Ranch and Vortex Report

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It’s 51 degrees at 5:00 pm at the White Wolf Mine – 7,400 ft of altitude on Arizona’s Mogollon Rim. The Polar Vortexes have not dipped to this latitude. 
The Colorado Plateau, which begins at the White Wolf Mine and runs all the way north into Colorado and Utah is relatively flat with a few exceptions. Mt. Butler (near Flagstaff, AZ), an extinct volcano juts up from the plateau as do other features. People ski up there but I don’t waste my money looking fabulous at the lodge, in front of the fire wearing ski clothes. I do drive around in my 4×4, but out here, there’s nobody to look cool for. It’s not a bad thing. Not a California thing at all.
Elmer and Joey, two twin white tail deer spike bucks were down the road from the place earlier and split when the rig turned in their direction. They’re curious, and skittish, but they hang out in the same area every day. I haven’t seen Judy (older mule deer doe) lately and I’m hoping that the lions didn’t drag her down. 
Moqui Ridge (left) is south of me and it looked good this morning…chilly, but good. Chilly to me is anything that requires me to wear more than a t-shirt to be comfortable. So in January it’s chilly most of the time up here. And I’m fine without the Polar Vortex reminding me that the new ice age is coming. 
If you’re a tourist in the area you will likely be drawn to Sedona, Arizona. I looked hard at Sedona but there are too many tourists. I think that Oprah has a house there. I don’t hate Oprah, but you know, it’s like a skull and crossbones on a map to me. And speaking of maps, and chakras (whatever those are) and non-polar vortexes, we have a lot of them in the area. There may even be one over the White Wolf Mine and I don’t know it.
The map illustrates the whole vortex issue graphically. I can’t make heads or tails of it, but people travel a long way to experience the chakras, and chant or bark at the Moon while eating tofu and swilling down a $15 dollar cup of mud from Starbucks.
Make of these famous vortexes what you will, but they don’t freeze your ass off. It’s Arizona, after all.

26 thoughts on “Ranch and Vortex Report

  1. Sedona hasn't been cool since we moved away. My friends lived on Dry Creek Rd (Boynton Canyon) and the "crystal danglers" were always trespassing (and trashing) their property. We lived right about on the "W" of where it says "West Sedona" on the map.

    I bet you're ready for summer on the ranch. It's very beautiful, LL.

  2. It was -31 on my deck this morning, -27 yesterday. I did not go outside, despite having lots of things that needed doing outside. No way was I poking my head out there. Just letting my dog out to pee involved me touching the metal handle of my storm door, and that hurt. I had to put a glove on the handle.

    I hate polar vortices. I gotta get out of this hell hole.

  3. Yes, Adrienne, I'm ready for Spring – and then Summer. I moved up here in a blizzard on NY Day. So it's been relatively cool. It's not bitter cold here. It gets into the (+) teens at night when it's "really cold". It's 50 degrees colder where Fredd is. So I don't complain.

    I like Sedona but as you point out, it's a lode stone for freaks and misfits. I can always take the motorcycle down there and walk on red rocks, then drive home once the weather is a bit warmer.

  4. I very much remember the cold snap we had for almost three months across the mid west in the early 80's. Bitter and unrelenting.
    Car battery killing. I brought mine in each night.
    This polar "vortex" is just a re-branding of "weather".
    Nice view you have there.

  5. Good old Sedona! A bit like Aspen, in a way.

    I'm more than happy to exorcise those lay lines, just so you know. Cast out the demons.

  6. Sedona sounds like somewhere I would not like.

    Maybe you'll become a guide and take people on photo trips. Gorgeous scenery.

  7. When I was younger and dumber I was a general building contractor on the Central Coast of Oregon . We had a cold spell that extended through southern Oregon, Washington, and Idaho that lasted for about a week.
    Waterline froze broke all across the Pacific Northwest.
    You could not buy a half-inch sweat/sweat copper coupling anywhere west of the Mississippi. I had a good inventory of such stuff.
    Plumbers were getting $400 an hour.
    People whined about price gouging.
    My thought was,"How much does an attorney charge you the once or twice in a lifetime you are in trouble and really need professional help?" The answer: A lot.
    I fixed my own waterlines, then fixed all of my prior clients waterlines. Gratis.
    Then I fixed waterlines for whomever else in the community needed it. Gratis.
    I even made a deal with the mother of a seventeen year-old young man that if she would buy a propane torch ($9.99 back then) I would teach her boy to fix their waterlines and do the same for neighbors. Done. I hope he will teach his son.
    In some cases you did need a propane space heater to thaw the water lines in the crawl spaces over several cycles to find all of the leaks.
    Some leaks were in insulated pipes in attic areas. It was that cold.
    Food and ammo are not everything that a person should have in the reserves.

  8. Yes, it's the weather, Ed. The Progs want to make it into some global conspiracy based on climate so that they can manipulate the way others live. Those of us who have lived longer than 35 years understand that this is all cyclical. To Chicken Little, the sky is falling.

    I was in Arizona in the area where I now live in 2009 when they received 5' of snow on the level. It was a MASSIVE snowfall for this area. And it happens about every 40 or 50 years. If you're young enough, the climate is changing and you'll be buried forever in snow. If you're old enough, you throw more wood on the fire and dip into your stored food because it's going to take a while to dig out. And life goes on.

  9. There are jeep tours in the area and I did think of doing that, but I can't abide the people. So while driving around in nice country appeals, belching tourists aren't my thing. I have taken chit in the past from jeep tour drivers who feel that they have the right of way. I reminded them, "It's a county road, Sherlock, paid for by the public, not YOUR road."

  10. Astute observation. Being prepared (as opposed to being a "prepper" which means taking things to an insane point) requires a very circumspect approach to life. And at some point, things may go to hell in a hand basket as with the deep freeze you cite and the average prepared person is still left holding his yank.

  11. Yes, it's killer stuff. THe two things that simply HAD to work during that cold snap: the electricity had to be flowing (it went out for about 30 seconds the first night – made me take notice, I have a generator for such things), and both zones of the natural gas furnaces had to work.

    They all did. And I watched all of these systems like a hawk, didn't sleep well though.

  12. Indeed.

    “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.
    Specialization is for insects.”

    ~ Robert A. Heinlein

  13. I have a Generac propane generator that goes on when the power dips or drops and it runs on the giant tank in the yard. You also need a few cords of seasoned wood for the fire place as an additional stand-by. Here, in the new house, I don't yet. The weather hasn't been conducive to cutting and splitting wood. Next winter, the supply will be fleshed out.

  14. On my way out to go to work, I took the trash out thinking it wasn't going to get picked up anyway (it didn't) and inhaled through my mouth for some reason.
    I burned my tongue.

  15. Ed, you need to move to Arizona. We have more benign vortexes out here, 100% of the people you meet are armed, Trump and MAGA hats are worn.

  16. He forgot building a tree fort with his son. And changing a flat tire. Oh, and building a camp fire.

  17. I looked at those Generac systems, about $4K. I need to be here when the power goes out, but my system is under a grand, and it powers about half my ciruits (no A/C, although I agonized over that one).

  18. Addendum:
    My BIL was stationed at Whitby Island NAS during the time that the cold front I previously referred to moved through.
    They lost power on the island.
    His family was in a two-story residence with a basement rec room that had a fireplace.
    Everyone moved down into the rec room and camped out in front of the fireplace.
    It was cold.
    How cold was it you ask?
    Cold enough that the toilets in the upper floors froze and broke.
    Fortunately there were no water leaks into the basement until after power and heat was restored and things thawed out.
    Folks with second homes in cold climates often have waterline system drains installed for use when the homes are vacant. Saw that done on a ski cabin (three-stories) I worked on.
    Antifreeze in toilets is not unheard of when the homeowner is absent during cold weather (I maintain that "The Cautionary Tale" was developed so that men can give other men advice without appearing to do so. Women, on the other hand: telling us what to do. It is their job and they are good at it).
    I hope the architect for the White Wolf Mine residence designed the water system to be drained in your absences to milder climes for business and pleasure. If not, a retrofit of some kind might be considered.

  19. It is, but to be frank, (who you are), WSF, it's a change for me. It's not without its own challenges. And moving in the middle of winter made it extra difficult. Not impossible difficult, but it was moving at the worst time of year in a blizzard. I've been here for a month now, and have traveled back and forth to SoCal and have had kids over to visit, etc. So it's not like I'm a hermit. Even so, change isn't always easy.

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