These days are endless list-making. Things to do before disappearing into the wilderness for six months. Before leaving Tucson there was the list of things to buy that might only be available there (1), the list of things to pack (2). There was the most painful list of all…what clothes to bring along (3). A group of nominees were selected and moved to the guest bedroom where they were matched with the required accessories, then the heart wrenching process of breaking up with outfits that simply could not be accommodated within the suitcase and had to be returned to the closet to sulk in darkness for half a year. Those with travel visas went on the list “To Pack” in the suitcase. Actually there were three “suitcases”: a small one for things needed on the two day drive north, another for in-town clothes for whatever trips might take us back to Boise, and a third bag for clothes that would go directly into the ranch. So many decisions. Before departure there is also the list of tasks for folding up the house and handing it over to its guardian (4).
The day-one drive ended at in St. George, UT where we met friends for a lovely dinner. I had packed clothes for cooler weather because of the northward trek and checked the weather before we left. Somehow it was 89 degrees in St. George on our arrival. My cashmere sweaters looked very unappealing and I felt fairly foolish. The next morning it was 27 degrees. As the thermometer fell I felt my IQ rising. Before we reached Provo, UT we were driving through a snow storm and now I was downright brilliant.
It was early evening when we arrived in Boise. The snow had stayed behind in Utah but it was still chilly as we settled into our friends’ home and began to make more lists: a list for meetings with the Forest Service (5), a list for meeting with the Idaho Department of Water Resources management (6), a list for people to see before we fly off (7), a shopping list for 6 months worth of food, cleaning and living supplies…YIKES! (8), a list for garden supplies (9), a list for chicken accouterment (10), a list for cat and dog needs (11), a list for six months worth of prescriptions (12), a list of needs for the farm equipment and systems (13). In additions there are the lists associated with the projects we will be doing this year: a list of supplies for planting new fruit trees (14), a list of re-chinking supplies and window replacement needs for the historic cabin (15), a HUGE list of building supplies for the major renovation of the 16′ X 24′ former hunting cabin where we reside (16). Lastly the master calendar list that dictates the deadlines for completing all these lists (17). Is it surprising that we are feeling a bit dazed?
When we finally arrive at Campbell’s Ferry there will be a new set of lists of tasks to be accomplished immediately: clean out a half mile of ditches to get the water flowing toward the cabin, clean the rodent scat out of the shelves and crevices in the cabins, wash EVERYTHING (dishes/shelves/floors/windows), get the internet up and running, etc.. Then the real work of the ranch will begin.
All this preparation makes me think about those pioneers who had to pack their wagons for the trek west, deciding what to take and what to leave behind…likely forever. What plans they had to make for their survival! The sheer physical exertion of the journey is daunting enough. I guess we have it easy…although it doesn’t feel like it at this moment.