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Delayed Response

Things had so quickly taken over my train of thoughts after I had calmly parked the car a block away, making sure I didn’t lock my keys in the car in this strange town, double-checking that I had grabbed all of the important papers for the interview, looking up the street to see how far I had to walk, that the near miss had gone completely out of my head.

It wasn’t until I curled up in bed, appreciating the warmth of the bed & the softness of the new sheets & sleep began to over-take me, that the details came rushing back to me. The way the winter sun, breaking out of the thick clouds for the first time in weeks, hit the little boy’s curls & lit them up like golden fire. The father, grabbing at his son’s shirt, stretching the shirt out until the striped fabric thins & slips from his fingers. The red, white & blue rubber playground ball bouncing & then rolling to a stop in front of my car. My breaks screaming and startling sparrows out from under a car parked to my right.

The father had fallen off balance when his son slipped out of his hands. The boy, running gleefully, headstrong & oblivious, to reclaim his ball, disappeared entirely as he bent over in front of my car, so small he was completely obscured by the hood.

In another flash, the man was at the child, picking him up, spanking him. His slaps on the butt were fueled by his own fear and the desire to protect his son from future pain. The boy sobbing and kicking, scaring the tiny sparrows up into the air again, now from under a car parked to my left.

The ball falls from the toddler’s hands and rolls under a car, sticking underneath, in the exact place that’s most impossible to reach without wallowing on the ground. Too bombarded with his inner thoughts, the father doesn’t notice a change in his son’s cries, or has had enough of that patriotic rubber ball & walks away, not even slowing down for a second to consider retrieving it.

It all happened in a flash and left my thoughts in a flash, not 5 minutes later. But the temporarily-buried memory came back, bringing with it a pounding heart, goosebumps on my arms, the flush that grows from my chest to my face when I’m embarrassed or panicked. Safe, snuggled into my bed, my husband at my side and no ability to hurt that curly-haired toddler or break his father’s heart, I experience the fear that should have hit me, 8 hours earlier. The paralyzing “what ifs”, the cyclical thoughts of a young life lost beat inside my chests until it was hard to draw breath.

As I fought to get my heart rate back under control, I hoped the father was sleeping better than I was, putting the experience behind him immediately after promising himself he would keep a better hold on his son, when he walks down that busy road in the future. I was positive the little boy was just oblivious to the danger he escaped as he had been earlier that day, in the suddenly bright winter’s sun.

Crazy Mountain Ranch, Summer 2014 Lodging

The Crazy Mountain Ranch is an 18,000 acre working cattle ranch. It has a small town which is comprised entirely of antique & reclaimed buildings! The insides of these buildings have been reworked into the ranch’s guest lodging & activity centers. Every detail is just spot on & lovely.

We had the extreme luck to get a private cabin for our lodging! There are only a small number of these on the ranch, I was only aware of 3, including ours. Our cabin was called the Assay Office.

Marlboro Crazy Mountain Ranch 2014

Marlboro Crazy Mountain Ranch 2014

Marlboro Crazy Mountain Ranch 2014

 

When you arrive, there are gifts to treat you & prepare you for the elements at the ranch. We were each given a very nice waterproof jacket, water bottles, bandannas, flashlights, and $150 to spend in the General Store on anything else we might like or need.

We bought a pair of Costa sunglasses because my husband forgot his, a Garmin GPS specialized for hiking, western jewelry for me, a wallet for my son, a metal water bottle with a topographical map of the ranch property on it, and some fun stuff like a dinner bell & a TON of old timey candy. The Crazy Mountain Ranch General Store had such a nice variety of items for everyone, including Carhartt sweatshirts & t-shirts customizable with the ranch logos.

We were also given each a new Stetson cowboy hat, which ranch staff steamed & shaped for us and a each a new pair of Ariat cowboy boots which staff helped us find the perfect size in. Boots are required for riding the horses & since most people don’t own them, the ranch gives you a pair! I’ve never worn cowboy boots before, in spite of living in western country, so it was nice to get a pair fitted to me!

Marlboro Crazy Mountain Ranch 2014

Marlboro Crazy Mountain Ranch 2014

More pictures are available at my whentheBstings Instagram account.

Crazy Mountain Ranch, Summer 2014 Activities

When you are verified as the winner of a trip to the Crazy Mountain Ranch, you & your guest are sent a list of activities to choose from. My husband said it’s like summer camp for adults, which it totally is! Here are some of the photos taken during our activities. All activities were led by highly-trained, highly-competent guides who wanted nothing short of a perfect experience for us.

Don’t we look happy?

Marlboro Crazy Mountain Ranch 2014

Marlboro Crazy Mountain Ranch 2014

Marlboro Crazy Mountain Ranch 2014

Marlboro Crazy Mountain Ranch 2014

Marlboro Crazy Mountain Ranch 2014

Marlboro Crazy Mountain Ranch 2014

 

More pictures are available at my whentheBstings Instagram account.

Crazy Mountain Ranch Trip, Summer 2014

My husband & I had the fortune to go on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Crazy Mountain Ranch in Montana. I don’t have the words to fully convey how special this trip was. There were times I was alternating between tears & giggles, so overwhelmingly wonderful the experience was.

Here are the first set of pictures from our trip, focused around the 18,000 acre working cattle ranch’s private lake. Activities on the lake included guided flyfishing, canoeing, and evening concerts. We saw antelope, a pair of nesting bald eagles, baby ducks, nesting red-winged black birds whose haunting lilting melodies will ring in my heart until the day I die.

Marlboro Crazy Mountain Ranch 2014

Marlboro Crazy Mountain Ranch 2014

Marlboro Crazy Mountain Ranch 2014

Marlboro Crazy Mountain Ranch 2014

Marlboro Crazy Mountain Ranch 2014

Marlboro Crazy Mountain Ranch 2014

More pictures are available at my whentheBstings Instagram account.