Ranch Enthusiasts

Posted by Big Daddy Paul in Travel Stories

Every Memorial Day, we visit our friends Regina and Judd. They live on a cattle ranch near the California-Oregon border. Together, they do three out the following five things: raise cattle, grow alfalfa, function as the guidance counselor at the local high school, murder bad guys that the mainstream police can’t catch, and tattoo each others chests with pro-racism messages. (I’ll leave the guesswork of which ones fit to you.) It is one of our favorite weekends of the year, as evidenced by our prior trips here, here, and here.

Most of the time, we go up to the Hanna Ranch to experience life in the country, complete with guns, “barrel-food” and a bar where people on dates often wear the same outfit. (Apparently, camouflage hats and vests are the hot fashions for both men AND women in some places!) I sometime help Judd out with his chores around the farm, Malcolm spends a little time on the back of the horse and Amy wears non-skinny jeans. It’s a welcome change from our normal weekends.

Who's ready for some vomit-free fun?

This year’s trip was a bit different. Malcolm has a nice little tradition of throwing up in the car on the way up. This year? No nacho cheese Dorito-colored vomit worked its way into every crevice of the back seat. Similarly, he showed little interest in cruising around the ranch to play with all the old trucks and tractors dotting the property or going for a horsie ride. We didn’t go for our family four wheeler ride and I only pressured Judd to take me out squirrel hunting once. I didn’t even sneak out at night wearing Judd’s clothes and cowboy hat to pretend that I was a real rodeo cowboy. (Bulls weigh somewhere around 2,500 pounds. I find it is much easier to ride them at night, while they are sleeping!) This year was different.

This year, we had gourmet weekend away. Regina and Judd arranged for babysitting one day and we went wine tasting with them and some friends of theirs from the local college. While sipping fine pinots, we made comments like, “Does this taste more like saddle or wet wool?” We learned the proper way to pronounce the word, “Qatar.” Hint, it doesn’t rhyme with guitar. We pretended that we were too highbrow for corn dogs and moose munch. We even laughed at some poor schmuck in Ashland that took a drink from a fountain, thinking it was fresh spring water, only have it turn out to be sulfuric nastiness that smelled and tasted like a Nascar fan’s butt. Poor sap. All his friends were laughing at him, probably because they were so jealous that he was so good looking and fun to talk to. Anyways, it had been a while since we had been wine tasting and we had a great time.

When they weren’t whisking us around Southern Oregon showing us how the 1% lives, the HannasĀ  treated us to some pretty stellar food around their place. They served us farm eggs in the morning and roast lamb, hearty Brazilian black beans superb pasta and, get this, bacon-wrapped venison tenderloin for dinner. I am pretty sure I would eat anything that started with the words bacon-wrapped, even if the name of the dish ended with the words, “salmon vagina.”

Ummmm, yes.

When we finished stuffing our pie holes with dinner, they brought us homemade lemon bars and white chocolate fruit tarts. While we were eating the amazing food, we drank excellent wines and expertly crafted cocktails. I thought we had checked into the Scotts Valley Four Seasons.

You may be asking yourself what Malcolm was doing while we were eating like royalty. I am proud to report that I have no fucking idea. He was quite content to muck about with the Hanna kids around the house. We occasionally received word from the Hanna five year old that Malcolm wasn’t sharing and there were reports that he removed his pants at one point, but, for the most part, the kids did an excellent job of entertaining themselves. This meant we got to eat, drink and be merry with our pals on the Hanna ranch, and were we treated to a ridiculously fine time. What’s better than a weekend where your kid has a great time and you get to have fun doing grown up stuff (besides bacon-wrapped salmon vagina)? Nothing, we can’t wait for next year!


2 responses to “Ranch Enthusiasts”

  1. Regina says:

    Don’t forget about chicken wrangling too! We miss you guys already.

  2. Amy says:

    Judd’s fruit tart is THE BEST. I have seriously never seen Malcolm so excited. And, really, he gets excited when his pretend baseball team gets a hit.

    What a wonderful time – how lucky we are!

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