Day 2 at Deadrock RanchDay 2 at Deadrock Ranch
Hi Lindy Hoppers!!!
Riding, Trap Shooting, Cowboy Campfire
The Corral at Dawn
The Corral at Dawn
Ominous Forebodings

We rose promptly at 6:45 and made our way over to the Saloon for a spectacular array of fruit, fresh-baked breads, infinite coffee and eggs cooked to order along with blueberry pancakes. I was especially impressed with the hash-brown Lyonnaise potatoes, made with the same skill and tender care as the very best art- deco diner in the East. The food, as you will see, was a real experience.

At 9:00, I had a rendezvous with destiny -- the first time that I have ever been on a horse.

Infinite Coffee Machine
The Infinite Coffee Machine
I want One of These Things...

Here is a picture of me using the Infinite Coffee machine. This was one of my favorite things about the Ranch.

Ready to Ride
ready to Ride
Just in Case

We took this picture together just in case I fell off the Horse and wound up in a wheelchair for the rest of my life.

Nick the Lounge Horse
Nick the Lounge Horse
Even More Cynical Than Me

And now comes the time to tell you about Nick the Horse. This old guy was tremendous -- he was just the greatest. I had an instant bonding moment the moment that I met Nick --- he was even more cynical than me. It was as if he said "I'll take you wherever you want to go, but don't try to be a cowboy. Just sit in the saddle and appreciate the scenery. I won't do Lindy Hop and you won't try to ride." So, Nick and I ventured off into Marlboro Country. I'll have to admit that riding through the tall grass and coming up onto a rise to survey the vastness of the plains is a real thrill. Nick enjoyed munching on the golden grass and I enjoyed the view from the Horse.

On Horseback
On Horseback
That's my partner on Junior

My partner had a much younger and more spirited horse named Junior and they rode rings around us while Nick told me about his cousin's grandson who is running at Pimlico... Nick even decided to have some fun with me. There are about 1000 cattle just roaming around the ranch and we (he) decided to chase a particularly frisky yearling. Nick could move when he wanted to.

The Hot Tub
The Hot Tub
Great After Riding...

We brought the horses back to the corral in time for lunch which consisted of buffalo burgers. Very tasty. We hit the hot tub again because riding is not relaxation no matter how beautiful the scenery is.

The Mechanical Horse
The Mechanical Horse
She is Really Good at this Horse Stuff..

Just outside the saloon, there is a mechanical horse. Actually, the horse is stationary, but this little mechanical cow comes rolling out on the track and you are supposed to try to lasso the thing. My partner was very proficient at this. Apparently, you get these skills if you grow up in Potomac. Alas, I had no opportunity to demonstrate the skills that I learned as a youth -- there were no hubcaps to steal or cars to hot-wire.

Distinguished Visitor
Distinguished Vistor
Getting Away from the Lewinsky Scandal

Al Gore dropped by the Ranch

The Shotguns
The Shotguns
A First for Everything

In the afternoon came another first --- shooting a shotgun. I have no experience with firearms of any sort. My great thanks to Andy who gave me a crash course in trap shooting. Actually, we participated in a thing called "Sporting Clays" which features all sorts of targets --- those that come at you, those that fly away, those that pop straight up, and some unusual disc- shaped things called "rabbits" that roll on the ground.

They were offered in singles or doubles. I actually managed to hit one of each kind of target --- although I was at the bottom of the list in the competition. On the other hand, my partner did much better than I did. Don't mess with deadeye.

We had a tremendous dinner of barbecued ribs and chicken, followed by homemade peach ice cream.. We did some Lindy Hop in the saloon with CDs on and then it was time for the Hayride and Campfire. I left a bit early to watch the wranglers hitch up the hay wagon, since all my life, I have been doing crossword puzzles with "harness words" like "singletree" in them. The wranglers thought that I was nuts. The Belgian draft horses that pulled the wagon were truly beautiful animals.

We finished the evening at a large campfire a few miles from the ranch in the middle of a stark and empty plain. There was nothing but the hills and a full moon. The ranch thoughtfully provided a singer/story teller to entertain us while we sat around the fire. Alas, there was no coyote. After thoroughly evoking the myth of the Cowboy --- well, the site had comfortable adirondack chairs --- I was stunned when the wranglers brought out marshmallows, gram crackers and Hershey bars. We had a great time making 'Smores.

Another Cowboy Cliche
Another Cowboy Cliche
They do this in all the movies...

So, we were sitting around the old campfire listening to songs and stories when it occurred to me that all the cowboy movies show the guys lighting up a cigarette or pipe with a stick from the fire. I tried this, and after a few attempts, actually got my pipe lit. It was so successful that I lit other people's cigarettes that way. I actually got to be good at something during the trip!

As we said, before, we took quite a few photos, so we have divided the story into parts to minimize download time:

  • Go back to the Trip Overview
  • Check out Day One -- Travel, The Ranch and Lindy Hop
  • Check out Day Three -- Whitewater Rafting, the Cowboy Camp
  • Check out Day Four -- The Cattle Drive, The Rodeo, and the Big Dance

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