For me, the Carrizo Plain has always been about solitude. Being one with nature in all of its splendor. A place so quiet you can literally hear your own heartbeat beating in tune with the high desert flora and fauna.
This past weekend was not at all solitude with about 20 of my favorite family and friends (boys only this trip), frolicking in the Carrizo plain during the day and sitting by the campfire each night and morning.
Fidel and crew contributed Birria and Carnitas, Pavel brought way too many TriTips, Beto cooked up some of the finest bbq chicken and we all ate like..., well, like a bunch of Camping Kings! Seeing Shaw's 12' solid Mahogany picnic bench filled up with this group was too much fun.
While I am not a hunter, I was raised with guns in the family, have instructed my two sons in firearm safety and enjoy a little target practice from time to time.
I was very nervous to host this many enthusiastic shooters, but was fortunate to meet a new friend (Sgt John Fly was in the Marine Corps for 4yr, 1month, 25 days and 7 hours…) who helped enormously with his experience and volunteering to be Range Master while we all practiced hitting a variety of targets. Thank you Sgt. Fly for not only keeping us safe at the hideout, but especially for your service to our country!
Thomas took us out in his new Toyota Tacoma and I guided him to a couple of my favorite sites around the Caliente foothills. Quail Spring, Mary Morris' gravesite and Traver Ranch's old farm equipment. We even found a "new to me" old settlement that had a very healthy looking Utah Juniper. We may have to plant one at the hideout someday.
The 1st Annual Boys & Toys weekend was so much fun and I know we are all looking forward to the next one.
My buddy Thomas let me know that he was heading up to Cuyama with a friend and I asked that he stop in my regular “dive” in Ventucopa and talk Alick out of the Trump Toilet Brush that I gave him a couple years ago. Alick always jokes that he scrubs my beer mug with it before pouring my beer.
The Place is the only restaurant for miles and I am sad to see Alick and Vicky are selling it. Sure hope they find someone that can take over and bake pies as well as Vicky has all of these years.
Our family pup for 7-1/2 years and my companion Bailey left us this past week.
We called him an "Old Soul" as he always seemed to know so much more than any of us could comprehend. He was the poster child for unconditional love and gave us so much more than just companionship.
Thank you Caroline for sharing this quote...
I think Konrad Lorenz said it best -
"The fidelity of a dog is a precious gift demanding no less binding moral responsibilities than the friendship of a human being. The bond with a dog is as lasting as the ties of this earth can ever be."
We miss you so much, but know you will always be in our hearts and will never be forgotten.
Driving out this week to plant a few more agave, this C130 Hercules was flying straight at me on Soda Lake Road and at first it looked like a large raptor, but as it got closer I could see it was a plane flying very low and slow. I forget about the modern world when I am out in the Carrizo until something like this happens.
My buddy Fidel was out earlier in the week and planted the 60 agave that I had taken up a couple weeks ago and the 1 acre hexagonal agave plantation is taking form. I added 15 variegated agave and between what we have planted there and others around the property, we are well over 150 agave that will one day be harvested, roasted, distilled and bottled into sweet nectar.
Not many flowers to be seen this year due to the fact that we have only recorded just a little over 3" of rainfall this season. I see many online posts from people that are not very happy with the superbloom bust, but maybe the desert just needs a year of rest.
Driving out to the Hideout Wednesday, I was lucky enough to beat the Highway 33 closure with all of the snowfall. Driving into the monument, I was thrilled to see both the Temblor and Caliente Mountains capped in beautiful white snow!
The clouds out there have always been one of my favorite things about visiting this magical place,
and since Wednesday at 1;29am, we have had exactly .57" of rain fall at the hideout.
I am not suggesting anyone go out there right now as the roads were challenging and will continue to be until they've had a chance to dry out, but hopefully March continues to bring us this much needed rain.
San Marcos Growers blessed us with these 60 new agaves that we will be planting in the rabbit fenced 1 acre hexagon shaped plantation.
I just pulled the drag harrow around to level the ground and tilled in 20# of Rape Oil seed that I’m hoping will provide a little more food up here for the critters.
We had roughly 2" of rain a couple weeks ago and winds like I have not seen there before. Both of my rooftop rain collection containers are full and I may have to get more storage for the future.
Bailey and I went on a nice long hike into the foothills and got a few chores done around the property, planted 9 more gifted agave plants and finally hung the window shades in the tiny house.
A Family Site
A place where we can share our adventures in the Carrizo Plain