Friday, July 29, 2011
We left the kids in the very capable hands of the family for the day while Tom and I went to shear and pick up some llamas a couple of towns away in Peyton, CO. We had such a wonderful time at the Rivera place...Really. Here we were there to work, and work we did, but we made some wonderful friends as well. We sheared seven llamas in no time flat thanks to their great hospitality, a fantastic chute (Tom and I have never worked with a chute before, interestingly most llama people will tell you you have to have one to work with llamas!) and the fact that they had so many helpers.
While we were there, we found out that Henry Rivera (sorry no link, contact me for his information) is a fantastic artist. And here we had just been outside swapping sweat with the guy! Ha! The Rivera's treated us like Royalty; they teased us that they had gone to the website and knew that we were The Royal Ranch and must be treated as such. Lunch was wonderful, the shearing was smooth as silk, excuse the pun, and the loading went as well as could be expected for ten wild llamas.
We headed back to the in-laws to get the kids and some much needed rest, we thought; and just when I drifted off to sleep my cell phone rang and it was the gentleman we were to meet in Oklahoma with the llamas. He was on his way. What???? Okay. So we loaded up the kids, oh yes, we were blessed with all our of our children this trip, and headed for Oklahoma!
See, these llamas had been adopted by a family in Washington, OK. We were to shear them and then transport them to Guymon, OK to meet the new owners halfway. I guess they got a little excited and I miscommunicated, but it all worked out because I wanted the llamas to travel in the cool of the night anyway. But, the problem with that is the storms. And let me tell you about the storms. I mean I thought we were in a tornado at one point in time, the lightning was crashing and hitting the fields right next to us. We passed a cow that had been hit even. It was crazy! And then once it got dark and the storms were bad, all you could see was when the lightning struck it lit up everything for miles....and then back to pitch black and that howling wind!
Amazingly enough, two people coming from six hours apart, arrived in the same little sleepy town of Oklahoma within five minutes of each other. And even better, the llamas were so tired and road weary and afraid of the storms that we had passed through (and thankfully avoided while we traded llamas), did not give us one bit of hassle. We found a hotel with a pool for the kids and piled in. Goodnight, ya'all.
Sunday the kids wanted to swim of course before we hit the road to who knew where (that's sort of how the Jeute's roll). My fifteen year old son went to jump in the deep end and couldn't get his footing because the bottom was so slimey. All righty then. Think I'll just stay walking around to get my exercise in the shallow end, thank you very much. Kids, please shower after this one...But we all were giving my husband a hard time because he just seems to attract the "locals", if you know what I mean; and can talk to just about anyone, including the guy who needed to wait for my kids to get out of the pool to shock it with four pounds of chlorine.
Or the guy on the side of the road in the middle of the night holding the road sign. Tom had decided to pull forward and ask him how he liked his job and about the local economy and such. Well, all we kept getting out of the guy was a "Yuup", and I'm thinking to myself, can we back up? How long could this wait possibly be? Ha!
So anyway, we leave Guymon, and again in Jeute fashion we really have no idea where we are going, but decide that we want to go home through New Mexico instead of the same route we had just come. We see a black road on the map that looks pretty good and we take it...not looking at the legend of course. Remember, these accidents often happen for good reasons. I had all of my family trapped right there in the truck with me. And we were on a dirt road...I was in heaven!
We saw turkeys and deer and elk and the plants, oh I was absolutely enthralled with the plants. We stopped at Black Mesa Nature Preserve where there was an entire ecosystem that you could just walk right up to! Complete with fish and cattails and dragonflies,etc. The petrified forest nature hike that we took was really cool, there were lizards for the kids to watch and all sorts of species of plants for me to guess at.
We made it to Raton, NM Sunday night and the kids gave Tom and I a hard time because of course we chose this little hillbilly looking motel across the street from the big name Hotel. While Tom was inside the boys were in the back just complaining away saying that this place was redneck and going to suck and be small and not have wifi, etc. Then we opened up the door to our huge room (with all amenities), and they both (the eighteen year olds) said the other place had nothing on this one-ha! It had a nice clean pool too; and we even got a late check out so that we got to spend some time there on Monday!
It was a tad bit of a bummer that the restaurant that they suggested was no good, they took forever and I got sick. Yeah, I got sick, and I never get food sick. And the day we were traveling home too. But it was quick and over, so I was pretty lucky.
The ride home was uneventful, but I will say that we are heartsick for the parts of the country that are experiencing drought. The little bit that we saw was devastating. I have been hearing about poultry houses that have lost thousands of birds due to heat stress and it makes me thankful every single day that my birds can free range to go where they need to go to adjust their own body temperatures. And I am so blessed to have had the rain these past few weeks. We drove past fields that were simply left because of drought...
So thank you America, for another wonderful vacation and the chance to spend time with my family.