Remember that wintry couple of days I stayed at Wing Road Farm, just out of Saratoga Springs, in January?
The place, a couple of centuries young, where friends of friends, now friends of mine, put me up during my visit for the hiker wedding?
The wedding where I met Kate, and things got interesting? I mean more interesting?
Well, Wing Road was where I found myself bunking down before Kate and I fessed up. I was simultaneously happy and wracked with soul-eating agony. A dangerous blend, not recommended for the timid — never mix your emotions on an empty stomach. Days were long and full and rambling, nights just long: running through what-ifs and maybe-nots and don’t-be-stupids while Mazoo the farm cat heat-butted the guest-room door, demanding admittance to the swingingest party of one ever.
It was cold, the fields and gardens still and silent and rugged up under white. A fire flickered in the living room, with the cat and the dog stretched out close by lapping up the welcome heat. And at first there was the wedding couple, too, Dude & Trouble (who seemed just about as transient as me at that point), plus Fidget, another friend from the Pacific Crest Trail.
Well, Fidget went back to Colorado, and D & T headed north to camp in the snow, which is what certain people in this part of the world call a “honeymoon”. So their place became available, and I could give Nemo & Pouch (Aaren & Chris), the Wing Road homesteaders, their place back and sponge off a different couple for a spell. The Trail will provide.
Meanwhile, of course, Kate and I had done that fessing up, so things were working out uncharacteristically nicely. I never went back to the farm on that visit.
The months crawled by. Kate and I worked on my to-do list for my return in August, and Wing Road stayed near the top. And at last, seven months or so later, in a landscape and season with which I was far more comfortable, I was back.
Quite a bunch of friends was there for a reunion and afternoon feast. There was a light rain that day, off and on but mainly off, and after catch-ups and first beers (I’d resumed for this trip because the beer was so good, it would have been insane to miss it) I quickly excused myself (actually I just ran off) to ramble around the farm in my favourite kind of light.
First stop, that rooster shack. I like a bit of weathered wood. Hopefully the rooster does too:
Kristen’s son Ethan had done some farm work there that day. He was showing his cousins around, including paying respects to Big Daddy…
..and outlining his day’s chores, a litany of gruelling forms of labour so horrendous that all who heard it were stricken with sympathy and melancholy:
My tour continued.
Cold Sierra Nevada in one hand, I did the rounds of poultry accommodation, bee hives, stumps, fruit trees, shed, fences and gates. Then to the gardens.
This is the view from the back porch:
And here are some shots of the food-growing area:
Back at the house, it was just about dinner time. Aaren & Chris always put on a great spread:
We sat around the fire awhile, talking about corn, mostly, and concluding the feast, several helpings later, with some excellent brownies. Plans were afoot for some serious hiking with many of those present: D & T, on the left, Chris on the right, Aaren, and Kate (porch) and I, the day after next:
The rain held off, the sun went down, and out came the marshmallows:
It was a great catch-up, but it wouldn’t be the last. I’d be seeing many of these folk again in a couple of days for one of the best day-hikes I’ve ever done…
~ And that’s all the Goat wrote