Ralph Higgins

Ralph Higgins
color pencil sketch by Gayle Higgins

Quotes I Like

“Everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

-Albert Einstein


Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Other Side of the Coin

            I’ve belly-ached enough about the snow up here in Siberia, aka “Quincy”, more specifically, Green Horn Ranch, so maybe I should explain that when the sun comes out it creates temporary amnesia and the obliteration of the concept of snow. And the sun is not bashful about making an appearance. Maybe because it knows “it’s time is short.” (That phrase has a biblical sound to it.)  

            It does get hot here, although at 4500 feet in elevation the nights are cool and the heat during the day is welcome. All kinds of strange forms of vegetation scramble to the surface as though there was doubt that the snow would ever melt and that life may never return to the planet. All that means is that I have to get outside and spoil their fun by whacking them down and tossing them in a pile so that at the first snow, I can burn them. So the snow wins again.

            I also cut down a few dead pine trees on the property, although I was a little concerned that I may not be able to dart out of the way fast enough if the trees decided to drop in my direction. It had only been a few short weeks since my knee replacement, so I wasn’t very agile, but I had an expert logger help me. My next door neighbor is in his eighties and is tough as nails. He has done enough logging that he can aim a tree to drop exactly on his target. With his engineering we missed the garage, the power lines and both of us.

            The horse trails in the mountains become dusty in the summer. But even when it’s hot, the shade in the forest makes for a relaxing and energizing walk among the pine trees. And my dog loves it. He runs his ass off and occasionally we may be interrupted by riders on horseback. After all, this is a dude ranch with “city folk” riding horses, some for the first time.

            I get a kick out of the guests who go on trail rides with wranglers from the ranch as guides. They are tentative and apprehensive as they following the leader through the woods. They are as nervous about the animal they ride as they are about what dangers they may encounter. I’m sure they think that they may be subject to an attack by Indians or bears, so when I run into a group of them, I tell my dog to sit and I talk to the guide. That is important, because if they happened to come on me suddenly, the horses can spook, because they may think I’m a bear. At least that was what I was told by one of the wranglers and I can understand why… I look like a bear. But I’m working on that.

            Anyway, life here in the summer is much different than it is in the winter. It’s actually pretty darn nice. Sadly, my Triumph is in the shop, so motorcycle trip through the beauty of the Sierras is on hold. My old 1969 Triumph requires a kick start and my knee isn’t up to the task yet, so I’m stuck without a bike.

            Our anniversary is next week and we will be going to a rustic restaurant on a lake with the world’s best food. I think you have to call for a boat to pick you up on the dock, because the restaurant is not accessible by land. There are many such resorts and restaurants tucked away in these hills. So it’s not all bad living in the mountains.


  1. Wow! That description makes it sound so good I think I might just drop by. If I could find this paradise that is?

  2. Ralph, logging can be a "dangerous" proposition. When I was about 14 my best friend and I had a saw, an axe and a real old flat bed truck that he could drive. He lived about 1/2 mile from a logging mill. We fell enough trees to take one load to the mill. On the second attempt my axe slipped and I cut his leg open. END OF OUR BUSINESS. His mom wasn't real pleased with this old preacher's boy (me)! Glad you had an expert with you!

  3. Malcolm - I had to say something good after all the "snow complaints" I posted. But, it's true, this time of the year is pretty darn nice. You'd better be dropping by. I may have both motorcycles running by the time you get here.

  4. Ed - A 14 year-old logger. That's impressive. Up here there are a lot of retired loggers, most have bad backs, knees, etc. etc. But they know all the tricks.

  5. Ralph, I like your current "quote", but I'm afraid I need to point out that we may no longer be young enough to "sieze" anything.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Well, maybe we can still hobble up to it and hit it with our cane.