Sunday, April 14, 2013

Ranch Ramblings: Day One

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. 

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