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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