Saturday, May 27, 2023

Well, here we are.

The last time I posted to this blog was July 6, 2018. Since then things have happened. Things have changed. That's how it goes. Things do change. As an old-adjacent person, I find that they have been changing real real fast. But again, I'm old-ish.

So! Where to start? First of all, I don't ride bikes any more. Like, for the last almost 3 years. I just set new hooks and hung two of the bikes that I still have, covered in dust like some kind of loony's showroom-quality 1975 AMC Gremlin in a barn in Arkansas.

Point is, I rode the bikes hard for decades. I spent a lot of hours grinding away at Rocky Mountain climbs. I carried and pushed bikes up and over big land masses. Crappy late 80's and early 90's rigids and hardtails with pointless forks. Then better 26" hardtails. 29ers starting in 03. Some really nice 29" full suspension bikes. I did great things on a 2013 Giant Anthem aluminum. Also on Lenzsport Leviathan 4" bike from the 07 timeframe. Fond memories of a 2016-ish Yeti ASR.

But now, fuck it. My body hates peddly bikes. They hurt. I miss being fit. But I think about how much time I spent since I started doing this shit in '88 grunting and wheezing and trying to ride techy climbs clean. Fuck that shit. In that respect I am more than old-adjacent.

Now for me it's about animals. During the pandemic Salida became a zoom town. Real estate prices went apeshit and lots about the town I'd lived in for 20 years changed. I sold my house in town and bought a place halfway to Canon City. I own and live on a piece of land with a little irrigation water. 

I worked at a raw milk dairy back in 2021, milking cows, feeding cows, straining and refrigerating milk. I found out that I like cows. The dairy shut down, but I had a chance to buy a bull calf out of my favorite milk cow, Sophie. I got him at 3 weeks old and bottle fed him. I call him Chuck. He's a steer, because my pair is the only one allowed here. 

In order to have a herd for Chuck, I got goats. Two 1-year-old wethers and two bottle feeder babies. Come to find out goats are not a herd for a steer. They don't even really like each other. So I got another steer. His name is Brisket. 

Along the way I found out that goats are easier than moo-cows in terms of work and expense. And they have more personality. The amount of land I have is a little limiting for moo-cows. So this summer of 2023 I will fatten Chuck and Brisket on grass, and in the fall they'll go to freezer camp. After that I will become a fulltime goat rancher. I now have four young nannie goats who will be bred this fall. Goat babies!

Five years that included a pandemic have past and I'm a different dude. And fatter. I have a motorcycle, a Yamaha WR250R. She and I went on a 86 mile jaunt in the Arkansas Hills this afternoon. We were turned back from plan A by rain. But it was a good ride nonetheless. 

Life has entered a new phase for me as the pandemic slowly recedes into the past. It's way less weird to be a hermit in Coaldale surrounded by space and animals than it was being one in Salida. In my life here I often go days without speaking to anyone other than the critters. I MacGyver my way through obstacles because there's nobody else here and not much help even to be hired. Is it good? I don't know, but it suits me. I think that may be the best we can do.