Thursday, March 5, 2009
Back in Leakey
2004 was the Year of the Skink, 2009 is the Year of the Armadillo. Less than 24 hours, and I've already seen 5 of them. Cleo welcomed me back the night I got in, which was very thoughtful of him. Cleo is the armadillo who hung around the trailer last year. I noticed that Cleo has been extremely busy digging the hell out of the ground recently. I'm probably going to break my leg playing frisbee..but that's okay, cause the little guy's gotta eat.
Anyway, I made it safely to the ranch. On the drive in, I noticed the idiotic Frio Canyon housing development had made zero progress in the past year. At least I couldn't see any from the road - AWESOME! That was heartening for me. I stopped by Mike and Audrey's (the couple who runs the barn, good crazy people!) and they gave me big hugs and I caught up with them for a while. On my way out, I ran into Paco Loco Ken (my new name for him). He told me we could use his family-sized three bedroom tent since the trailer is going to be so cramped. I love nice people, and Ken is hilarious. I stayed at the Frio Canyon Lodge that night cause I couldn't get into the trailer.
I drove into the ranch the next morning and was relieved that Mike had managed to find the trailer key - I had my doubts. I cleaned and moved all my stuff in - mainly food, ha! I'm still horrified, absolutely terrified, of the new roommate Zac and I will have. I mean, shit, the trailer is NOT meant for three people. I'm going to try my hardest to be civil to this person, but I can't guarantee anything. Oh boy.
Bill (Old Naked Bill), one of the head construction guys, came over to say hi. Apparently, 'several' mountain lions have been seeen on the ranch in recent months. Yay. I guess I'll keep an even bigger eye out for them this year, since you know, I haven't been worried enough about them the past two years!
Later, I convinced Mike to help move the second trailer into the only other good spot, which is also next to our trailer. It turned out to be a long process. Mike came over and realized he didn't have the right something or other to move the trailer, so then he just talked for a while. Then we went to talk to Ramona (the cook for the construction workers) and she called her husband, Frank, to come over and help. Ramona was super nice and I drank her over-sweetened iced tea while we waied 45 minutes for Frank to get his chatty little bum down to help us. Eventually the trailer got moved and i was grateful for the help, again, thumbs up for nice people! Our trailer has a good tilt happening, so that's gotta get fixed ASAP before I lose my mind.
I went for a little hike this evening on the ranch and saw two more armadillos. I spent a good amount of time watching them. Their eyesight and/or hearing leaves a lot to be desired, so I was able to get right up next to them without them really noticing. They are really rather cute in a goofy way. And their legs are all hairy and funny looking. It was very tempting to pet them, but well, they can potentially carry leprosy, so I refrained. I've been exposed to enough weird diseases and stuff lately, so I think I'll avoid one more for now. Also on the hike, I was bummed to find a dead aoudad (an exotic deer from the Barbary Coast). It had been killed by something, perhaps a mountain lion. That's when i turned around.
It's extremely dry here right now. Mike and Ken said it hasn't rained for almost 6 months, and it's not hard to tell.
But apparently, the GCWA brings the rain every year. So i made sure to do a little rain dance, and what the hell! It's supposed to rain on Sunday. Niiiice.
Driving into Leakey was bittersweet. It's the last season here and that makes me sad. I actually really love this place, it's like a little sanctuary. And it's where Zac and I met, so it'll always have that going for it too. We've (Zac, Melissa, and I) have had some pretty great memories here - and some pretty not great ones too, but at least we can laugh about those now. I'm going to miss coming back here evey year.
Also! Please - Leakey is not pronounced like a leakey faucet, it's like Lake-y. Thank you.