I coulda been at a beach house in Malibu with a pretty girl this weekend, but I declined because I said that I would be back on the ranch to help lead a day ride in the Sangres on Saturday. I told this to Mike. He looked at me funny and replied, “Dumb ass.”
I agreed when Saturday morning, after being waken up by the horse shit barrage, we booked an 8 person 2 hour ride on the ranch and Dave pulled me from the Sangres ride to help with that one. It was much of the families of a couple getting married that afternoon. We accommodated them well and then gave them a good ride, and they thanked us by piling into their Suburban and driving away. We wished them thundershowers, a runaway bride, and anything else that could ruin a wedding on a Saturday afternoon.
After we unsaddled ten horses I drove into town to get some lunch and go to the Wet Mountain Western Jubilee, a traditional Western music festival. It was the first music festival that I’ve ever been to with chairs and only six outhouses. I don’t see the point in sitting down at concerts, especially ones outside in the summer time, but since the median age was likely over sixty I understood. It still didn’t mean I was sitting down. The first band I heads was called The Haunted Windchimes and they were really sweet. I posted up about six rows back, standing next to the center tent support pole in the center aisle to do my best to not stand in front of anybody. It took about three songs for a Custer County sheriff to tell me that I couldn’t stand there and I should find a seat. I don’t want to sit and I don’t want to stand in front of a chair, certainly blocking somebody’s view there. Stand in the back then. As much as I really wanted to go to war I knew that I would lose, and moved next to the sound booth where I stood unmolested for the rest of the show.
My favorite act was Waddie Mitchell, a cowboy poet and wordsmith like I have never heard live. His poems were stories that painted a picture in my mind so vibrant that I sat screwed to my chair, transfixed by the words falling over me like magic water. He introduced Don Edwards, an apparently legendary country singer and songwriter. He received quite a reception and I was impressed with his music. I don’t know much about classic country but shows like this one make me want to know more.
I wasn’t feeling the dance afterward and just headed to Poag’s for dinner, beer, and internet. I worked online for a couple of hours, trying to get everything taken care of before this 5 day pack trip leaving on Monday. Think I lost a couple hundred bucks.
Sunday morning I slept in til 8:30am (that’s so weird to say still) since there wasn’t anything going on at the ranch. I joined Mike and his family for breakfast, they reminded me more about how I was a dumb ass for not being at a beach house in Malibu, but I didn’t mind too much today because I was going to be traveling all day if I had gone out there. A lazy and productive day in Colorado is much better than traveling anywhere. After breakfast I drove to the Alvarado trail head to finish up my work for the month before spending the afternoon playing tournaments online. I don’t understand how Verizon doesn’t work on the ranch or in town, but does in the middle of hay fields and at trail heads. Prettier offices anyways. After arriving I realized I left my laptop in my cabin. Back to the ranch.
Tournaments started at 2pm, it was shortly after 11am. Bored, I came up with an adventure. I forgot to tell y’all about Rudy being struck by lightning last week while I was in LA. Tuesday morning when Dave and Mike did round-up they found a dead horse, unfortunately one of our best. Poor Rudy. Two weeks ago potatoes were falling out of the sky around him as we fell to the deck in laughter, and last week he gets blasted by lightning. 1200 pounds of horse chop will bring in all sorts of wildlife, so I decided on going for a hike, partially to check out what a horse hit by lightning looked like and also hoping to see some critters.
I strapped my six shooter to my side and walked out into West, headed up horse highway into the woods. It’s a neat feeling being out in the woods by yourself, and walking through the thick North woods I pondered on the last person to be where I was. When all you can hear is wind blowing through Aspens life is at peace. I walked past an old fire ring not used in years, and looked down from the ridge into Lee’s meadow and the original homestead, settled a hundred and fifty years ago by German potato farmers. It’s still in use today, the ranch owner’s private residence. The Ute’s were here long before the Germans were, and with so many years of people walking these woods before me I was grateful that it laid mostly as untouched as it was a thousand years ago.
I could hear the call of a Golden Eagle, screeches of Red Tailed Hawks, and saw several Ravens circling. The last thing I wanted to do was find a need for my sidearm by spooking some bear off his buffet, so I scouted from high on the ridge to make sure things were clear before approaching Rudy. Disappointed I didn’t see anything, I approached the corpse, from downwind, and smelt the decay of life before I could see anything close.
He lay on the ground like a plastic horse figurine knocked on its side. Two legs on the ground and two above sticking straight out parallel, the rigormortis in full effect. He was way less chewed up than I expected; Dave predicted that he’d be a skeleton within a week or two. My adventurous spirit turned grave quickly, and I was reminded once again how fragile life really is. Hell I might not make it back to the ranch, it’s not like it’s impossible to be struck by lightning out here. It’s nice and good to plan, but we’re only really guaranteed this present moment. I feel like people cheat today worrying too much about tomorrow.
I didn’t spend more than a couple of minutes there. Just wasn’t a pleasant place to hang out, next to a horse that I’d spent hours on the back of in the past month. I walked back a different route, down across South pasture and through the gate into West. I could see the ranch in front of me, but I could also see the junkyard off to my right. I knew that for years the ranch had used this place as their dump, initially filling up a couple of mine shafts but eventually creating their own collection of a hundred and fifty years of ranch junk. I figured there had to be something cool over there.
I didn’t find anything too exciting unfortunately. It was neat to poke around a bit, but you didn’t miss out on anything Fuller. I crawled through the barbed wire fence and walked back on County Road 271, waving at the one truck and two motorcycles that passed by, and changed out of my boots and into sandals back in my cabin.
I headed to Dave and Michelle’s, played the Ultimate Bet $200k and UBOC event 8 $1k, two other tournaments, and one cash game for several hours. I started out well everywhere and then lost flips and ran bad to bust them all somewhat early in the evening. No problem, gave me time to write, and now I’m headed to the ranch to pack for the 5 day I’m going on tomorrow.
Dan, Mike and I are leading a five day pack trip with the destination being some hippie hot springs on the other side. Michelle told me that I wasn’t allowed to be naked in front of custies. I have no idea why she would find it important to inform me of this rule. I’ll shoot a bunch of pictures and solve the problems of the world soaking in natural hot tubs. Bye bye society see ya on Friday.
Peace and good luck,
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