Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Back to Emandal Farm ~ Sept 28, 2012

Setting the Scene ~ I introduced my husband to the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, NV in February so it seemed only fitting that I bring him up to Emandal Farm and Not Just Cowboy Poetry as an extension of his 65th birthday on Sept 25th. I made my first trip to Emandal in 2009 with friends Carol Ewert and Trisha Pedroia. Go to my Oct 2009 post entitled "The Beautiful Side of Somewhere" for a little history on this incredible jewel of a place overseen by Tamara Adams and her family.

The Art of Packing ~ We're only going to be gone overnight but you'd never know it by looking in the back of the Honda. As always we're ready for anything: six hats (cowboy to sun), a duffle of footwear (sandles, boots, sheepskin slippers and tennies), two jackets, camera, a small cooler, walking sticks, emergency pack, plenty of water and a duffle bag each to cover any fashion possibility. Our credo is if you can haul it, take it. And if we decide to spend another night out somewhere on the way home we're prepared.

Getting There is Half the Fun ~ We left home around 10am for the 90 mile drive north on Hwy 101. Emandal is about 16 miles east of Willits via back country roads (the dotted lines on road maps). Tamara is very explicit about not using navigation equipment to find the place. You may end up in next county east or a parallel universe for that matter. From about the middle of the directions I quote "Now you are back on Hearst Willits Road. Go up and down and around and about on this road until you reach the Eel River. There will be a sheep farm on the north bank and you'll see a cabin and then a home on your right. As you continue straight you'll notice a big silver bridge on your left (do not go over the bridge). And further down "if you have questions call 707-459-5439 but realize cell reception ends when you leave the Willits Valley". If it's your first trip to Emandal I'd recommend a co-pilot with Tam's directions in hand.

The last part of the drive is about 8 miles of graded road, a term I use loosely. It's better described as a washboard. Rod's convinced that's how Tam turns their cream to butter ~ road trips.

The Apple Pie Throw Down ~ What a way to start the afternoon. As part of the fundraiser for the Willits Library many guests paid $5 to taste of each of the 16 homemade pies. It was our responsibility to pick the Peoples' Choice winner and we all took the task very seriously. Rod's going to enter next year. He wants to win one of those engraved rolling pins!

The Show ~ The show featured two talented entertainers and storytellers. First up was Dick Warwick, a rancher and self proclaimed Barnyard Yarnbard from eastern Washington. He shared stories and poetry gleaned from his ranch life at home and adventures in Australia. Listen to "Buckaroo Braggadocio" at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDPrfVB9gCI 

Up next singer/songwriter Dave Stamey who's been a cowboy, a mule packer, a dude wrangler, and is now one of the most popular Western entertainers working today. He's won numerous awards including the Will Rogers Award from the Academy of Western Artists. It has been said that his "The Vaquero Song" is one of the greatest Western songs of all time. Check out this link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rh0DQ80kZoY

The Weather ~ It was supposed to be in the triple digits but it was in the 80's with a nice breeze. The late afternoon show was held on the shaded lawn with guests sharing homemade picnics with family and friends. Bare feet in the cool grass make for a happy combination. 

Food and Conversation ~ After the show, we all took a little break and then lined up for a delightful buffet dinner. All the food is raised and prepared on the farm.

We sat down with strangers at large round tables on the porch and left with new friends and acquaintances. Poet Dick Warwick shared stories with us, one couple met at Emandal 45 years ago and regaled us with the history of the farm, and Scott and Paula are from Graton just down the road from us. After much laughter and a sumptuous dessert of homemade brownies, blackberry and vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce we all excused ourselves and toddled up the hill to our rustic cabins by the light of the harvest moon. A day well spent.

For more information on:

Emandal Farm http://www.emandal.com  
Dick Warwick  http://cowboy-poet.blogspot.com
Dave Stamey  http://davestamey.com