flew around and around, but nothing happened. The darned ducks had flown away and we hadn't seen it happen! But, not to worry, a poor unsuspecting pigeon was produced, and as soon as it was let out and flapped around, the falcon took care of it. They had to feed it something to reward it for coming back.

Leave me alone, I'm eating!
 Well, that was enough excitement, so we came back and enjoyed egg gathering and a bit more bird feeding frenzy (the chickens do love greens) and eventually had a nice fried rice dinner. It was so kind of Ralph to cook for us. I hope we can provide food next time!

We had intended to set off for home fairly early on Monday, but things kept happening. So, I helped sort beef, watched football in Ursula, and cleaned her up. When time came to really go, she refused to retract the slides. That was not much fun, since Sara and Ralph had visitors and we were trying to get out of their way! In trying to see if we needed to level her in order to make the slides work, the leveling mechanism that Lee had disabled broke, so we finally called the kids and asked them to come get us. Lee kept trying though, and sure enough, after Kynan had set off to fetch us, Ursula decided to cooperate, and we were able to leave. Sigh. She needs another round of repairs before our next outing!

I'd be full of much more detail if I felt better. Maybe Lee will add some photos or commentary. I know he has a couple of really good horse, dog and falcon photos.

Lessons Learned

  • Ursula is capricious. Especially when it comes to moving parts.
  • There's lots of life and death on a ranch.
  • Fresh food is so delicious. I look forward to being able to grow my own salad greens and stuff like that.

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