Day 38: Happy Trails To You

My last day on the ranch appropriately began with buckets of rain pouring from an expansive, overcast sky. We slogged through the wet to get the regular morning chores done, but it was coming down too hard to do much else. I wasn't feeling well, so I took a nap in my tent. Feel asleep listening to the soft splatter of dripping rain on canvas, and breathing deep the scent of dusty wood, rich loam, and wet animals. When I woke up I called home, dad, grandma, Em, and Conor. We caught up, made plans for Maine, and eagerly anticipated my return east.

Never one to tolerate cabin fever, when I returned to the crowded farm house I almost immediately suited up in rain gear and recruited two people to help me cut grass for evening feeding. We drove to an overgrown neighbor's yard that needed clearing, and on the way passed the most amazing house I've ever seen. It looked like a rambling, ramshackle abode straight from a fairy tale. As if it had been assembled from parts of several different buildings, which it very well may have, windows of every size and shaped were placed at random. The first section looked like a barn with a door shaped like a coffin, and a door with a crescent moon cutout, and hay loft doors above. Another section looked like a four story coast guard tower painted red. It was set in a hill reinforced with old tires, and draped in lupines. Magnificent.

We cut grass for an hour in the rain. Then I went back to a hot shower and clean laundry. I made a sixteen bean and rosemary llama meatball stew for dinner while the baby yak slept at my feet. Some family friends brought over beer from the Homer Brewery, and more of grandpa's dandelion wine was opened. It was a warm and friendly, loud and rollicking, a perfect last evening on the ranch.
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