9.18.2009,9:06 PM
Have Cup Will Travel: Part Seven
We all woke up with the sun. Peeking over the hill, it sprinkled us with early morning rays. But it took some time for the shadows to relent and disappear.

The night had a wonderful coolness that left a blanket of dew on everything. But as the sun drove the shadows away, we could tell it was going to be a hot day. Before the shadows had all run off and hid, horse trailers began pulling in behind trucks. Smart riders trying to grab a ride in the cool morning before the sun's force cranked up the heat. This fella was anxiously watching his rider traipse a few hundred feet to use the restroom.

We had a good breakfast with all the 'fixings': coffee with cream, reconstituted dehydrated scrambled eggs with bacon (Mountain House), oatmeal with cranberries, and more coffee. This was the first time I had used both my origami plate and the bowl. I love these things! They pack flat and compact, clean with ease and quick to assemble/disassemble. I was impressed at how delicious the dehydrated eggs and bacon were. A visit to Mountain House (subsidiary of Oregon Freezedry) in Albany, OR, is planned while I'm there next year.

It was a beautiful morning on the grasslands. The area is a patchwork quilt of gravel roads intersecting large tracts of grass, patches of thick trees representing the cross-timbers, creeks and small reservoirs, humble ranches and long-lost communities. Current grass species don't fully represent those that dominated before pioneer settlement carved the soil for crops and introduced other grass species. Now it is a mixture of eastern, western and plains grass species.

Thick and sometimes very dense patches of gnarled trees represent the Cross-timbers ecosystem: the frontier between the eastern deciduous forest and the grasslands of the southern Great Plains. Due to overgrazing and intense cotton cropping in the late 1800's-early 1900's, weed species have encroached; especially junipers and mesquite. Normally such invasive species are checked by natural burns (usually from lightening strikes in dry duff). Now, the consortium of participating overseers (federal, state, local and non-profit organizations) occasionally utilize a practice of the native Americans: prescribed burns. We found an area later that day.

While enjoying the morning campside with coffee, four trailers had rolled in and unloaded horses catching an early morning cool ride. The gathering hole never fails to attract no matter the setting.

Labels: ,

posted by Macrobe
Permalink ¤