Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Thursday, February 18, 2010

WAR: Getting there is half the battle

Getting out of town turned out to be probably the hardest part of the whole trip. My work had been driving us pretty hard for a deadline just the Friday before we left, so a lot of things got left for that weekend -- including finances for the ranch. When I looked at the bank account - *GULP* - the news was not good. So I knew on Monday on our way out of town we'd be stopping at the bank. Sounds simple enough, except as I'd feared, they were insisting on putting a 1 week hold on the check that I wanted to deposit. Thats just so irritating. I said I'd deposited a check from the same LOC last month and it cleared fine. So the teller offered to call and get a verbal authorization. Well, very long story later, the creditor still can't locate our account by our names, our SSNs, or the number on the bottom of my checks. Fuming, I called Ginger and had her look up the paperwork in the files. Armed with the account number, I called back - and voila! Sure, you have 9 times the amount you want to draw down available. GRRRRR. So then I asked to verify the SSN on the account, and it was correct, so I said why couldn't the other agent find the account by SSN? Huumm -- turns out he couldn't either and he promised to get that fixed. Yes, thank you. *fumes more*

Meanwhile Dave had gone over to the hardware store to pick up a second padlock for the trailer. We had one on the hitch, but wanted one on the door as well. HA! Turns out when he parked he noticed that the door had bounced open! Ah Hell. He wisely refraned from telling me this until after we were out of the bank, but it really was just another "what NOW" moment. Since I'd packed the trailer he didn't know if anything was missing. I had packed it, and knew that at least the canvas floor to the tent was gone - conveniently tied into a rather rollable / bounceable package. So we re-traced our steps back towards home. We actually had to go almost all the way home, before we found it. But find it we did, threw it back in the trailer, locked the door, and hit the highway, FINALLY.

It was snowing.

It snowed off and on all the way to Santa Fe, but fortunately the roads were never too bad so the drive went smoothly. Spent the evening with my parents, then up early for the second leg the next day - also uneventful.

Arriving about 4, we had about an hour of daylight remaining and immediately set up the tent.

It went up fine - we're still refining our 'magic stick' technique of locating the stakes. We have 22 stakes that are equally spaced in a circle, about 84.5" radius from the center pole. A magic stick is a stick that is the length of the separation of stakes, and attached to a long string (two times 84.5") that wraps around the pole. In theory then you put in one stake at the correct radius, then use the stick/strings to locate all the other stakes. It works - but our stick isn't perfectly adjusted, so there was some fudging along the way. The really awkward part about our setup, though, is the fact both of our ground cloths - the plastic tarp and then the canvas floor - are way oversized currently. (See in the photo above) We haven't trimmed them down to the correct size circle yet. We figured it wouldn't be a problem to just tuck the extra ends under. Huh. Well, with the sheer volume of extra material we had, folding big square pieces into a round footprint was tedious. BUT - It all went together and we got our stuff moved inside before it was pitch black.

The next morning I set about playing house. :-D Arranging the furniture, etc. We hung a curtain just to the left side of the door, and tucked the head of the bed up behind that. The bed takes up half of the tent interior, with wedges of space at the head and foot. So we tried to stick all our mundane items behind the curtain at the head of the bed - the cooler, the box of beers, my computer bag, etc. Then our carpet is perfectly sized to take up the other half of the tent, forming a living area. I was really impressed with how functional that curtain was, making it feel almost like a two roomed space, when it's really just one.

See my cute hanging shelves?? I love them!

The view from the bed.

This organizing was quite entertaining, and kept me busy for a couple of hours, until Dave pointed out that a storm was blowing in and that we should get Rossilin's tent up before things got wet. Well - alright. Her tent (which does have nearly-correctly sized floor coverings) went up very smoothly. Yes, we not only carried Rossilin's tent with us, but put it up as she wasn't flying in until later that day. I told her I was thrilled she was going to do the reverse for us next year!
:-D Yeah, I won't be holding my breath on that one.

See how ours (which looks TINY compared to Rossilins -- this still cracks me up) looks a bit sluffy? What completely amazed us, was how much the canvas changes size during the day. No joke, in the heat of the afternoon, it looks ready to fall over. In the cool of then night? It's as tight as a drum and we could never get the doors closed - we had to put extender loops on to just keep the door fastened while we slept. I guess Kevin was right when he said we shouldn't worry about the roof looking a bit loose! Ah well, live and learn.

Being Wednesday, it was still a little early in the week. We had several more tents crop up in the next couple of days. But this essentially was our camp for our barony - the large tent on the right being the kitchen, and two more just like it were set up outside the frame of this picture for seating and campfires.

Walking around it's always fun to see the other groups that set up such nice and elaborate camps. We're brainstorming how to do something similar for ours next year.

But I can't fail to mention our new cart! Lord Garin made this cart just in time to go to war. It's beautiful, and was very handy. He and Master Thorfinn have quite the story about heating those iron rims in a camp fire so as to slip-fit them on the wooden wheels Garin had made. (no, you really can't see the rims in this picture, but they are there) Whatever it took, they did a great job.



Blogger Heidi said...

Very cool Monica, thanks for sharing

4/6/10, 7:17 PM  
Blogger STAG said...

That is SO exciting! You guys need a medal for doing such a great job!

5/15/10, 8:51 AM  

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