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When Peter, our eldest son, left San Francisco and his career path of law to return home, I doubt he thought about the possibility of his running a horse camps at Marble Mountain Ranch. Of all our activity offerings here on the ranch, horses are his least favorite. He loves the whitewater, enjoys the guiding for fly fishermen, and the shooting, and the background raising of his two daughters in the old-school nuclear family setting.  Oh yea, the gardening suits him well also. But, he would just as soon shoot the horses.  If one gets out of the pasture, shoot it.  If a horse doesn’t run straight to him and stand still waiting for a halter, shoot him.  Tolerance, patience, compassion and horses are not words he knows how to join in concept.


So, this week Heidi and I left to visit our second son, and to celebrate their daughter’s third birthday in a quick visit prior to the arrival of a 51 person charter school horse camp on the ranch. I think the karmic fate of Peter must have had some sort of cosmic pull in the natural course of events, because I am now sitting in a hospital room in Portland, waiting for my wife Heidi’s acute gal bladder failure to be rectified, and my son Peter is looking head-on into the lights of a solo directorship of his very own youth horse camp.

Heidi will eventually be discharged from the hospital and life will go on normally. However, I wonder how my son will survive an equine baptism by fire as he runs and directs this horse camp over the next three days. He has plenty of good support around him. Our new wrangler from Humboldt State University, Lanadawn Nusz is doing an early season showing to help with the horse classes, Chelsea’s father Ken will be on hand to manage infrastructure, and our friends from Happy Camp are coming down to assist in the kitchen. This is another good reminder of how vitally important a good support system is and a confirmation that again: Nobody gets there on their own. Nobody certainly can get their on their own trying to run a quality family dude ranch.

Public thanks to the team for being there.


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