Hello everyone, from the land of springtime in October. Yes that’s right, it’s spring. My mind and my calendar know it, but my heart just won’t agree! I keep having cravings for pumpkin pies, red autumn leaves, and a nice pint Sam Adams Oktoberfest beer to top off all that good fall-orange colored light filtering down through the branches. Instead I’ve got budding cherry trees, rising temperatures, bright yellow light, and last weekend the opportunity to suffer through watching my friend Philip drink Sam Adams Oktoberfest throughout the course of a video conference we shared on Skype, as he told me about his plans for opening weekend of deer season! Oh well, we all make our choices. And I guess living in the southern hemisphere does have its perks. I’ve been riding the bike quite a bit lately, out on the vacant gravel roads and through the horse and cattle trails within the estancias themselves on a sort of what you might call single-track if you were the type who’s inclined to re-name these things. The gauchos just call them senderos.
Yesterday I was on one of these trails that I thought led down through a remote valley and onto the estancia of a friend of mine, but with the iPod blaring and my short-distance focus on the obstacles in my path (see video for a glimpse of what a lapse in that focus ends up looking like) I got lost, and in the end had to start picking out known peaks from the horizon to make a pseudo-triangulated guess at which direction I needed to ride to get back to a road. After about an hour of this I came careening down off a bluff into a feedlot where one of the old Welsh-settler descendants was spreading some hay for his cattle, and was obliged to ride up and make some attempt at explaining my presence on his land. You gotta love these guys though; after a nice conversation about the weather and the local area quail population, I rode off again with not only directions for how to get back to the road, but permission to ride, hunt, and fish the property anytime I want to, and a new friend in the area to boot! I can only imagine what that conversation might have been like had it happened on one of the ranches around Bozeman or Jackson Hole up in the states these days.
Other than riding the bike and tying flies I’ve been preparing for the fishing season which starts for me on Halloween, and keeping up with the office is of course as always more than a full time job. Everybody up there drop me a line when you can; I’d love to hear from you and look forward to talking with you soon. And look for my next post to have pictures of fish!