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Name:
Location: Somewhere (not over China)

I grew up in a town with hippies, rednecks, and a reservation. My daddy was a cowboy and my mother was a Baptist. Thus, my life experiences molded me to be slightly off center at all times...sometimes right, sometimes left.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Migration

Look'in back at my background
tryin' tofigure out how I ever got here.
Some things are still a mystery to me
While others are much to clear.

My brother called me this evening completely excited about something he found on the internet. This is the same brother that told me about four years ago that after programming for five years, you learn everything you could possibly want to know about computers--and proceeded to get his PhD in math.

So, the Addition Doctor is just over the moon about these things he found...he is moving to the southwest and looking for a house to by. In this process, he found maps.google.com, and then earth.google.com. He made me go there immediately. At maps.google.com you can look at satellite maps and satellite topograpic pictures virtually anywhere in the world. At earth.google.com you can download a little program that allows you to fly through the countryside.

So, I spent the evening flying though the ranch where I grew up, visiting my best friends house, looking at my house (where you can tell that trees cover half my pool), checking out the ranch that my gentleman friend is thinking about buying, and having some pretty good flashbacks to my childhood.

I grew up on an 18,000 acre ranch in Northern California. Ranching is not usually what you think of when you think about Northern California, but it was a real ranch, and we lived pretty western--more western than most ranchers, even by Texas standards. Flying on the satellite tour over the ranch brought back a lot of memories.

There was a hairpin turn on the dirt road to our house. On that turn I learned the exact point to hit the brakes and fishtail 180 degrees. It is a feat that I can still accomplish to this day.

One summer we built a "log" cabin out of railroad ties. We called it the "line shack." It was about thirteeen miles from the ranch house and gave us a place to stay when we were too far from the house to get home before dark. It was top-of-the line fancy for a line shack. It had a wood stove, two bunk beds, and a single. A tiny table to eat at. We also had to build an outhouse, which was not a house, but a plywood box over a hole in the ground. To make it nicer, we did install a real toilet seat. We even ran water from a spring onto a sink on the porch, so that we had "running" water. You couldn't turn it off, it ran all the time. All the supplies had to be kept in metal lockers, because the occasional bear would break into the cabin. It is still there....

The ranch was made up of a bunch of old homesteads. My favorite was the Bowman place--it had the best orchard--excellent apples. I shot my first wild hog in the Bowman orchard, and it was good eating. Nowdays, there is a new "house" just down the hill from the Bowman place. I heard in my hometown that dope growers from north of my hometown bought the land, and constructed what looked like a house, but was really a greenhouse. It was the largest dope bust in the history of the county.

The addition Doctor and I used to work the roundups together. My sister would always go with my dad, so, the doctor and I were left to round up the area's around Steep Gulch. We would hit all the berry patches, then round up some steers. The we would head down the mountain at breakneck pace in a massive steer stampede (we were late because we spent too much time looking for berries and frequenting the deserted orchards). Plus, we just liked to make it a little western.

It was a pretty cool trip down memory lane, and I didn't have to spend three days on horseback to do it...it just makes me sad to see such a grand unpopulated place getting populated.

I'm just livin' in the sunshine,
Stay contented most of the time.
Yeah, list'nin to Murphy, Walker and Willie,
Sing me their Texas rhymes.