Saturday, November 20, 2010

Don’t honk at cattle

Twenty miles of washboard after a long empty paved road, we arrived. For miles the road had seemed to be slowly petering out and it completely disappeared after this house. Several cattleguards previous, any signs or road names had ceased, which explained the seller’s lack of address. We noticed several solar panels and a ring of rain barrels, and as I wondered about their purification system I made a mental note to avoid accepting a glass of water.

“You thought I grew up in the middle of nowhere, honey, what do you say now?'” Erik asked. I didn’t need to say anything to concede his point. We took Luke out of his car seat and I wondered once again what we would do if they demanded our money, our camera equipment, or worse. Would our precious boy be safer if I just stayed with him in the car, keys at the ready, or would he ensure our protection with his irresistible cuteness? I assured myself that they seemed nice on the phone, and we walked toward the house.

We were met by an older couple with friendly smiles and very tanned skin. They were very thoughtful and solicitous in asking about our drive, and their kindness put me at ease. When we entered their home, I was relieved to see the camera equipment set out for us, and typical kitchen and dining furnishings. The couple explained that they no longer used these types of lenses for their landscape artwork, which Luke and I enjoyed viewing while Erik inspected the equipment. They offered us terrific prices. It seemed their location may have somehow discouraged other Craigslist trollers from snapping up the deals.

We left with several upgraded lenses for hardly more than we would earn selling our current models on ebay. Erik was elated, and my patient and indulgent wife status was secured for many months to come. We also came away with some tips on humanure and this solemnly given advice – don’t honk your horn if a crowd of cattle collects in front of you on a dirt road. Evidently, the ranchers honk when they drive out to the cattle with truckloads of feed, so honking will cause the animals to mob your vehicle and significantly delay you. Instead, roll down your window, bang on the side of your car, and yell loudly. Getting to try out this tactic would have added to the story, but I didn’t mind that our journey back to civilization proceeded without incident.

Since this mid-October trip, it’s been fun to see the nicer pictures that our camera can produce. One of these was the winning shot for the (very small) Kiwi Industries photo competition. Wasn’t it worth the adventure to capture such cuteness!?

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