Birthing Goats and Chuckwagon Dinners.
Birthing Goats and Chuckwagon Dinners.
We recently stayed at a friend’s family's house. Our friend Tee is a full-timer, and we travel together sometimes. She has a nice Class C, pulls a Jeep with it, and lives with a dog named Monkey. Tee’s mom Jan, and her husband, Tom, live on a small farm. They are pretty handy and have built a seedling house, a barn with goat stalls, workshops, and best of all, a large-scale chuckwagon. The wagon has a dining table, plenty of room to hang out, and a big kitchen. We cooked a bunch of food there during our visit. We cook a bunch of food everywhere we go. Jan baked a lot of bread. Dinner bread, dessert bread, and bread too small for sandwiches. I ate that with molasses.
Nomadic living means our visits to people’s property can range from a landowner pointing to a patch in the gravel by moonlight, never to be seen again, to hosts who drive us shopping and to bike parks and basketball courts. Jan and Tom fell in the middle, under food and family. The dinners we shared lasted long enough to get to know each other, our interests in life, about our kids, and a star-filled sky followed each dinner on the way back to our coach in the dark.
Harwood Texas is so far into Texas I don’t even know what to say it is close to. The land was covered in scrub-type trees, shrubs, and undergrowth. We cut and burned some of the best firewood we’ve had. Easy to light, it burned hot and burned long. Indie and I often ran on the road out front. The road was paved but only about one and a half cars wide. Pasture fencing was less than 10 feet from the edge of the road. Quiet and private. Our morning runs were cold. We saw maybe a car a day, and the land was flat.
We parked at the farm out from under trees but surrounded by trees. So the PV panels on the roof only got about 3-4 hours of sunlight. We have considered a 45% state of charge on our battery bank at the bottom of the usable energy. Doing a little research on our system, we learned it is more like 20-21% or 11.9 Volts. We started doing deeper discharges on the system. At one point, the charge dipped below 30% state of charge to 28% overnight. But as the days went on, we were amazed to learn just how much energy the battery bank has. We don’t get the generator out often to charge the batteries, but we’ll be getting it out even less from now on.
One of the pregnant goats had two babies the second night after our arrival. It was her first pregnancy, so everyone gave her a lot of love. One of the little kids didn’t make it. But the other little goat thrived, and the mom spent her time caring for him. As the days went by, another goat went into labor. Christina has been around horses and other animals and enjoys all things hooved and living. She stayed in the barn with Tee while Jan and Tom delivered the newborn goats, like a midwife or ranch hand at the ready. There is more work involved in raising livestock on farms than most understand. It must be a calling, a natural path, or a place of purpose for those who do it. Delivering baby goats takes many hours, can happen anytime, day or night, and can’t be done without a strong stomach and a big heart. The whole time we stayed at the little farm, Indie was fascinated by the goats, and they seemed fascinated by him. A lot of farm animals are friendly toward Indie. Maybe it’s his size and color or his friendly eyes. Goats, pigs, cattle, and horses frequently walk up to the fence and say hello.
Our friend Tee invited us to her mom’s house, and funny enough, due to a delay in our next arrival point, she left her mom’s house without us, and we stayed another few nights. We had dinner with Tom and Jan, then finished up a few repairs to Luna and finally said our goodbyes. Boondocking can always have some surprises, and seeing goats give birth is one I’ll never forget. It’s one of the reasons this life on the road is so appealing.