The crows know what time
the maids come to clean—
leave their cart of sheets and towels,
TP and soap, coffee and especially
They wait on the roof.
Black fledglings watch the plastic peal,
peck when they can to help,
It’s part of the price
to stay on the coast
where no one seems to notice.
With processing the replacement heifers behind us, irrigation water off and the ranch in the capable hands of Terri Drewry Blanke and Allie Fry, Robbin and I slipped off to the 70° weather of Cambria for a couple of days. Mid-week on Moonstone Beach was relatively quiet, sparsely occupied for the most part by old people and their dogs with only a couple of gangs of unobtrusive city urchins learning a little about the beach and the unpredictable habits of waves.
It seems the only chance I get to read much beyond a long poem is when we get away from home. Though I’d seen the movie “Cold Mountain” years back, I began the written version while were there, enthralled with Charles Frazier’s prosaic style, chuck-a-block full of similes and metaphor à la the vernacular of the Civil War period. I ought to finish the book this weekend and catch the movie one more time on HBO.
We also managed to over-satisfy our ambitious quest for of seafood that ought to last us for quite a while. We’re glad to be back home, rested and ready to get back into our ranch routines.
A last minute decision, we slipped off to Cambria for the three nights, leaving the ranch in good hands. We haven’t gotten away since the Elko Gathering last January, Robbin all but threatening to go without me. We never missed a meal, two which were at the The Sea Chest. Yesterday, we followed a little rainstorm home.
For a break from the heat, Robbin and I took off for Paso Robles Saturday to catch Wiilie Nelson’s 80th Birthday Celebration tour at the Pozo Saloon on Sunday. We stayed at the historic Paso Robles Inn both nights before driving 30 minutes over the Coast Range to fogbound Cambria for a temperature change from 100+° to 60°. Paso Robles was just as hot as home, though cooling down substantially by evening where we had a wonderful dinner with Steve and Jody Fuller at Villa Creek and where we also stumbled onto a great Cabernet from Vina Robles . About 15 miles southeast of Santa Margarita, the opening acts to Willie’s concert were likewise very warm.
COOKING WITH WILLIE AT THE POZO SALOON
Well-fed gals in too small clothes, white flesh
turned loose with wafts of weed, dreadlocks
and colorful tattoos blistering on a Sabbath
August afternoon waiting to celebrate his 80th —
sunburnt mass of humanity on the move
like milling cattle from too few shade trees
to tented misters, beer booths and tri-tip piled high
with nothing in common but perspiration and Willie Nelson.
With most kids already in school, Moonstone Beach was a quiet change with lots of senior citizens about, many of who walk their dogs on the boardwalk—just our speed. Moonstone’s draw for us is the fresh seafood at The Sea Chest that takes no reservations or credit cards. Over the years we’ve come to know the chefs behind the Oyster Bar where we always seem to make new acquaintances while we gorge ourselves. Strategically, we stayed next door at the Little Sur Inn, a weak stone’s throw or short walk across the parking lot away.
Meanwhile back at the ranch, the monsoonal flow began building thunderheads over the Sierras Saturday afternoon accompanied by lightening. Yosemite’s Rim Fire has grown to 54,000 acres or 84 square miles since Saturday with only 2% containment. Monday’s high was 109° before the thunderstorms built into horrific winds and light rain here, taking limbs from trees and the roof off our neighbor’s barn. Good to get home, but it’s still HOT!