Monday, September 30, 2013


Well, I was just out paddling for one day.  It was a frustrating and disappointing day, but it was a needed break, and more on that later.  Back to our Wisconsin trip.

We left NW Oklahoma on Wed. 24 July. After our last trip, I was surprised, or shocked, after completing the financial tally, to learn that we had spent $108 in highway tolls. Since I dare to only go so fast with an RV in tow anyhow, I viewed that pretty much as a waste. With the price of gas, I decided the gas tank was a much better place to put that money. Besides, getting off the ribbon of concrete had to expose us to some more interesting sights and experiences. This time I vowed to not spend a penny on tolls unless confronted with the only bridge that crossed a river. The no-toll route to Wisconsin would require much greater attention to the map, but off across the flat plains we went.

Ned Turnly
Photo credit: google images
The first thing we encountered in Kansas was the extinct town of Runnymede. An Irishman named Francis J. S. Turnly, seeking to create a Utopian colony on the prairie of Kansas, purchased 1,700 acres of land 12 miles southwest of present-day Harper, KS, for $1.50/acre. He would call the colony Runnymede after the historic spot near London where King John reluctantly signed the Magna Carta in 1215 giving Englishmen the equivalent of a bill of rights. His son, Edward, or “Ned” Turnly, advertised in England that he was the lord of a Kansas paradise where he could teach young men of means all the skills necessary for successful farming and livestock raising. For $500 a year, a current equivalent of $11,020, he would provide for all the needs of the young men.

Ned Turnly’s recruiting efforts were successful. In 1888, he arrived from England with a number of new recruits, and in a short while the members had increased to around a hundred from England, Ireland, and Scotland. The pace at which the village grew out of the Kansas dirt was amazing. They quickly built a general store and post office for the town of Runnymede and began selling groceries and dry goods. They then added a creamery, and a livery stable to care for the horses, followed by restaurants, a soda-pop factory, lumber yard, an Episcopal church, and a stagecoach line. While building businesses, they also needed to build homes, and by 1890, after a mere two years, there stood a typical English village with curved driveways leading to English-style houses set among rows of neatly clipped privet hedges. Around the village were polo grounds, a steeplechase course, race track, bowling alley, billiard parlor, tennis courts, and a football field, and they even challenged a team from Wichita to play them in English football, or rugby. Just as these young men had gone on fox hunts in Britain, they now sported red hunting coats and followed hounds across the buffalo-grass prairie in pursuit of coyotes. Farms and orchards were built on the model of English estates. Feeling themselves in the heart of the Wild West they had heard so much about, you wouldn’t see them about without a selection of guns and knives hanging from their sides.

The Runnymede Arms Hotel
Photo credit: Kansas Historical Society
The Runnymede Church today in Harper, KS.
The showplace of the town was undoubtedly the three-story Runnymede Arms, a hotel completed in only three months in 1889, and appointed with every amenity of the day for guests. In May, 1890, the hotel was saved only by great effort when the adjacent livery stables burned. The hotel got away with burned paint, but a noted citizen and promoter of the town died in the stable fire. The death and fire was just the first in a series of events that reversed the town’s fortunes as quickly as they had flourished. The fatal fire alarmed the wealthy families back in Britain, the families were also tiring of the constant financial drain of supporting their young men in America, European investments were falling off, and the region was feeling an economic downturn. The young men were getting bored with the prairie life, began to realize that they were never going to become ranchers and wanted to go home. The final blow was when the railroad ran its tracks southwest of town. Railroads at the time were building and killing towns by where they put their tracks. Railroad men were given free homes, free land, and other “incentives” (more appropriately called bribes) to encourage them to place tracks and stations where they would benefit the commerce of a community. Turnly knew the town could not survive without a rail line, and Runnymede’s demise was quick when it drew the economic short straw. In July, 1892, Ned Turnly’s real estate holdings were lost for non-payment of taxes.

The Runnymede today in Alva, OK.

Photo credit: google images
The Cherokee Strip of the Indian Territory had just been opened for settlement, and like so many such towns, Alva sprang into being. Three businessmen bought the Runnymede hotel, cut the third floor off, and with nothing but horses and wagons, moved the huge hotel roughly fifty miles over dirt roads, across four rivers and other streams, from Kansas to Alva, Oklahoma. The building went through a number of ownerships, fell into disrepair, and by 1998 was on the verge of being lost before a committee in Alva dedicated themselves to renovating the building and bringing it up to modern standards. It is a shame to see any bit of history lost, but seeing a building that continues to thrive 124 years after the rest of the town it was the center of disintegrated into an empty wheat field, is totally amazing. Yet, nothing seems more amazing, and saddening, than having an entire town planned and built, and to have every trace vanish as if it had never existed within a mere five years


Friday, September 27, 2013

St. Croix River

A misty morning on the St. Croix.  Buddy's ready to push
into the river.
I'm going to start on the account of our trip down the St. Croix and Mississippi River.  As soon as I make this post, I'll have to go out and vacuum the spiders out of the tornado shelter for later today.  The chance of a tornado is reportedly small, mostly large hail, but the chance is there nonetheless.  With the winds blowing 25-40 the last several days, I not only haven't been paddling, but haven't even gotton on the bike.
The Great River Rumble is held once a year on a river in the Mid-West. Between November and January, club members meet, decide on a river, and begin planning and organizing a trip for a week in July and/or August. This summer, the trip was on the St. Croix and Mississippi Rivers of Wisconsin and Minnesota.

The St. Croix River was one of the first eight rivers in the nation to be placed under the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968. There were 203 such protected rivers in 2011, but the total still means that less then ¼ of one-percent of the nation’s rivers are protected for future generations.

While there are eight rivers that feed into the St. Croix, the protection extends to the St. Croix and the Namekagon, which is the St. Croix’s primary tributary. In all, the two rivers total 255 miles of waterway. However, I don’t know how they measure these, as checking five different information sources will give you as many different mileage numbers. In round numbers, the St. Croix starts near Solon Springs, WI, about 20 miles south of Lake Superior. It travels its first 38 miles solely in Wisconsin, but for the next 127 miles is the border between Wisconsin and Minnesota. The Namekagon River, starting in Lake Namekagon, contributes the remaining 90 miles of the total before its confluence with the St. Croix at Danbury, WI. Their waters, drawing from an 8,000 square mile watershed, then join the Mississippi River at Prescott, WI. Since our trip was solely on the St. Croix, the Namekagon was mentioned here for background only, and will not come up again in this account. The most important thing to keep in mind, however, is that the St. Croix and its tributaries created an 800 mile network of riverways that were crucial to the movement of furs and supplies from the territories since the earliest days. By way of the Brule River from Duluth, the St. Croix connected the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River, and therefore linked the economy of this area to the rest of the world. Through this web of waterways, the furs harvested in South Central Canada and the Northern Plains would soon be made into hats and other garments in Europe and beyond.

The St. Croix was originally named the River of the Grave in 1683 in honor of a man buried on the river after dying from a rattlesnake bite. The name was changed in 1688 on a map that recorded the location of Fort St. Croix along the river’s upper reaches. Tradition holds that the name comes from a man named St. Croix, who was killed in a boat accident at the confluence of the river with the Mississippi. The river received several other names of minor import, which have mostly disappeared into history.

The St. Croix River Valley began 15,000 years ago during the ice age, when the area was buried under hundreds of feet of ice. As the ice moved north, the deluge from the melting ice scoured out the valley. The area became home to eleven Native American tribes, but the primary two were the Ojibwe and Dakota, until 1745, by which time the Ojibwe had driven the Dakota west.

Photo credit: Google images
The capote, a long coat explorers and settlers adopted from
Native Americans.  This one is in wool, but those actually
used in the wilderness were generally leather.  If you look
at pictures of Lewis and Clark, you will see the capote became
a popular and essential garment.

The fur trade of the 17th, 18th, and 19 centuries in this area was to the local economy and its development what oil and gas are to the economy today. It brought together the English, French, Native Americans, and settlers, to all compete for local resources, and inevitably to fight over them. The competition over resources lead to conflicting claims over the region by nations, and a military presence arose in places like Fort William and Fort Snelling to enforce those interests and drive out the others. The fur trade also brought together Native American cultures with Europeans. The latter soon learned they had much to learn from the local Indians in how to adapt to the local weather, environment, and ways to conduct business. From the Indians, they acquired their first snowshoes, toboggans, moccasins, leather and fur garments, such as the capote coat, and of course, the canoe. The Native American canoes of the time could be built to any size, but generally were known as the 15-ft. hunting canoe, the 24-ft. North canoe, and the 36-ft. Montreal canoe. The importance of the Montreal canoe is obvious when we are reminded that it could carry an 8,000 lb. load of furs or supplies.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Life of Great Adventure

R. M. Patterson: A Life of Great Adventure, by David Finch. (Pub. Rocky Mountain Books, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 2000, 282pp.)

Raymond Murray Patterson was no easy study. His life took as many twists and turns, and crashed headlong into as many boulders as there were in the many rivers he loved. He was born in 1898 in Northern England. His parents were financially comfortable, but their relationship was not, being described as fire and fire. R. M.’s relationship with his father was short, before his Dad took off for Africa, but they were close until then and Raymond acquired from his father a love of travel and distant mountains. Raymond had the best education, first at Rossall, a private school, and then Oxford. His sense of adventure and love of nature meanwhile were fueled by the books of Joseph Conrad and Jack London.

His education took a break after Rossall as England entered the First World War. Patterson was an artilleryman until taken prisoner by the Germans in the Spring Offensive of 1918. He was released in November, and 1919 saw him at St. John’s College, at Oxford. After learning that his father had died penniless in Johannesburg, he decided it was time to make some life decisions.

He took a holiday from his job at the Bank of England to spend time in Northern England, and while there read “Hunters of the Great North,” which introduced him to the Mackenzie and Athabasca Rivers. He decided a full life was not measured by years, but by adventures. To start collecting his adventures, within months he quit his job, moved to Alberta, got jobs as a farmhand and working in a lumber camp. He soon discovered that the tales of Conrad and London seemed to skip over some of the details of living the adventurous life, like draining land, felling trees, dealing with unruly livestock and milking cows by hand. He persevered, however, and by 1924, he and a friend were homesteading.

His transformation into this new life on the Alberta frontier was neither immediate nor smooth. If an Oxford-schooled banker wasn’t odd enough in the wilderness to make him stand out, seeing him wearing a Tom Mix ten-gallon hat with a suit tie wasn’t helping. His upper crust upbringing also made him slow to accept those around him. He initially described the Native Americans as “A degenerate, low, Mongol type, these Indians of the north…I am glad they are dying out---they make way for the white man.” He would find himself later looking to these low-life degenerates for help and salvation. As he walked many miles in their shoes, you can see his opinions evolve through his life. For example, years later he said, “for without a doubt, when deciding on the future of this country, some provision should be made for the poor uncivilized beings to whom by rights the soil belongs.” By 1958, the reversal is complete when he describes whites as the alien race, and laments the degeneration of the Native American canoe to a toy “for the entertainment of the alien race that has taken away their lands, their fish and game, and their way of life.”

A person who seeks adventure will always be restless, or have itchy feet, as some call it. When Patterson married and a family started, he would forever after have to wrestle with the conflict between staying home to support the family, run the farm, and care for the cattle versus being called to the rivers and mountains that were always in sight and always beckoning. Instead of months and thousands of miles, his trips now came in small doses of a week and one or two-hundred miles. He would guide fishing and hunting parties, guide mining and railroad survey teams, and when they transformed the farm into a dude ranch, there were always a few dudes ready to give him an excuse to lead them into the wilderness and mountains. His adventures now came piecemeal, but he still accumulated detailed information he recorded in his journals, drew detailed maps that gave the Canadian government its first reliable knowledge of the country, and discovered mountain passes that had not seen a human foot since generations before when used only by Native Americans.

All things change, however, and he would find himself being invaded by “roads, oil wells, logging camps, coal mines,” and government officials nosing around to see what they could tax. His land became overrun by camping parties that just squatted on his property, until he fenced an area specifically for their use in the hope that doing so would give him some control over his own land. Then he found he was having to patrol the area to clean up trash and prevent unsafe burning. On one occasion he got frustrated enough that he cleaned up the entire area, picking up every piece of trash, and then stuffed it all in the camper’s car. Another camping party shot the family dog when they mistakenly assumed it was a wild coyote or wolf. The life he loved was disappearing, and he sold out.

Moving to a house in Vancouver, Patterson transformed from a cattle rancher, explorer, wild river runner, and scout, to a ………GARDENER. The extra time, however, gave him a chance to write, and his journals brought back vivid memories that were transformed into endless magazine adventure stories and books. Thousands and thousands of readers now satisfied their need for a sense of adventure in their humdrum lives through his words, and he became to others what Joseph Conrad and Jack London had been to him. Besides his prolific adventure stories, his books included The Dangerous River, Far Pastures, The Buffalo Head, Trail to the Interior, and Finley’s River. His final book, Napoleon’s Horsemen, was not published before Patterson’s death, but was the subject that fascinated him, and on which he had done research his entire life. It is available through David Finch, this book’s author. The Nahanni Journals: R. M. Patterson’s 1927-1929 Journals were also reprinted by Richard C. Davis, University of Alberta Press, Edmonton, Alberta, 2008. To this day, his first book, The Dangerous River, remains the most cherished of his works.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Woolaroc Museum - 2

Bronze statue of Chief offering a peace-pipe.

Not props, but an actual stagecoach and chuck-wagon.

Another bronze piece of art, perhaps a load of
furs heading down river to the trading post.
I'd image I'm not different than a lot of paddlers who, at every
bridge, look for the name of the stream or river being passed.  On
the way to Birch Lake, we crossed the Bacon Rind Creek.  Here
at the museum, we come upon this portrait of Chief Bacon Rind.
Some Native American names are so fascinating, but Bacon Rind is
so unusual that the chief and the creek have to be tied together
in history.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Woolaroc Museum

A Life-sized Bronze Cowboy.

This and the next picture look as fine as paintings,
but are actually intricate Mosaic tiles.

The canoe was made by the last surviving bark canoe builder of the Chippewa Tribe of Northern Minnesota. The builder was the wife of a chief, and was advanced in years. She was building the canoe specifically for display here in Woolaroc Museum, but due both to the process itself and the pace at which she was able to work, the project was dragging on. The canoe was almost done, but she got angry at the museum trying to urge her to finish it, so she took a handful of nails and nailed the gunwales around the canoe. Since the skill of canoe building had not been passed on to the younger generation, she knew she had the upper hand, and nothing could be done to coax her into removing the nails and doing the job right with basket reeds. So, you have a genuine bark canoe of the Chippewa----until you get to the gunwales.

A beautiful bronze canoe and paddler, complete with a flintlock rifle.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Woolaroc Birdhouses - 2

Hank Clay's Blacksmithing
The village schoolhouse.
The Church
And what needs to be said about this?


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Woolaroc Birdhouses

Scandinavian Barn
Building birdhouses is a great pastime that appeals to all ages. One of our granddaughters built a birdhouse and feeder in elementary school, some are done in scouting, others by organizations like YW or YMCA, summer camps, and many are done as a hobby for those in retirement. In all cases, the projects are enjoyable, appealing, stress relieving, and most important, they are needed. With their environment becoming steadily more encroached upon by people, their air more filled with foul and poisonous gases from industry, their feeds, insects, and plants more filled with pesticides, at least having a safe and comfortable place to raise their young is a great step in supporting bird population and health.

Birdhouses can indeed be an art form. Thomas F. Burke, of Wilmington, DE, has had his birdhouses in exhibitions, featured in “Architectural Digest,” and other magazines, had his birdhouses rise above the skyline from New York to California, and been featured on TV programs. At between $3,000 and $15,000-plus per birdhouse, his designs duplicate many famous homes and buildings, only in miniature. For what we might use in our yards, a nice birdhouse can probably be completed for no more than the cost of a two-pound bag of any fresh fruit.
(Yeah, you guessed it. We just came back from the grocery. Talk about sticker shock. Everyone wonders why people don’t eat healthier. Daaaaah!)

Looks like a house undergoing renovations, with
scaffolding and a ladder going up the front.
These birdhouses at Woolaroc follow this idea of creating something that is both pleasing to us, and beneficial for the birds. If you just search ’birdhouse building’, you’ll find a number of internet sites that provide free plans, and patterns for varying the hole sizes for the species of bird you wish to attract. I’ll pass on one little tip I leaned. There are birds, from starlings to woodpeckers, that will peck at the entry hole of the birdhouse to enlarge the hole to suit them, even if the interior is too small for them to nest in. This ruins the birdhouse permanently. This can be prevented by protecting the birdhouse entry with a hard liner or ring to thwart the most persistent beak. I had success with sheet metal, as long as it can be done so there are no sharp edges to injure the birds. So, grab some scrap wood and have at it!

The General Store that buys hides, probably buffalo.
And, for Frank Phillips, what could be more appropriate
than a Phillips 66 gas station?


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Woolaroc Wildlife - 2



African Mountain Goat

Zebra Colt


Elk enjoying the wildflowers.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Woolaroc Wildlife

We're actually getting some rain.  As much as we need it, I hope the SW part of the state gets even more.  The drought has persisted for several years, and the lakes show the effect as clearly as the vegetation.  Canton Lake is down 77%; Altus Lake down 87%; Tom Steed Lake down 74%; Waurika Lake down 54%, and so on.  So, yes, the sound of rain on the roof is a happy sound.

Here are some of the wildlife pictures we were able to obtain at Woolaroc Ranch.

A white elk in wildflowers.

From a stream, a llama watches us watching it.

Spotted fawn.

The stream ran under the road and created a pool where
this water buffalo found cool relief from the heat.


Doe and fawn.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Woolaroc Ranch, Bartlesville, OK

After being told about Woolaroc by a friend, Jean had been wanting to visit for a couple years. Now that we were only 13 miles from there (from Birch Lake), and it would be a great opportunity for the girls, we took a day to visit the ranch and museum.

Water Lilies
Frank Phillips (1873-1950) was a successful oil and bond speculator, who founded Phillips Petroleum (marketed as Phillips 66),in Bartlesville, OK, not too far north of where we were camping. While located in Oklahoma, like many successful enterprises, their holdings were incorporated in Delaware.

The Phillips' Woolaroc Ranch House
Frank Phillips loved everything Western, and wanted to preserve a bit of the
West that he had known as a young man before the turn of the century. With the success of his oil interests, he purchased 3,700 acres of land near Bartlesville and began stocking it in 1925 with one of the largest collections of wildlife and birds in the country. These were used to populate what he would call Woolaroc Ranch and Preserve. Including a herd of American Bison (buffalo) from South Dakota, elk from Montana, longhorn cattle, Japanese sika deer, Northern European fallow deer, water buffalo, llamas, Sardinian donkeys, ostriches, African mountain goats, and others, they all roam freely through the hills. Many can be seen as one drives two miles from the gate to the Woolaroc museum. The museum holds one of the world’s most unique collections of Western art, cultural artifacts, and Western firearms.

Woolaroc Ranch House Dining Room
Next to the museum is the Woolaroc Lodge and Ranch House on a ridge overlooking Clyde Lake. The lodge was started in 1925, and includes eight bedrooms, a spacious sitting area adorned with Western items, 97 wildlife heads and 107 sets of horns, and a dining hall. The lodge served as Frank and Jane Phillips’ home, and was also where many of his business deals were closed as business associates and friends enjoyed their hospitality. Woolaroc still operates as a functioning ranch to provide a home for and sustain the wildlife there. If you make your way to Oklahoma, a Woolaroc visit should be put on the “must-see” list, and plan to dedicate a full day to the visit.

If you want to have a view from your patio, this one isn't bad---
across the prairie and down to Clyde Lake.

We took enough pictures that there are way too many to incorporate into a couple short posts, so there will be a wildlife post day, birdhouse post day, and museum post day. I hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed the visit.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Birch Lake - 2

The girls were enthusiastic about getting into a canoe. I had tried to get them involved last summer, but with their broken family, getting time to do anything meaningful with them is nearly impossible. With only one brief outing a year together, being able to pass on anything meaningful is even more difficult. Anyhow, we took Buffalo Gal, the 15-ft. Mohawk Odyssey 15, down to the beach to launch her outside the swimming area for what would be the canoe’s maiden trip. We paddled to the northeast toward the dam and up a branch that leads southeast. We worked our way up as far as we could. The bottom was covered with razor-sharp rocks, and the water was very turbid and shallow. The girls had seen several fish jumping, and a Great Blue Heron that played leap-frog with us along the shore six or seven times. When the rocks and depth would allow us to go no further, we came about and drifted back down the creek with the wind. I was trying to impress on them the importance of paddling quietly if they wished to see any wildlife. In this extremely rare few minutes of quiet, some movement in the weeds to starboard caught Maggie’s attention as she silently pointed in that direction. What was undoubtedly the largest beaver I’ve ever seen came waddling out of the tall grass and to the water’s edge, looked at us with no apparent alarm, and slid into the water. As we drifted, we could see the disturbance of the water’s surface betraying the fact that the beaver was swimming directly under us. The breeze allowed us to just keep pace, and we finally saw it surface along the shore to port, and probably only 18-feet away. It continued ahead of us, resurfaced again ahead, and then just swam on the surface for some time.

The girls in the Mohawk Odyssey 15 for its maiden trip.
Three hours was about as much time as the girls could spend being still, so after a short break and leg-stretch on shore, we headed back to our put-in, loaded the canoe, and climbed up the hill to our campsite for lunch. In all, it had been a very successful outing. The girls got to see something unusual, and I found myself happy both with them and the handling of the new canoe.

Jean and the girls at our campsite overlooking Birch Lake.
With the swim suits and towels on the line, and the canoes
cabled together and to a tree, it's a sure sign of the end of another day.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Birch Lake, OK

Birch Lake is a Corps of Engineers lake. There were three public use areas, and we stayed at Birch Cove. It has been an active summer, and it’s hard to imagine I’m now posting about July. I set up our campsite on the first of July, and then did the turn-around to race back home. The tornado shelter was installed the 2nd, and I made the trip back to Birch Lake on the 3rd, getting in early enough to rest a bit. On the 4th, I paddled around the 31 miles of shoreline.

The granddaughters, Maggie & Lucy (L-R), with everything
set up and decked out for the holiday.
Birch Lake was built in 1977 and has 1,137 acres of surface water and then leads into Birch Creek. Only the main basin, extending from the dam to just past the Birch Cove boat ramp, had the forest clear cut before flooding the basin. All the remaining trees in the coves and up Birch Creek remained until they died and rotted off, a process still continuing 36 years later. This has left a tangle of tree trunks on the bottom, and a mine field of trunks and stumps concealing themselves at or just below the surface. While this makes a wonderful haven for fish, a paddler risks a capsize if he slides up on a stump. It would also be risky trying to anchor because of the foul bottom, so you will see most fishermen just resting between a couple dead trees, or tying off to one.

A maze of stumps and rotting dead trees presented a
new surprise every few minutes.
This was only Buddy’s second lengthy paddle, and I knew the still-like-new bottom was accumulating a collection of scuffs and scrapes from running over unseen submerged hazards. I tried to rationalize it as a trade-off of scuffs in exchange for wildlife and interesting sights. I was hoping the conditions would change, and they did. The boulders got larger and the stumps more numerous, so not quite the direction I wanted change to move. I finally decided it was a case of diminishing returns and crossed to the opposite bank of the creek for the return trip. The building wind and darkening skies seemed to validate my decision. As I crossed back over the open basin, the waves were building pretty good. Buddy handled perfectly, but is an ultra-light Kevlar canoe, that even with its cherry gunwales and trim, weighs only 25-pounds. The on-coming waves were flexing the flat bow sections of the topsides. That area, I thought, is just the right size for the food sack, and that should eliminate the flexing. To this day, that seems to be the case.

A nice stand of wild flowers.  I spent a couple hours trying to
identify them.  They are obviously some kind of daisy, but I
couldn't confidently decide which one. 
In spite of checking with several town halls, newspapers, and the campground host, I could find no scheduled fireworks displays for the girls to enjoy. However, the girls enjoyed an afternoon of swimming on the beach, and an outside picnic dinner. Then, as the sun set, we took folding chairs down to the beach, and sure enough, several displays of fireworks could be seen along the north side of the lake to round out their Independence Day celebration.

I tried running up every headwater looking for wildlife.

Even in areas that appeared open, there were still stumps and
snags.  The area is still nice, with a lot of sandstone outcroppings.
Some stones occurred naturally as square columns that farmers
and ranchers used as fence posts.

The further I went, the boulders became larger and the
stumps more numerous.