October at the Ranch

October at the Ranch

I had to go back and look at the calendar to figure out just when this weekender took place – our month has been, in a word, tumultuous, not to mention chaotic and even, dare I say, fraught!

But in the middle of the month, at the end of the fall break, Paul managed to grab a couple of days up north with the older three kids, and between them all they managed to get me some pictures with his phone.

So here is how that all went, as best I can recall from his re-telling:

Paul decided to drive up the 87 through Payson, and then go through Snowflake, avoiding the messy traffic in Show Low. Jordan took pics along the drive, through the smoky haze of the forest fires in the mountains:

Since they left after Paul was done with work on Thursday, they drove into the evening and arrived at the cabin after dark. That made for a chilly supper around the campfire before heading into the cabin to snuggle up in their sleeping bags for the night. The night time temps get down to the 30’s up there this time of year, but Paul keeps the stove fire burning so it gets toasty inside.

Friday was a day to run up to the White Mountains. Before they left town, though, they needed to stop at the local grocery store and buy some foodstuffs. Paul decided to give them carte blanche to buy whatever they wanted, so they had a great time shopping (and he had a “great” time paying!).

Then they were off. This is such a pretty time of the year up there, when the aspens turn golden! They headed for Carnero Lake and had fun hiking all the way around it. The lake is fed by a fresh water stream, and they found the spot where it feeds into the lake – Natalie and Jordan are pictured as he is helping her step across on the branch.

Back at the truck they had a tailgate picnic with the scrumptious comestibles they had procured earlier, before climbing the mountain to see the radio towers at the very tippy-top (where Natalie naturally attempted to climb the tower itself… I don’t think she got too terribly far up) and look at the marvelous view down below.

Friday night around the campfire there was some mumbling and grumbling about various aspects of ranch life (these three are not the BIGGEST fans, unfortunately, though they do manage to have some grudging fun when they are there). Finally they worked out a deal with Paul: if they would consent to cooperate with pictures for mom they could go home Saturday by way of the Petrified Forest and Flagstaff. They agreed! So on Saturday after the eclipse, such as it was, they packed up and headed for the petrified forest. We’ve been there a couple of times before, but it is always amazing to visit there and the painted desert loop at the end. Natalie is pictured posing on the edge of a high spot for the sake of freaking me out (thankyousomuch,child).

I’m very thankful for all the Pixel6 pics! And for the safe journey there and back again. One of these days, I tell you, I live in hope that I will be able to visit the ranch in person once again. Then you will be treated to MORE sunset photos of the “Flower Power Tower” (aka the Coronado Generating Station).

Annette Heidmann

I homeschooled four kids all the way through high school and then fostered/adopted 7 more children. I am wife to a very smart mathematician; I dabble in photography, write and sing, paint in bright colors, and love being Catholic!

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