#WOMBATSDOAMERICA Day 14
Blogging our recent US trip day by day, four weeks after the event.
A lazy morning, catching up on this journal and making scones once more. Also preparing for the next day’s trip back to Erie. The cheese scones had been a big hit, despite the first batch suffering from being baked at too low a temperature due to my forgetting to allow a difference for not having a fan oven.
We drove out to Jessica’s farm after lunch. Jess is Janine’s daughter, and is heavily involved in animal rescue. Every other night it seemed that she had phoned Janine to say she was heading up the rez to grab a stray dog that had been spotted up there. There are lots of stray dogs up the rez.
Out of the Missouri River valley the land was flat, featureless. I spotted more than one ramshackle falling-down building that would have made an excellent subject for a photograph, but only fleetingly, with no time to ready the camera.
The road was straight and flat and soaked by hot Dakota sunshine. We turned off onto a dirt track that led up to a green and tan farmhouse. Six or seven dogs bounced behind a fence, creating a symphony of barked greeting as we approached. There was Laddie, a gorgeous Lab who reminded me of my dear Ben, and Copper and Cha-cha and Layla and others that my swiss-cheesing memory has forgotten. I delighted in being swamped by dogs.
Jess, in wellies and shorts and calf tattoo, showed us round. In the stables we met a pair of black and white cats and a horse named BJ, who wore a mask against fly irritation. I fed him muffins. Outside a fountain tinkled and swallows flitted about our heads.
Barry wandered into a field to talk to two donkeys, and while he was out there found the other horse, Turbo, who had lost one eye completely and was blind in the other. He enjoyed popcorn while the dogs Copper and Cha-cha chewed discarded bits of hoof.
Thanking Jess for her hospitality we moved on to Jenny’s farm. Jenny is Janine’s niece. There we saw tiny goats and a young buffalo named Belle. Very playful, but on the verge of being enormous. Barry had fun playing with her. It was only later that he remembered his allergy to buffalo hide, and paid the price of a rash.
Jenny’s garden, in a lush hot corner of the farm, produced wonderful vegetables, as we saw when she collected them. Baby Colt was here, whom we’d met before, and he reached out to Mary to hold him. Such a smiley baby.
In the evening we ate at Al’s Oasis, where I had buffalo burger. It was tasty, like very lean beef. I have now encountered five types of buffalo – plastic, stuffed, skeletal, live, and cooked. This was our last day with Janine and Barry, and I felt the looming disappointment of having to leave. I made certain to enjoy every moment of my last trip out in the Grasshopper with Barry and Ranger.