Travelogue Pt. 9

The Travelogue series recounts a seventeen-day-long cross-country road trip I took at age 21 with two college friends. We started in Charlotte, NC, and ended up two weeks and 8,000 miles later in Los Angeles, CA. The following is taken verbatim from a handwritten journal I laboriously kept on the trip. Names have been changed, but the rest is absolute, 100%, unedited truth.

*****

June 10

Writing from Salmon, Idaho.

This morning started around 8 in the tent. Went in to find everyone sitting down to breakfast so was actually perfect timing. Jennifer was making a potato and squash hash with eggs and bacon and there was a nice big pot of coffee too. We ate around the table. Met Kayla, their 15?-month old. She’s a beautiful blonde baby just learning to talk. Andrew left around 8:30 but we didn’t really do much until 9.

Then Jennifer strapped Kayla to her back and took us and Rachel down to see the farm. Went first to David, their male goat. He’s adorbs but it’s mating season and he was peeing all over himself and onto us.

They have a narrow strip going back to pasture they lease so we went down there and moved their hot wire over about 40ft to keep the cows from overgrazing.

Then moved to the chicken coop. Had to lift up the back corners, put wheels on them, and roll/drag it up about 30ft. It’s incredible how much the smell of chickens dissipates when they have that much room.

Then went to the pigs which were overall unimpressive. Cute I guess. Jennifer said they were born in March and were 90lbs now, to be slaughtered in Nov at 250lbs. Jennifer’s a little taller than me, 6mo pregnant, short no nonsense hair, big blue eyes.

Then we went up and met the cows. Amber the ringleader who miscarried earlier this year, Danielle the 1-year-old, Victoria the 2-year-old who’s calving, and Courtney, a white cow they rescued who’s the only one they’re milking. Let the cows down to pasture.

Met the female goats, mom Hannah and two babies Joseph and Ryan. The babies are the cutest things I’ve ever seen and you can literally pick them up and hold them like a cat. They’re selling the goats I think on Friday except David so then they’ll be just cow cheese.

Saw their grade A cheese room. They’re still raising money to buy a milk tank because the milk has to be chilled to 45 degrees in 2hrs. Right now they’re mostly just selling milk at the farmers’ markets.

Then had to put Kayla down for a nap. It was about 11. Did some stuff on my comp then went out and talked to Jess, Jennifer, and Rachel. Rachel’s a 24-year-old kiwi whose birthday was today. She’s been here fora  little while, living half here and half a Jennifer’s parents. They talked about wrestling with brothers.

When Kayla woke up, went to town to get sandwiches. Salmon is much more hopping than we realized but is only 3000 pop. Stopped at a Safeway for beer then went to a local bakery for sammies. There was a hilarious couple in the back arguing about truth and lying and believing stories and really philosophical bullshit relationship stuff. Wildly entertaining. He was probably low 30s, overweight, shirt unbuttoned. She was also big, hair shaved except for the top, high LONG ponytail.

Drove about 40min to Jennifer’s parents. About 3. They live on a guest ranch and manage it for the owner. Used to own a rafting company which is how Rachel got hooked up with them. Met Rebecca, Jennifer’s 4 year old niece. Curly hair in a fro like Orphan Annie but blonde. Met Jennifer’s mom Jasmine.

Rebecca took us to feed carrots to the horses. Jennifer told us later that one of the horses was bought at an auction because the man who owned her died of a heart attack in the saddle, horse took him back home and stood on the front porch until somebody found them.

The property is cool. Fed the chickens pancakes. Looked at the cabin Andrew built for the owner. Incredible. All pegged so no nails, all wood framing. Rebecca took to me which was cute but annoying.

Saw the trout pond.

Met Kelsey, Rebecca’s mother, and James her brother. Rebecca “named” James when Kelsey was about 6wks preg., so before she told Rebecca, Rebecca told her she had an imaginary friend named James who did literally everything with her. When baby was born, thought it was going to be girl, was boy. Kelsey was like, “Rebecca knew. His name is James.” Joked she wanted to name him James Dean. Kelsey’s a nut. Babies are all so cute. James Zachary is Kayla Chelsea’s age.

Met John, Jennifer’s dad.

Heard about Robert, the Mexican who worked on a ranch in CO with Jennifer, difficulties of getting work visas.

Ate ribs, sweet potato hash, corn with chili lime salt, wine, choc. carrot cake. Played with Rebecca a lot. Tender goodbye. Rode home with Jennifer, who is a crackup.

Earlier heard them talking about killing bird family at lunch. Cute fam. WAY Idaho.

Forgot about “swimming” in the Salmon River. Jess only one who got in. Lost their frisbee. Dogs a mess. Babies swam naked so cute.

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