I am terribly sorry for the lack of posting that’s been going on. Being a fourth year journalism major, puts a major crimp in my free time.
For the past few months Matt and I have been trying to take a few days off and visit his mom and step-dad at their new house up in the mountains of Northern California. They moved to a house that sits on 46 acres in a town called Stonyford – population 250. It’s the gosh darn country out there, and we have been itching to try a hand at it. This last weekend we got our chance. It was especially great since this weekend was Easter, because my spring break never falls around Easter, I’ve never gotten to fly home to spend it with my family, so getting to spend it with Matt’s was beyond appreciated.
Our transportation situation is an interesting one, Stonyford is 3 hours away (without traffic) which means its really like 4 1/2 hours away, and neither of us have a car. So his momma, Cherice, had to drive down to get us, only to turn around for another long drive. God bless that woman.
We left Friday afternoon after Matt got out of class and we had to stop at a few stores before heading up to the mountains, so we didn’t get there until after dark. We walked into a house with a fire blazing in the black iron fireplace in the middle of the room, welcome to the country!
We got a tour of the house and then of the barn. Matt found one of his mom’s hunting hats and it was over from there. He fell in love and insisted on posing in front of 2 elk that his mom and step-dad have hunted and are storing in the barn for now.
We went to bed shortly thereafter (2am), cause we were pooped and wanted to be up early on Saturday. We got to stay in the loft of the barn that is in the process of being converted into a little apartment, so sweet and cozy.
Saturday morning, we were woken up to repeated knocking on the door…only every time we looked, nobody was there! We were like “what the heck?! whose playing a joke on us?!” Turns out, it was a woodpecker, oh the country life!
We got up around 8am, well, I played a little joke on Matt and told him it was 11am cause he was moanin’ and groanin’ about how tired he was.
I know, I know, I’m such a trickster.
When we stepped outside the loft our breath was taken away. It was dark when we arrived last night, so we got our first look at the sweeping views in the early morning sunshine.
After gasping at the views, the trees, and the sheer vastness of the countryside we headed to the main house for a big country breakfast; bacon, eggs, bagels, and coffee. Lots of coffee.
Then we got down to real business, ATV’s!
We revved our engines and sped down the side of the ridge onto the open field
After we let the cool morning breeze whip our hair around for a bit, we drove back up to the main house to learn how to shoot guns. Yeehaw!
We used a toaster cardboard box as target practice. Matt and I took turns trying to hit the picture of bagels on the box. It was great. Then we put a few unopened soda cans in the trees and shot those. That was even better. The hillbilly in me started coming out!
Not bad for my first time, eh?
After practicing for a while, it was time to head to the Hillybilly Olympics!
Ok, really, that’s just what the folks up here call it. It’s really just a bunch of friends who get together and participate in friendly competitions like rifle and shotgun shooting, horseshoe, and golf. Oh and the winner takes home a wad a cash. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday. There was a potluck with potato salad and pulled pork tacos. Yum yum. Sadly, I didn’t snap photos of the food.
But the Olympics took place on a farm, so I went exploring and got to meet this beauty! He was pretty grumpy though, what the heck!
Anddddddd we found a litter a kittens that were 2 days old behind the bard! Eyes not even open!
Not the best picture, but they were all hidden under piles of rope and I didn’t want to disturb them. Aren’t kittens just the sweetest? I’ve really been wanting to get a kitten of my own. I mean, I love Fletcher to death. But he’s not my kitten, he’s my roomies, I just love him like my own. What do you guys think? Get a kitten of my own to love? Or hold off for now?
I knew we were on a real farm when I saw several big machines, like this.
After a delightfully lazy rest of the afternoon (naps and perusals around the grounds) we called it a night with some homemade creamy spaghetti bolognese, fresh bread and a very large glass of wine.
Sorry, no photos, it was eaten so fast!
Easter was a dream. Matt and I woke up and went down to the main house for a light breakfast of Greek Yogurt and homemade jam and a couple glasses of coffee and then we packed a hikers dream lunch.
Why did we pack a lunch? ‘Cause we were about to set off on a nice hike to the state reservoir!
Along the trail we noticed this – a nice turkey skull, a little off-putting, but I was intrigued.
When we finally came upon the reservoir, we had to stop and stare for a moment, it was that blissful. So unadulterated and peaceful, with bright green grass going right up to the waters edge. With the ridges sweeping up and down around us, I felt safe in the heart of the expanse.
A turkey cheddar sandwich topped with avocado on toasted sourdough, Thai chili and lime dusted cashews and a Fuji apple, for our health! We ate our food slowly, soaking up everything around us, barely even talking, just enjoying the quiet sounds of nature and the lack of cars, chatter, and cell phone vibrations. There are times I think I forget that my phone is not an extension of my arm, moments like these help me remember.
After picking up our mess, we went along on our merry way and headed back to home base so we could start shootin’ guns again!
We took the ATV’s down the ridge and set up some targets and went to town!
After we killed all our ammo around dusk we headed back up to the house for our Easter feast.
There I was, in the kitchen, prepping dinner, I look out the window and what do I see?
A small herd of deers looking at me!
So I ran (I mean, I cautiously walked) outside with my camera in hand and started snapping pictures.
I heard something on the other side of my house and spot a whole flock of wild turkeys just hanging out at the end of the driveway!
We finished dinner, and then sadly had to pack our things and go because Matt and I both had class early Monday morning. As we rode down the mountain at sunset I stared out the window and took in the lush green hills, the cows grazing, and the sheer amount of space between all the houses.
While I’m beyond thrilled to be living in the city for now, and can’t imagine myself being content anywhere else for a few years, I know that one day I will crave a big backyard of my own, full of farm animals, a vegetable garden, and a red barn.
This weekend was just what I needed to refresh myself before yet another hectic week.
What did you all do over Easter? Do you think you could live in the country?