Hello again from the ranch. I'm still having the time of my life with my cousins. A lucky development happened two days ago, and my cousin TJ and his son Noah drove up for a few days. So, they've joined in the merriment!
Monday's highlight was shooting. It was so fun!!! We started with the 22, and then we went to pistols... first the 22, then the 38. We fired at paper targets and several little metal spinner targets that reminded me a little of an amusement park shooting gallery. They were my favorite. Then we tried skeet shooting with the shotgun. I really stunk at that. I didn't hit a single one, but boy, was it fun. It makes me want to talk my dad into getting a clay pigeon thrower for out on the farm. To end the session, I got to shoot the 45 semi-automatic pistol. That was by far my favorite. I was spinning that target like crazy! I'm definitely not a hunter myself, but I could get into target shooting. Kelly's husband Steve is very into safety, so I felt totally sure of myself and confident about how to use the guns safely. That helped a lot. Steve is a great teacher. Kelly's friends Ted & Brad were especially hysterical to have with us. Brad had never held a gun before, and now I think he's addicted!
Tuesday we hiked along the irrigation ditch up to "the meadow." It was a beautiful walk with good company. That afternoon, we took the four-wheelers up the mountain again. We got up to the top right as the sun was ready to dip beyond the mountains. The whole mountain view was bathed in golden light. It was breathtaking. With all the fresh air, I slept like a baby again. I don't remember the last time I felt so relaxed.
This morning, Noah fixed us chocolate chip pancakes... mmm! I read for a while, and then Claire, Steve, Noah, TJ, & I went on a short ride up the mountain since TJ & Noah are headed out this afternoon. We watched a guy up on the mountain getting rid of underbrush and small trees with this bulldozer thing with massive jaws. Steve is trying to thin out some of the underbrush and smaller trees up on the mountain to guard against forest fires and encourage the big trees to grow bigger. It was interesting to watch, and that thing is one powerful piece of machinery. We also saw thousands and thousands of hibernating ladybugs which was cool. Now we're catching up on correspondence and waiting for some new friends to arrive for New Year's Eve. That's one of the best parts of the ranch... there are always new, fun, interesting people to meet. My cousins are so generous in sharing Fort Mountain Ranch, and I'm so grateful!
More to come, so stay tuned!