October 1, 2013
I have spent the past 10 days outside the small town of Camdenton, Missouri on my grandfathers beloved 2,000 acre cattle ranch, known as The Rockin’ K. I started lifeguarding at Huntington State Beach in the summers when I was 16 years old, but before that my cousins and I used to spend 6-10 weeks every summer at the Rockin K Ranch, helping grandpa and having way to much fun for our own good. It was always a time for us beach bum, city slickin’, ocean addicts to get dirty, do some real work, and be exposed to environments vastly different than our own home town of Huntington Beach in California. I hadn’t been back to the Ranch in nearly 10 years, and have thoroughly enjoyed this time with my grandpa in a place that is so special to my entire family.
The Ranch has been good to me. Grandpa and I spent all week clearing fields of boulders and stumps, burning almost everything in sight in “controlled” bonfires, romping around all over the property on ATVs, fishing, working the cattle, exploring the ever changing river bed that runs through ranch, playing board games at night with my mom and grandma, and drinking wine on the back porch as the setting sun stretches the shadows from the barn longer and longer until they disappear. Being here has kind of brought me back, reminded me of the good times, and inspired me to spend more time here sharing it with the people I love in my life.
Tonight I am packing my backpack (again) for the ISLA Basic Open Water Lifeguard Training Course in Holland, Michigan. The ISLA team and fine folks of the Great Lakes Surf Lifesaving Project have been working hard all week preparing, and we are pumped for our first training in the USA! I’m excited to see some old friends and meet new ones. After the training I head out to Europe for the World Conference on Drowning Prevention in Germany!
Stage One – Rockin’ K Ranch – Check. Michigan here I come.
Here are some pictures of the ranch! Check back in a few days for updates from Holland, Michigan.