Friday, September 17, 2010

Home on the Range - On Our Land Day 1

At 5:30am I crawl over the puppy, the cat and Quantum out of the bed, nearly banging my head on the cabinets above the bed. During the night my tossing and turning as well as the dog's has stripped most of the blankets from me, and I've spent the past hour alternating between trying to shiver myself back to sleep and prying the covers from beneath the dog. I light a few candles to read by and wait till it's bright enough to go outside and start the campfire so I can make coffee.

Morning comes with a double sunrise. The sky above the eastern mountains turns pale orange and turquoise, and then the colors fade and the world turns bright. I'd been hoping for something spectacular, and this is a bit of a disappointment. I go out and light the grill and am greeted by a pair of Stellar's jays (the western equivalent of the blue jay) nattering at each other. I sip my instant coffee (we haven't found the real coffee press yet) and contemplate the field with its waving grasses, and the cedars and pines that edge it. Okay, maybe that part wasn't spectacular, but look at this gorgeous land. Then the sun rises slightly further and catches a lone cloud in dark lavender-gray and salmon and the edges tinged with brilliant salmon-gold glory.

I'd taken sunrises for granted in the past, not realizing that the more vivid ones are made so by clouds, and that here the sky is nearly cloudless.

We spend most of the day unpacking boxes from the trucks and trailers and onto a big tarp so that we can work on finding all our stuff. It looks like a redneck yard sale. Quantum just wants to pull everything out. I want to do the same, but I'm trying to keep order - this pile for food, this for kitchen items, that pile for tools, another for clothes, books, computer related stuff.

Midway through the day, two men show up on a balloon-wheeled ATV, a black lab following them. They're from some adjoining land and they just found that someone robbed some of their tools. Naturally, seeing the new tire tracks and whatever commotion we were making, they came to investigate.

Zen of course loved their lab, and to their surprise it was reciprocated. "You must have a female dog," they said, "our dog hates other males." We get that a lot. Zen has a personality that allows him to befriend lots of dogs that "never" get along with others.

B&T, the new neighbors told us about a large cinnamon-colored black bear that had been seen in the area, and about one of the neighbors down the road who they'd tracked lurking around their land and all the way (about 2 miles) down to the guy's place. We talked about the local turkey and elk and whatever neighbors in the middle of nowhere talk about.

Later we finally made the steak for dinner. Zen was of course thrilled with this.  Quantum got out the gun and placed it somewhere nearby in case the bear or the mountain lion wanted to investigate.

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