Great Alaska Adventure: Good. Friends.
When I woke at 6 a.m. to prepare to leave the ranch and start another day on the road, Linda was readying her tractor to start mowing. By 6:30 she was in a nearby meadow cutting hay so it would have all day to dry before starting to rake it. That’s what it’s like making your living off the land. I decided a long time ago I couldn’t keep up with her, either in the fields or in a bar, but I sure do admire her work ethic and her stamina. She stopped mowing long enough to come to the bunkhouse and say sad goodbyes as we climbed aboard our steel ponies and headed up the boulder strewn driveway for a six-mile, twenty-minute ride to the asphalt road to Laramie and the Interstate. We’ll miss her but know we’ll be back. Being with Linda at the ranch is always one of the high points of our travels.
We’ve not done much Interstate driving on this trip, but today’s ride was about 375 miles on the boring asphalt ribbon across Nebraska to Kearney where we had a chance to see our best friends from our days in Tullahoma, Tennessee.
Mike and Diane Mawby, like Linda, are hard-working, salt-of-the-earth folks. (It seems like all of our friends work harder than we do or did before retirement.) They treated us to an absolutely delicious rib and salmon barbeque and an evening of recollecting, catching up and just enjoying their delightful company in their beautifully restored early 20th century home. In Tennessee we watched their two beautiful (like their mother) little girls grow up and now they are grown, one married and one getting married in September.
We also got to tell them about our family news (which I’m about to announce here on the blog). Marilyn and I will become grandparents for the sixth time as Hilary and Peter add to their family in February. Don’t know what sex yet, but it will be smart and cute, given the gene pool the little rascal is swimming in. Can’t wait to take it for a motorcycle ride.
Tomorrow we head to Wichita to see my mother and two of my brothers. We’ll probably get a little wet along the way since rain is predicted for our route, but it will only be about a 300 mile ride and then 3 or 4 family days before starting the final leg home to Orange Park.