Before they left, Mantas and Lina completed one more job. Putting a deck onto the new cabin.
I still have to build steps and clean up the interior, but otherwise it is ready for use. It is quite a funky-looking building – it seems as though it should have big purple flowers painted all over it. But it will be useful.
Mantas and Lina had been “leant” to me by other volunteer hosts, Fred and Monika down in the Precipice valley. Since my friends and neighbours of nearly 30 years moved out of there last fall, I would stay with them, too. When we arrived, I was amazed to find the place bulging with volunteers from Canada, Germany, and Switzerland. Lina and Mantas (from Lithuania) added to the international flavour. (Monika is on the right.)
Monika and Fred are building as well, but they also have an extensive garden.
They are lower down so have a better growing climate than I do: they also have a fantastic greenhouse.
Inside, the food is grown in pots on rock terraces that help retain and radiate heat.
I was the only one not working! I took a walk along the Hotnarko River.
Hooker’s Fairy Bells were out.
And one, lone calypso orchid.
On the Saturday morning we met at Lee’s ranch. He delegates people to stand at strategic points along the trail to keep the cows on course; because there were so many foreign rookies, most of them walked to their spots.
Meanwhile, I went down to the corral where the cows were being pushed together.
They look skinny because they are milking. They will l0ve to get up onto the range and gorge on new feed.
These kids have been doing the roundup since they were in the cradle.
Henry is one of the regular riders.
The gate is opened, and they are off!
Three hours later, the cowboys were all back at the ranch again, both they and their horses looking very relaxed.
The walkers were scattered around like the dead!
The day drew to a close.
For several hours, Lee had nurtured a fire to produce a bed of coals, so he could feed all of us the traditional cattle-drive steaks.
After dinner, the fire was boosted,
And music was provided by Lee (on base guitar) and Clint.
It was dark when the party ended. I would leave early the next morning. Lina and Mantas will stay down there with the mob.