I spent a lot of time outside this weekend taking pictures and hanging out with my family. There were so many small moments from the weekend that I captured with my camera and behind each photograph there is a story. I want to share each of those moments with you, but that would be a little too much for one article. Instead, I’ll share a few highlights from the weekend.
My sweet husband, Logan, grew up on a cattle ranch about twenty miles outside of Yreka, CA. The ranch is nestled in a small valley called Little Shasta and it’s one of my favorite places on the planet because it’s so beautiful. This weekend was the annual Smith family cattle-drive and we arrived at the ranch on Friday afternoon. Every year Logan’s family, along with a lot of help from their cowgirl and cowboy friends, move the cows east from the Little Shasta valley up to the mountains, so that the cows can munch on summer grass.
Typically, the drive starts at day-break on Saturday morning and ends on Sunday afternoon. On Saturday night the crew and the cows rest and eat, near Tennant, CA. The Saturday evening barbecue is my favorite part of the cattle-drive. This year there were about 65 friends and family from around the valley at the barbecue. We ate tri-tip steak, shrimp-salad, garlic bread, beans and so many other wonderful potluck style treats. In addition to all the good food, we celebrated a lot of birthdays; Logan’s Grandfather turned 90, my niece turned 3, and my mom turned 64 on Sunday.
I didn’t move any cows on the cattle-drive, but I got a chance to hang out with my mom and explore Mt. Shasta and McCloud. It was a wonderful opportunity for my mom to be able to come up for a weekend getaway and celebrate her birthday too. We wandered around downtown Mt. Shasta and went on a tiny hike near the McCloud river. We also engaged in what my father in-law calls “rural meditations” — shorthand for napping.
The ranch, and the surrounding area, is a magical place. For example, when I woke up on Saturday morning the air smelled sweet like freshly cut grass, the birds were singing, and Mt. Shasta was clearly visible. I walked around the yard with a cup of coffee in one hand and my camera in the other thinking, “Maybe we should move here at the end of September? You can’t beat the view.” The timing for a move to the ranch isn’t right, but it’s one of our long-term goals. Plus, we’ll have more time to spend at this magical place since we’ll be back in Northern California soon.
When we arrived on Friday night I made an offhand comment. I said, “Since we’re going to stop here, on the way to Chico in August, maybe we should stay for a few weeks?” Later in the evening, Logan told me that was a great idea. If he doesn’t have a new job by late August, I think we’ll stay at the ranch for a few weeks and head to Chico in mid-September. Logan’s Grandparents 70th wedding anniversary party will be held during the first week of September and we’re hoping to help his parents prepare for the big party.
We’re looking at our transition back to California as a big adventure and trying to be open to where life takes us. I believe that being open to new opportunities is where the magic of life happens.
Did you have any fun weekend adventures? Share your story in the comments section.