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Monday, May 16, 2011

Places In The Heart

It doesn't surprise me one bit that Tom has found secret and special places all over this relatively small 100 acre ranch. He's been exploring and naming his favorite locations since we landed here a little over a year ago and from one moment to the next he could be hanging out in any one of his favorite places.

Tom started with Hatchet Jack’s Rock, a huge boulder on the rim rock across the creek from our house.
Hatchet Jack, a character in the movie Jeremiah Johnson, is found frozen on the side of a mountain----just like Tom says he will be one day, Hawken rifle in his hand.

To the south of the Rock and further up the rim rock is Devil’s Den, a jumble of boulders and trees named after part of the Gettysburg Battlefield. For a closer look, click on the pic.

 Tom has walked the Gettysburg battlefield from end to end, the last time with Ms. Pearl, so it makes sense he would find (and name) a Civil War memorial boulder pile here at the ranch.    

Uncle Bill’s Nest is higher up the rim rock, named after our brother-in-law who patiently spent two days and used an array of optical instruments rivaling an observatory to find an eagle's nest up there.  It's the area where you can see the green grass.

 I don’t think Uncle Bill actually nested there, though.

The Enchanted Forest is my favorite place,  a woodland on the north side, across the creek.

  We took the Polaris over there last year to cut up two dead trees for firewood. To walk there, it's across Zack’s Bridge, which had been washed to one side. Tom and Zack put it back and Zack staked it down, permanently, we hope.

Near the bridge is what Tom calls Tree in the Trail after a children’s book by Holling C. Holling Tom used to read to our kids when they were little.

Zack's Bridge, Tree in the Trail, Enchanted Forest in the background
Of course, the trail to  the Forest he has dubbed The Santa Fe Trail, though it doesn’t go anywhere near Santa Fe.

We haven't even talked about Whiskey Rock, Reading Rock and Lecture Rock. We'll save them for another time.

What drives me mad are The Undisclosed Locations, complete with beach chairs, where Tom reads and observes our world. He carries snacks, books, and binoculars up there.

I'm on the dirt road, returning from town.  I feel his eyes, watching.  I hop out of the Tacoma to open the gate and he calls my phone. "Yes?" I ask. "Nothing," he says, "I just wanted you to know I'm in An Undisclosed Location." "Where is it?" I want to know. "Sorry," he says, officiously. "It's Undisclosed."

Someday I will catch him in one of Those Undisclosed Locations, most likely reading Tree in the Trail to Miss Pearl.


  1. i like the imagery of bill nesting on some obscure ledge engaging in his optical illusions and tom hunkering down behind some rock reading pearl a children's book. describes them both perfectly. beautiful pictures and descriptions of the ranch. if you keep this up, we'll be out to visit again before you're ready! great blog...pattie

  2. “Man caves” are all the rage these days. Judging from the terrain in these pix, I think it could be very likely that one of Tom's Undisclosed Locations is quite literally a man cave.

  3. i've been can i get bill to go to some 'undisclosed location'?


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