My love affair with desert monsoon season continues to develop. I came back from a river trip last week to find a good chunk of the Funky Butte Ranch’s Â½ mile Black Diamond driveway out. As in “not there.” Air. A hole. As substantive as Republican energy policy. My first reaction came dangerously close to whining (one of the few emotions I ban in my home space), given that I had easily two tons of gear, boats and chicken feed to haul down to the Ranch house and barn. But I quickly became grateful for the damage (in one spot the storms I missed left a tightrope of a pathway through which I can squeeze), because the state of the Ranch geology are forcing me to take thrice-daily hikes up the Western butte in order to haul loads back down.
Putting aside the wildflower meadow miracles that the same storms are spawning all over the Ranch, this new routine has resulted in such a great exercise regimen that it’s given me the idea for a Green Olympics. I mean, fencing was all very useful back in 1583, but what I’d like to see now is, “Wheelbarrow Chicken Feed Hauling.” Where style counts. I think I’d excel in the 150 pounds (of feed) category. Think of it as a sort of Steeplechase or decathlon, updated for the carbon-neutral citizen in the Digital Age. All you have to do is get three 50 pound bags of feed (which bags are made of a material whose consistency is closest to a leaky shower curtain) to a barn that is Â½ mile away over steep, rocky terrain. Belligerent vultures and mosquitoes are set free to assault you, and you must “forget” your water bottle before setting out on the event under 110 degree skies. What do you think the rating for â€“that- Olympics would be?
With the R.O.A.T. (Ridiculously Oversized American Truck, Vegetable-powered) parked so far away, I’ve over the course of a week developed a routine that’s whipping me back into peak physical shape, and Farewell, My Subaru readers as well long-time readers of these Dispatches will understand how grateful I am to be stuck on the “correct” side of the Biblical disaster this time.
For me, though, the best part of enforced desert death marches is the meditative space they provide for inspiration, including but not limited to this Dispatch, and yesterday’s Lesson of the Day, which was: The Best Angle From Which You Examine Any Situation Is The True One.
I’m not going to be so heartless as to say I that don’t understand why people seem to be so prone to complaining after Major Natural Disasters hit. All I can say is the two I’ve faced in as many years at the Funky Butte Ranch have both resulted in great happiness and what I like to think of as significant personal growth. So even if it means that the Ranch will experience the “only here” micro-climate saturation of the Munster’s mansion in the opening credits, I say, “Let it rain!”
Plus, in the three day interim between the end of one Routine Incident of Carnage and the start of the next one, life seems so easy. Driving up to one’s home, for example — what a life-simplifying luxury.
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