Stories of life on our farm in Northwest Georgia where every day is an adventure in this beautiful spot that God has entrusted to our stewardship.
Sunday, August 24, 2014
West Texas, Part IV: Cowboy Breakfast and Frank's Tank
Cowboy breakfast cooked over an open fire by Herb is one of our honored traditions at Limpia.
This time Herb had plenty of help from Jean-Marc . . .
. . . and Jenny.
It was delicious! (Although I passed on the toast, some fried in bacon grease and some in olive oil!) I had a pan mexican instead.
Hero was on KP duty.
After breakfast Herb stayed home to nurse a cold while the rest of us set out to find an old favorite place, Crystal Hill. This is a hill in the general vicinity of Bishop's Nose that is full of chunks of crystalized rocks and agates. The last time we tried to find it seven years ago, the road was blocked by a huge fallen boulder and we had to hike to it.
Signs of recent roadwork gave us hope that we might be able to drive the truck all the way to Crystal Hill. The huge old boulder had been shoved off the road, but even with the road in good condition, that's relative in such rough country. We almost didn't make it up this hill . . . but even though the truck was stuck in 4-high instead of 4-low, we made it to the top.
And what a reward when we got up on the plateau! The view was breathtaking. (That flat green area in the distance, just in front of the farthest mountains, is part of the Jeff Ranch.)
The road wound around, up and down, often going somewhere that looked impossible from farther away. It was quite an adventure!
We stopped frequently just to soak in the beauty--and of course, pick up some rocks. We've learned to always carry a backpack or bucket to hold our treasures.
Eventually we got to an area we dubbed "The Moonscape," which was unfamiliar to us.
The road ended at a grove of trees, and as we walked under the shade I suddenly remembered where we were: Frank's Tank. Years ago there was a ranch foreman named Frank who loved doing rock work. He had taken us all on a horseback ride back to this tank he'd made, a perfect spot for a picnic.
Some provident cowboy had even left a tin cup hanging in a tree, although we've learned the hard way NOT to drink from a cow tank! Anyone who has cattle knows they aren't very clean in the way they drink water, not to mention things that might fall in and die. So the cup stayed in its tree unused.
Jenny found this fascinating piece of old wood, so into the back of the truck it went. It's sitting on the west porch now, waiting to be made into a lamp some day.
We finally had to admit that somewhere we had missed the turn-off to Crystal Hill, although we christened the hill near Frank's Tank "Agate Hill," for obvious reasons. With buckets and backpacks full of pretty rocks we headed back home.
The sight of Star Mountain is always welcome, just as good as a signpost that says "Almost Home."
The afternoon storm moved in right on schedule, and we were glad to be off the steep road.
This time the storm came from a different direction, nearly obscuring Wun Hung Lo in the distance.
The porch on the front of the house faces east, a perfect place to watch the sunrise. A Mexican pottery jar that Herb's mother chose for the front patio still sits where she placed it 55 years ago. The cottonwoods his parents planted around the house have braved drought and wind, never quite thriving, but still hanging on.
Herb's father designed the house all those years ago, and over half a century later it still functions beautifully. The west porch is one of our favorite spots in the house. I'm sure his parents would be delighted to know that the place they designed, built, decorated and loved is still being used by their children and grandchildren.
After supper we watched the sun set behind Star Mountain, and I played with the settings on my new camera.
The camera can't seem to choose a favorite view of Star Mountain any more than I can! One of these visits when we've caught up with all our favorite places on the ranch, I really will spend an entire day sitting in front of Star Mountain taking photos every hour just to see it in all its beautiful facets.
Thank you, Lord, for making such a beautiful place!