4 1/2 hours down a two-lane highway, flanked on both sides by wildflower-riddled fields to get here. Not bad. There is no other landscape that makes me feel like the wide-open spaces of Texas do. It's a feeling of comfort, a feeling of home.
As I got closer to Madrono Ranch, the directions got more intricate: On the right, opposite the Medina Children’s Home, is a turnoff with signs for Echo Hill, Deer Valley, etc. Turn here. After about a mile, you’ll cross a cattle guard with a sign for Deer Valley. About a third of a mile beyond the cattle guard, the road forks. Take the left-hand fork. And so on.
After crossing the last cattle guard and closing the last gate behind me, I arrived at the cabins. The smaller of the two cabins will be home for the next two weeks. As I unloaded the truck (which contained enough food and supplies to fill a small general store) I was greeted by the other artist resident who gave me a quick lowdown on the digs.
She's been here for a week already and radiates calmness. My acclimation into wilderness-mode has only just begun - I'm still fidgeting with car keys and running over the list of things I forgot in my mind.
Here's a bullet list of how the day unfolded:
- realized there is zero cell phone service except at the main house.
- became happy about no phone service, then weirded out about no phone service, and finally settled on a feeling of happy freedom in regards to no phone service.
- same as above but replace phone service with internet service.
- drove through a dang herd of buffalo. no biggie. wait…totally a biggie.
- took a walk: the ranch is absolutely beautiful - almost to an insulting level. the amount of nature noise is many layers deep - i want to learn which song belongs to what critter.
- settled in for the night with a profound sense of solitude. neither a good or bad feeling, just an adjustment in environment.
- massacred an entire village of what I thought were mosquitos in order to avoid contracting malaria in the night, then realized they were only gnats and now I fear I put an epic ding in my karma.
- ate two cupcakes which made me forget about the karma thing.