Tuesday, February 28, 2006

6AM - Headed north out of La Paz.
Our Nite Camp is pretty close to the main road thru La Paz, and the traffic began to get loud. So, we took off heading north. Stopped at Pemex to fill MsTioga's gas tank on the way out of town.

8AM - Breakfast Camped northwest of La Paz.
This Camp is right next to Highway No. 1. Even though we are close to the highway, there is very little noise because the traffic is light. Would you like to see a pic of Highway No. 1? Maybe you wonder how it would be to drive your RV here?


Highway No. 1 is a pretty good road for RVs.

12 Noon - Ciudad Constitucion.
We stopped in Ciudad Constitucion to buy a large cup of delicious strawberry ice cream. Afterwards, MsTioga called for a Team Meeting.

The discussion was about where to make Camp? Should we stay out here in the desert where the temperature is near 100°F? Or should we continue on to the Sea of Cortez and make Camp on the beach at Ligui? Everybody on The Team shouted out, On the beach at Ligui!

3PM - Camp Ligui.
We have crossed Sierra de La Giganta, the mountain range that separates the desert from the Sea of Cortez. Even up in the mountains it was very hot.

It is warm here on the beach at Ligui, but there is a nice breeze from the water. I will go put my feet in that water now. Do you want to go with me? Hmmmmm?


George and MsTioga cool off on the beach at Ligui.


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Monday, February 27, 2006

6AM - Leaving Rancho Boca del Salado.
This morning we are up especially early. Listening to the sounds of the rancho; the waves, the roosters. It is a windows open nite, with a temperature of 55°F outside. We are remembering this wonderful week. The many hours spent in Lucrecia's kitchen, talking and eating. Herding the chivos into their corral. So many things to remember.

We said our goodbyes yesterday evening after supper. Lucrecia said, Stop by on your way out. We suspect that Lucrecia wants to give us some food to take on our way.

Before sunrise.
Mr. Mavica and I took a walk to the beach. On the way we took a pic of Michel's sandworks.


After awhile, Michel came to the sea to fish. The pelicans are eating a lot, but there are no fish for Michel.


2PM - Camped in La Paz.
We were going to make Camp in La Ribera. Then we were going to make Camp in Las Barilles. Somehow we kept going and now are Camped in La Paz, near the shopping center with the Sorianna Stores.

6PM - Wrist Rocket practice.
How far can a wrist rocket throw a stone? Clean across the dry river bed near the Soriana Store. Now that I've had several days to mess with my wrist rocket, I realize how neat this thing is. With a little luck, a little practice, I may be able to hit something!


George goes for the other side of the dry river in La Paz.



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Sunday, February 26, 2006

7AM - Milking cows at Rancho Limonada.
Yesterday evening at supper, I asked Gumaro for permission to go with him when he went to milk the cows. We made a date to go this morning. When I arrived at the ranch house, Gumaro asked if I would drive the truck with alfalfa to Rancho Limonada where the cows are kept. So I drove the alfalfa truck to the rancho, about five miles into the mountains.

Rancho Limonada looks down on the Sea of Cortez. Gumaro's son Juan Manuel lives at Limonada with his wife Mabel and their four children. Juan Manuel owns and operates a trucking company, and does not work on the family owned ranchos.

The first thing to be done is to prepare the food for the cows. This food is mixed with water to the consistancy of oatmeal, and given to the cows to eat. Gumaro is very proud that his cows are well trained. Each cow knows the location of where it should go to be milked. The cows all go to their place, and wait there patiently. Gumaro ties each cow in its place and feeds them their food. Then, the hind legs are tied and tail too, so that the cow will not move or hit Gumaro with the tail during milking.

One by one each cow is milked. First a calf from the cow to be milked is released from the calf corral and allowed to suckle at its mother for a short while. This stimulates milk flow. The calf is then tied to the fence near its mother, and the milking begins. It seemed to me that each cow delivered about 2–3 gallons of milk. I tasted the cream at the top of the milk and it was very sweet.

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10AM - Driving back to the rancho.
After the alfalfa was unloaded from the truck that I was driving, I left Rancho Limonada and drove by myself to Rancho Boca del Salado. As I drove back, I felt like a real ranch hand.


Ranchero Jorge with his truck.

Family at Rancho Limonada.
Mr. Mavica thought that you might be interested in some of the family who live at Rancho Limonada. Father Juan Manuel is at work with his truck business. However, wife Mabel and the four children are home.

In the pic on the left, Manuel Gumaro who is named after his grandfather seems to love cows as much as his grandfather Gumaro. In the middle pic, daughter Manuela is a wonderful mamacita to her three month old brother Angel Alberto. In the right pic, Manuela is with her Mother Mabel in the kitchen. This kitchen is in a palm roofed ramada, typical of rancho buildings. When hurricanes come thru here which happens every few years, these ramadas are easily rebuilt.

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5PM - Wood for the kitchen.
When Gumaro was twelve years old, he learned to chop wood with an axe from his father. Gumaro has a talent for using an axe. He is fast and very accurate. It is easy to see that Gumaro loves to chop wood.

The wood for the kitchen is palo blanco and palo colorado. These are somewhat hard woods, and burn slowly without smoke. Wood for the kitchen is found in the mountains. A 4x4 truck is used to look for wood and bring it back to the rancho. Gumaro says that this wood is easy to find.

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7PM - Spectacular Supper.
Tonite Lucrecia made her best supper of the week. Chicken taquitos, carne asada, carne de rez machaca, homemade flour tortillas, frijoles, rice. Man-O-Man, this supper was delicious. I ate soooooo much, I could not stop it was so good.

As Michel and I walked back to our Camps after supper, I suggested that Lucrecia made this special supper just because I am leaving Rancho Boca del Salado in the morning. Michel thought that Lucrecia made this food because there were guests.

I am sure that it is was for me!


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Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Owl.
The Owl had lived a good life, and for many years was a very successful hunter around the rancho. Very careful, The Owl made very few mistakes. This morning The Owl made a tragic error.

Flying low over the rancho, The Owl decided to attack the chickens in the yard. Swooping down, very quickly two chickens were killed. However, it was too close to the time when all of the people in the rancho would be rising for the day. The Owl hearing the people, cautiously retreated instead of feasting on the chickens.

That was when The Owl made a terrible mistake. Instead of flying off to the safety of the mountains, The Owl flew to the roof of the ranch house. Perhaps The Owl was too greedy, thinking that it might be able to sneak down while the people were not looking? We will never know.

Somebody saw a dead chicken, and Gumaro was out there with his rifle. In an instant, The Owl paid the final penalty for its mistake.


A ranch hand shows what happened to the once noble Owl.

9AM - Menudo for breakfast.
Yesterday evening daughter Norma Alicia began to prepare menudo for tomorrow morning’s breakfast. I mentioned that I had never eaten menudo, and wondered what it taste like. Of course I was then invited for breakfast.

Have you eaten menudo? It is a soup made from the organs in the stomach of a cow, or tripe. Vegetables and spices are added to the menudo pot, and the menudo is left to simmer overnite on the stove.

With the menudo was served chopped onions with chiles (becareful of those chiles!). Also chopped cilantro and tortillas. The juice of limones (lime) is squeezed into the soup.


George and his first bowl of menudo.

10AM - Grinding coffee.
Everybody on the rancho works. When a child is old enough, working begins. Rocio and Manuela are grandchildren of Gumaro and Lucrecia. In the pic below, these two are working at grinding coffee beans.


Rocio and Manuela grind coffee beans.

4PM - The Goats and Jesse Ventura.
Did I ever mention to you that ex-Governor of Minnesota, Jesse Ventura is a neighbor of the rancho? Ventura and his wife moved here last year and live in a big house overlooking the Sea of Cortez.

There are a lot of plants behind the Ventura house that the goats like to eat. I went hiking up the hill behind our Camp, and went looking for the goats. It is easy to tell where the goats are, because several of them wear bells around their necks. When I came close, the goats looked at me for awhile and then ran away.

I did not see anybody from the Ventura family today. But I have seen Jesse Ventura driving his Hummer a few times on the road.


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Friday, February 24, 2006

9AM - The Slingshot.
Some of the workers at the rancho use slingshots, both to move the cattle and for hunting small game. I watched a ranchero use a slingshot this morning, and decided to make one of my own.

Luckily, I quickly found a tube from a tire that had been thrown away. A tree contributed the wood Y portion. The rubber came from tiedowns. Fishing line secured things.

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The slingshot is really accurate, and has good distance too.

Sleeping outside.
Most of the beds at the rancho are located in ramadas. These ramadas have palm covered roofs and are rectangular with no walls. In the summer when it is very hot, it may be better to sleep outside.


Milk into cheese.
A small herd of ten milk cows are kept at Rancho Limonada, a few miles to the north of the main ranch and up in the mountains. Each morning Gumaro goes to milk these cows. About five gallons of milk are produced each day and most of that milk is made into a white cheese.

Lucrecia makes a somewhat soft cheese from the milk. About five kilos of cheese are produced and sold each day to the neighbors. Lucrecia's cheese is in demand, and she has no problem selling all of it.

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Cheese in the making in Lucrecia's kitchen. Finished cheese in cloth bags.



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Thursday, February 23, 2006

The passing of Little Twee.
We are sad to tell you that Little Twee who had been feeling poorly, past away quietly during the nite.


Little Twee in better days.

9AM - Grinding Rock.
Somethings in Lucrecia's kitchen fascinate me. The box where she works the milk into cheese is one thing. The grinding rock is another. In the pic below, Lucrecia grinds course salt into fine. In her hands she holds a large smooth stone. Wow!


Grinding course salt into fine.

1PM - What would we do without water?
There has been no rain for over a year at the Rancho, or in the mountains above. Yet the wells continue to give water.

There are two family owned wells on the Gonzalez family rancho. One well at Gumaro and Lucrecia's home, and the other a short distance away at brother Alfredo's home. Two other water wells are located nearby, and all of this water appears to come from the same source.

Water is drawn from the wells with gasoline engine powered pumps. Electric water pumps are not used because there is no electric service in this area. Solar powered electric pumps could be used, but they are not chosen because the initial cost is very high.

Ismael, the youngest son of Gumaro and Lucretia is in the water delivery business. Ismael fills up his pipa (tanker truck) several times each day, and delivers to nearby million dollar homes along the coast and to any businesses and ranchos that need water.. There is no city water system out here.


Ismael has two pipas. This is the newest one.


Water well at Gumaro's ranch house.

6PM - Chivos are late today.
Today is the second day that I got to put the chivos (goats) in the corral all by myself. The family was busy with some business, and Lucrecia said to me, Do you want to put the chivos in the corral? Well of course I wanted to very much!

Yesterday the chivos wanted to eat the hay for the horse in the outer corral, and it was difficult to herd them thru their gate. Today, it was easy. The chivos were all crowding around their gate. Chivos know where they belong.

Below is a pic of the chivero which is what the goat dog is called. The chivero has been living with these goats since he was born.. This black chivero is the most friendly dog. He loves to be petted.


Chivero in the goat corral.


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