Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bellehellen, The Ranch

Life's path does not always take us where we think we are going. I was rummaging through pictures for my secret tumbleweed wishes blog and came across a stash of photos from my days at BelleHelen.
I was unable to choose just one photo to represent my secret tumbleweed wish to spend a week at BelleHelen, this summer, with my parents and little boys. I went into full-photo scan mode. I was inspired. I was inspired. I was inspired.
It was at BelleHellen, the spark inside that was my love for Nevada's wildlands, ignited into a full fledged wild fire. A wildfire inside a girl is a powerful thing--it can right serious wrong; It buys asphault so she can pave a road over the mountain of her life ahead.
This is Friday. He is the coolest horse that ever walked the planet (ask Sandy). His spirit hangs with us, forever. If there ever was a "mascot," I believe it was he.
If you do not know what to look for, you might not see it. BelleHelen is smack dab in the middle of all of that wild country.
Me...when I was a wee Wild Nevadan in training
I hesitate to say too much about BelleHelen--most who visit would prefer it stay a secret. I am one of the lucky ones. My brush with it enlightened my character and laid the cornerstone for my dreams.
My boys have been there a couple of times. Not often enough. Unfortunately, there is usually snow--they don't know how it is when it is green and growing.
What little they did experience left a huge impression on them. I can relate. It does my heart good to take them to places I love.
I know it is good for kids to know where we come from.
Not the first or last time this dirty girl hugged a dirty dog.
We call BelleHelen "The Ranch." It is not a cattle ranch. When it came to critters, there was a rainbow assortment. 200 cats, dogs, horses, cows, sheep, goats, chickens, rabbits, pigs...Let's just say we joked about it being the funny farm. There is not much requirement for a critter to get in... I think Rudy the pot-belly pig is still around. Sunshine, the duck with a buzzard head, was a true "ugly duckling." I wish I had a picture of Mammy the goat. Oh, Mammy! That goat was as crazy as crazy gets.
What do you suppose is so great on the other side of that fence? Goats are not the brightest of all God's creatures. The ones with horns (Mammy) often spend more time with their head stuck in the fence, than they do forageing. A mistake they never seem to learn from... Sometimes I relate.
I was a "daddy's girl." I tagged after my dad. I learned how to weld farrowing pens and milking stands and pipe. I shoveled dirt and poop. I chainsawed trees and helped with the butcher.
It is where I learned how to drive (1942 Army Jeep); how to change the oil and tires, take out a radiator... 
It gave me a can-do attitude.
All made possible by a family of good people who put a little trust in a new couple and their kids...and then shook hands with my Dad. 
It was these two and Bellehelen who told me dreams do come true. 
My favorite day at "the Ranch."
It was perfect.
This painting of my dad's truck, parked at Bellehelen was done by Roberta Owens. I snagged it from Meghan's shop when it was in Tonopah. It is painted on the back of a tv dinner lid. LOL
It hangs in my kitchen to remind me of a simple and perfect time.
It says to me, that while life's path does not always take us to where we think we are going...I know where I have been." 

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