S 1 E 4: Reunion + Sealing + Birthday = Lots of Fun

Next stop: Boise Idaho.

Jeff (brother #5) and Brenna were married last June. This June they were sealed for time and all eternity in the LDS Temple. This was the real cause for celebration and reason behind a full Oxford Suites. Zed’s maternal side of the family was in attendance as were his paternal grandparents. All brothers were also there (Zed, Wes, Dallen, Erik, and Jeff) except Scott who is currently serving his mission. Mylee, Scott’s girl friend, Mylee’s friend, and Olivia, a family friend watched the kids so we could all go to the temple together.

After the temple session we headed back to the hotel and ate an amazing buffet provided by the hotel. This was followed by a cannonball contest in the pool, I believe Wes won. The brothers, their cousins, and their aunts and uncles headed out and raced go carts. The story I was told is Wes came in first for race #1 and Zed was 1st for race #2. The kids and sisters (aka wives of the brothers) stayed back and got some last minute bonding time and packed the bags (and went to sleep early).

As is normal Davies Family fashion the drive to Boise from the ranch to going to bed all took place within 15 hours, not two days at it may seem.

-S

S 1 E 3: Ranch Life

If you haven’t been out to the Roaring Springs Ranch, or really this part of Oregon, you need to find a way to make it out here. Each time we come out I am reminded of the beauty of it. This trip out was a little more relaxed than normal because I have no ties to anyone but my family right now. We have outprocessed from Tinker and have yet to inprocess to our temporary duty at Maxwell AFB.

We began this leg of our trip with a much needed nap. The kids played with all of PaPa and Grandmas toys while Zed and I enjoyed some sleep.

After waking up we had a date with 11 bulls. After getting them loaded in a trailer we drove 3.5 hours and dropped them at a ranch who would be leasing them for the summer. Along the way we stopped at Dairy Queen (more popular than McDonald’s out there) for dinner and ice cream. You’ll see that ice cream is a common thread for this trip. Once dropping the bulls we headed back towards the ranch and spent the night in the apartment over the office in Burns. On top of running the ranch Stacy also runs a co-op of ranchers who make up Country Natural Beef. They supply beef to places like Whole Foods, Blue Apron, and Burgerville. The next day we woke early, picked up kid horses and finished the drive to the ranch.

The kids enjoyed riding horses, helping PaPa work cows (it’s AI season currently), and riding toys. Zed and I are storing our four wheelers at the ranch while we’re in Germany and they bought 2 little motorcycles for the kids. Mia mastered the one without training wheels while Ana claimed the one with the extra help. Zed taught the kids how to climb rocks (I missed the photo op). It was great to see him in his element and sharing that with the kids. While we were there the ranch was hosting an AI school. Those who take part in the school learn something new and Stacy gets a few more hands to help out. Ana also adopted a calf and it was her responsibility to feed it each day.

One of the most fun days was when we enjoyed a trip to Fields for burgers and shakes. The kids (Jonah and Dallen (brother #3) had made it out and joined us) climbed trees and played in the mud while we waited for our food. This is another most stop when you come to visit the ranch. We then headed out on four wheelers and motorcycles to enjoy the reservoir.

While there Zed found a nest, where two of the eggs were beginning to hatch. The kids insisted we stay until they were out, but we explained we couldn’t wait that long and had to go see Sadie.

On the drive back, 3/5 kiddos fell asleep and we met up with Wes (brother #2) and Sadie. That night the couples went into town and enjoyed a benefit dinner for the boys’ high school English teacher.

The final day on the ranch we took a Steens Mountain tour and truly enjoyed the south eastern Oregon landscape.

One of the many gorges along the Steens. There should be some snow still visible on the peaks, but it wasn’t a great snow year.

This looks out over the historic Riddle Ranch.

Mia and Ana attempting to throw rocks into Wild Horse Lake. The angle of the picture deceives the eyes. Ana’s right foot is hanging over a sheer face that drops a “couple” feet.

Behind Zed and me is the Alvord Desert.

We concluded the tour with a stop at the Frenchglen Mercantile for some ice cream. The ability to easily come to the ranch for a break is going to be missed while we’re in Germany. It will be an amazing treat to be welcomed back to.

-S